McArthur Burney Falls SP

img_4552I don’t even know how many times we’ve blown past the turn off for this area on our way to Ashland, but I now know how much we’ve been missing out! The McArthur Burney State Park boasts one of the most spectacular waterfalls I’ve ever seen. There is also a lake that is perfect for water sports, and some nice amenities, like a campground store and sometimes wifi at the Visitor Center. It is also not too far from the town of Burney, where one can resupply groceries and even splurge and eat out. It made for a nice long stay.

We are already noticing the shift in pace on this trip as compared to last summer. We’ve reserved longer stays with shorter driving distances between stops. At first it felt odd, like if we were just kind of hanging out, it seemed a little off. I think that is the cumulative result of summers full of miles and one-night stands. This time around, once we get set up in the site, we can relax and let things be for a while. Nice.

img_4485Speaking of getting set up in the site, when we pulled into the campground and found our spot, it looked like an obstacle course challenge. Rather than take the easy way out, which would have put our door and porch in direct view of our neighbors, I opted for some precision Caravan Mover maneuvers. I have to say, I was impressed with myself. Don’t try this without a CM, kids. We back and forth shuffled, coming within an inch of several posts at a time, before we finally called it a day. Good thing we have a generator, because that was a lot of battery usage and the site was mostly shaded.

img_4645This week there was a welcome-to-summer heat wave that saw temps in the 90s where we were, and into the 100s down in the valley. Our brave little 12v fridge kept the ice frozen and the meat cold, but it sucked down the battery pretty good every day. We ended up running the generator a couple hours each day to compensate, and I don’t think the battery could have managed without it. During the four-night stay, Richard used the Barker once, proving we can be self-sufficient when we need to be.

One modification to our set up was purchased in Burney: a little ice chest cooler for veggies. Since we’re not flying down the highway for this trip, we’ll need to pay closer attention to our food supplies. Our little fridge is perfect for weekend camping, but when you want to stock a week or so at a time, you run out of space quickly. Quickly, that is, if you also want to ever eat vegetables. So we’re trying out this little cooler with swappable ice packs to see if that works. It rides in Bruce, behind my seat. We set it outside at Burney Falls, but in bear or raccoon country, we’ll need to figure out where to put it at night.

img_4492The Blue Apron camping plan is going quite well! I’ve already done three recipes, with very little modification needed, using the Weber Q. One item that really helps is a little sauce basket thingy I got, with veggies in mind. Many of the recipes use the oven to make baked potatoes or broccoli, and I think I’ve achieved proof of concept that the little pan will allow that kind of cooking to happen. When the outside temperatures are high, the last thing I want to do is turn on the stove in Dory, so I’m looking forward to further experimentation with my outdoor kitchen.

img_4518As for activities in the park, we enjoyed a couple of beautiful hikes around the falls and to the lake and back. The Civilian Conservation Corps did a beautiful job creating an accessible walkway down to the falls and you can literally feel the moment as you’re descending when the temperature changes. It must be at least a ten-degree difference, maybe even twenty, from the overlook to the bottom. All the way down, you’re just mesmerized by the water. It’s a two-part falls system, where some of the water cascades over the top, from the river, and some comes through hundreds of channels through the lower layers of volcanic rock. There were some great displays in the Visitor Center that show the flow patterns of the water. The effect is breathtaking and the view changes with every step. It has been photographed ad infinitum, but I made sure to add my own silly shots to the mix. When I get home to fast WiFi, I’ll be sure to upload the rest, cause I know you’re looking forward to that. 😉

img_4503We also took part in a ranger led walk over to an Osprey nest. There are Ospreys all over the park, but the interesting thing about this particular nest is that it’s atop a 120 foot tree, but the base of the tree is way down in the river valley. The top of the tree is just about thirty feet away from the trail that runs along the rim. We saw mommy or daddy Osprey protecting the nest from the sun during the day, and later when we went back at dusk, we saw a cute little baby Osprey looking right at us with its fluffy little feathered head. Binoculars were essential and photos don’t really capture anything but the nest.

img_4611Speaking of photos not capturing the experience, the highlight of my trip was, hands down, the spotting of a “romp” of no fewer than TEN river otters while I was boating on the lake. I did set otter spotting as my goal of course, but never did I imagine I’d see so many. I kept a respectful distance, which did not enhance my photography. As soon as I spied one little brown head moving quickly through the water, I followed. Then I saw a huge log in the water that seemed to be covered in – NO! – YES! Covered in otters!! I just about died on the spot, but continued just floating and gazing, with a face full of smiles I’m sure. They travelled together and sometimes hopped into the brush on shore. I could see little fishies in their mouths and they did their cute otter face rubbing thing, making little grunting and chirping noises. I took as many pictures as I could, alternating angles, zoom, video vs still shots, and really none of them came out. A few make it look like there’s something in the water, but that’s as close as I got. Oh well, they’ll serve to remind me of the experience for all time. It’s going to be hard to beat that as a kayaking adventure, that’s for sure!

img_4572And another day trip we did was to drive out toward Lassen and explore a lava tube. The turn off is marked as “Subway Cave” and there is a small parking area and trail head that takes you through about a third of a mile underground. We’ve never seen a lava tube, much less hiked through one, and the most notable thing about it is how manufactured it looks. It’s really hard to believe it formed naturally. It was a very cool (literally) experience and made for a perfect escape from the day’s heat. I highly recommend making it a stop!

img_4549All told, this was a wonderful four-night stay. We learned a lesson on not letting the Aluminet shade cover hang down over the water heater vent (d’oh!), but really enjoyed the rest of our set up. We took a few trips into town and ate at a Mexican restaurant called “La Fogata” and that was both yummy and cheap, in addition to having free wifi. I will say, we could have done with less toddler screaming. At a point though, you must admire the sheer endurance of some of the youngest campers’ ability to cry nonstop. I also give serious props to the parents who kept their cool. This is a family campground to be sure, so it’s not going to offer much in the way of private sites. We’ll be stopping here again on our last leg before returning home. For now, onward to Lassen!

Total miles from Woodson Bridge: 120.8, 3 hours 25 min, 13.8 mpg. Site 2. NO cell service for either, even boosted. WiFi unreliable from Visitor Center. Best bet is to run into the town of Burney for service. Good dump. Mostly shaded sites.

Woodson Bridge SRA

img_4452The excitement of launching our summer voyage is always rather extreme. Combine this with the end of school year business, and you’ve got yourself a head cold. Not horrible, just enough to make the last week of school a slog to get through. Plus, I think Richard was honestly disappointed I didn’t change my mind about leaving Friday immediately after locking the door to Learning Center. Instead, I came home and collapsed in bed and didn’t get up again until early Saturday.

img_4453Long trips require a bit more executive functioning than our normal weekend routine. There are apps for that of course, and we are even starting to get kind of good at making sure we have all the extra stuff we’ll need to last two months away from home. Vitamins, prescriptions, protein shake packets, coffee pods are examples of things on the long term provisions list. Then it’s stuff like: don’t forget the generator, the various chargers, and the Barker (portable grey water tank). The rest is either part of our normal portage, or purchasable on the road. And then, one of the most important bits of the pre-liftoff checklist is to make sure we don’t accidentally take Kitty, who likes to sleep in Dory when she’s in the garage.

img_4457All systems being go, we started rolling well before 10am on Saturday and just headed north. We intentionally left Saturday unreserved so we could play it by ear. Our first reserved spot was in McArthur Burney for Sunday night, so we got to choose a place somewhere about half way. We selected Woodson Bridge State Recreation Area partly due to its proximity to I5, but truthfully, more because it would allow us to put a blue pin in our CA State Parks map.

img_4459I was surprised how few sites were taken on a Saturday night. This is a pretty little campground right along the Sacramento River. We didn’t see any sites that had a river view, but there were one or two where you could walk a tiny bit from the site to get a nice overlook. You definitely would not be able to launch a kayak from any of the sites. But there is a county park right next to the campground that has launch sites and day use areas. There are plenty of sites that accommodate trailers. They are paved and most are nice and level. The bathrooms are clean and nice and there is a campground host on duty to deal with shenanigans. It appears you can make reservations online, but we were one of three total campers there, so not a problem getting a spot. Not sure why. There is an RV park across the street, so perhaps people opt for hookups in the summer.

It was nice to make a short day of driving because I appreciated nappy time in the afternoon. For dinner, we drove into the town of Corning, CA and went to a place called La Plaza. This was really good, authentic Mexican food. The atmosphere was laid back and the price was very reasonable.

After dinner, we went back to Dory for an evening of no dishwashing and a big screen projection of “Aquaman.” Wow, that is a stupid movie, but colorful and adequately entertaining. Perfect thing to set the tone for another summer adventure.

Total miles: 166.0, 13.3 mpg (very windy), 3 hours 39 min. Site 27. Good cell service for both. No hookups, nice bathrooms, no dump.

Calaveras Big Trees (3)

uw5SIaWiSbiqRTKKOQFcvwOne week until summer blast off and all systems are go! I could not be more pleased with how the Lagun table mount is working, and we got to put it through its paces during travel to see how sturdy it is. I created a velcro strap with a D ring on one end that acts as an insurance policy in case any of the arm locks give way. I also stuck our wedge cushions between the table and the front wall for the same reasons. 90yhbRF6RQ+82r+gViNeZAOn arrival at the state park, it looked as solid as when we left. Concerning the blue coroplast project, there was one espresso cup that shifted onto its side, so I’ll be hot gluing some things this week. Overall though, we’re looking ready to roll. Oh, and I can also report that the magnet closure on the screen room flap is a success! So the pain, and extra magnets, were worth it.

Calaveras is such a nice place to go. A bit of a drive at 3 1/2 hours, but May is the perfect time to visit. The sites are nicely spaced and ours overlooked a huge meadow. Little rivers are running babblingly full right now and you can often spot the head of a duck, seemingly floating through the grass. In fact, they are gliding along the many rivulets cutting across flats until the water collects into larger streams. I got to spend Friday and Saturday evenings, blissing out to the sound of frogs and water.

WE4+ufO8TSanzSjMIlCIoQThe weather reported likely thunderstorms Saturday, so Richard took the bikes off. As it turned out, we experienced maybe one solid minute of rain Saturday night, but that was it. During the day, we enjoyed blue skies and a perfect five mile hike through the South Grove. The drive there would make for a beautiful, but very challenging, bike ride. Richard took notes as we drove and decided he was happy to be in a car. But maybe some day.

The dogwoods are blooming all over the park and there seems to be an explosion of ladybugs happening right now. None of my photos captured the swarms of them, but they were all over the place. Funny how swarms of ladybugs do not irritate. It helps that they don’t try to bite you, or buzz in your ear, or even try to land on you. So walking through a swarm of symmetrically marked, brightly colored beetles can thus be deemed “cool.”

FMfds9%tTNK%F%Y0HBa0NAThis trail was far less crowded than the popular one closer to the Visitor Center, and it boasts the largest tree in the park. We did pass by a very large group of Mennonites (I think?) on the trail, along with a cluster of abandoned strollers down closer to the trailhead. It kind of looked like a scene out of the past, except there were strollers rather than wagons and oxen left behind. One of the strollers appeared to have had a blowout.

7etbCHYNSO+sGADEQZHD%ASunday we packed up in no great hurry and talked through the few remaining errands we need to get done this week. I think it will be safe to leave my puffy and sleeping bag jacket at home. Hope I don’t regret that decision. The screen room should be a very nice addition this summer. I ditched the storage bag it comes with, in favor of a much larger solution. It is, in fact, the original carrying case that came with my kayak, since I upgraded that to the Advanced Elements Kayakpack. Having oversized cases makes a world of difference when you’re packing up.

Perfect weekend outing before our summer launch! Can’t wait!

Total miles: 136.0, 14.3 mpg (up, coming home: 16.4), 3 hours 40 min. Site 6. Good midday solar. NO ATT or Verizon, but there is WiFi at the Visitor Center. Good dump station.

Lagun and Summer Prep

l8qSXY44Rh276sPJHLlP4gIt seems high end trailers attract high end people who like to customize. This is a lucky thing because that means we can copy great ideas. Case in point, a very clever Altoiste recently modded out his trailer by changing out the standard table pedestal for a slick, rotating “Lagun” table mount system. The main benefits of this mount include having a much wider range of table position options, an easier way to move the table, and the ability to lose the track on the floor. He was so awesome about sharing his enthusiasm, he even went so far as to mass produce installation kits so other Altoistes could do this mod with minimal tools required.

What followed on the Altoistes site was a flurry of activity, as others jumped on board. The frenzy swept through North America and all the way to Altoistes Down Under, where variations began to develop in how clever people approached the technical challenges associated with putting a table mount onto a non weight bearing wall. We stood back and watched with interest as we pondered whether we wanted to join the party, and if so, how we would want to tackle the framing. W5JYVtF5RQ2OxEKw4AuE2gRichard decided early on that, if we were going to do it, he’d want the structural reinforcement to be invisible, so that only the mount would show. As it happened, another smart Altoiste figured out how to do just that and posted instructions for how to use a frame he dubbed the “Lagun Mount-O-Matic 8000.” This was what Richard used as his guide and the next several weeks were spent tinkering (and purchasing new tools).

As he went super slowly and carefully, I kept busy by figuring out what else was going to need to change if we modded the table. I knew I’d need to relocate the led candles if we were going to have a swiveling table. I also knew we’d need more Chilewich carpet to cover the area taken up by the table track.

mM3apfYrQsOd6Ox69bepmgAnd then a new project presented itself when yet another brilliant Alto owner posted pictures of a super clever organizational system he built for the kitchen shelves, using blue coroplast. I admit, the blue caught my eye, but I didn’t want to change up the shelves. However, it got me thinking, and I came upon the idea of using the same material to make travel-safe storage for our coffee cups. We were still using pieces of foam and packing material around the cups and it took up lots of room. It also was a minor pain to put in and take out with every set up. Now we have a super cool custom storage area, and I own a glue gun. The possibilities are endless!

fj1i6+%fQaum2sLdobDuBAThe finished coroplast project opened up more storage space for spices, which in turn opened up more space for the storage of a wider range of oils and sauces. And that all got me thinking about creating a pantry that could support a selection of Blue Apron recipes while on long trips. With the acquisition of just a few specialty items (soy glaze, Gochujang, and Sambal Oelek, for example) I was able to gather about thirty different recipes where the only items I’d need to shop for would be easy to find meats and vegetables. This summer it doesn’t look like we’ll be in Walmart land, but I’m optimistic that I will now have more flexibility in cooking flavorful, fresh meals.

CGV+oXPpTmue3dTbTzljmQMeanwhile, back with the Lagun, we decided to take a break from camping in the rain this weekend and instead stayed home to finish up projects. Creating the frame had been completed, using 3/4″ aluminum square tubes, nested into a top and bottom section of aluminum C channel. He’d learned how to rivet for this part and we’d had to remove a storage shelf from behind the thin metal “wall” where the frame was going to go. Next, he needed to drill additional holes in the floor and into the heavy duty frame structure at the front of the Alto that forms the support for the dinette seating area.

IMG_1214It was tricky work getting measurements accurate, but he did a great job. He used a section of black, poly cutting board, mounted behind the Lagun bracket, as a spacer to make sure everything clears the lip on the horizontal bar. Once holes were drilled, it was just a matter of screwing, riveting, and bolting things into place. We were fully committed to the project once he had to drill through the thin metal wall.

The last bit of tricky work was getting the Lagun table bracket to work with our existing drawer. This is something we added ourselves and we really do like it for pens and pencils, paper tablets, and whatnot. It turns out the drawer just clears the bracket. We can’t realize the full 360º range of swiveling motion because the drawer gets in the way, but I don’t think that will actually matter.

FeoiEbhHQjOd5cFKzCR1rwWith everything installed, we put the table on the mount and tried it out. In a word: AWESOME. This really does make a huge difference in how that space is used, and we haven’t even tried it with the roof up yet. It makes it a hundred times easier for me to get in and out of my area and it allows us to raise the table height without being limited by the proximity of the front wall. It also means we can push the table out of the way. That whole space feels much bigger now. Once we were convinced this had all been a good idea, I went ahead and removed the track from the floor and cut a piece of Chilewich to fill the gap. The storage shelf went back with just a few little notches cut out to clear the vertical square tubes.

C6XCiLReQAKtkEX9KDHmpAOne last project came up when I took “after” pictures. With the track out of the way, we can put the espresso machine battery wherever we want. Thing is, the last time I messed with its appearance, I had covered the plastic shoe box that houses the battery with metallic, adhesive backed, craft paper. It was ok as long as it was sort of hidden. But now… ok new project.

A few hours later on a rainy Sunday and our espresso machine battery box now has a custom cozy. I can still move it and use it as an ottoman, like when I’m typing reports.

All in all, this has been a highly productive, and equally satisfying weekend. With one more weekend left before our next summer trip, things are looking good. Tomorrow is Memorial Day and I believe I will Bissel the upholstery.

We are hugely thankful to Phil Silvester (don’t worry, your install kit is being passed on since we didn’t end up needing to use it), Alan Davies, and David Hruby. Y’all are impressively clever humans!

Casini Ranch (3)

p+oVZC4VSDmFSSpiGzJ80QWell, just when we thought summer might be getting ready to come on strong, we do a 180 and we’re right back in March. It’s tricky making reservations six months out because you really don’t know what to anticipate in terms of whether you’ll need a site with hookups to run AC, or a site with shade, or a site NOT next to the river that recently flooded and wiped out whole towns. We were fine, but I did watch that water level to scan for changes.

uqWCxkYBSQmmUECgZzhKmgNo biking or kayaking this weekend, but we completely entertained ourselves with some pre-summer trip planning and reorganization. I have a little storage project I can do to keep me busy and Richard has a larger project he’s been working on very slowly and carefully. In any case, we enjoyed the rainy weekend and I collected photos of sites for future reference. And, as always, this whole area is so beautiful, just getting there and back is a treat.

Gi1S+0%zT52BQn1iTTjSJgCasini Ranch is a privately run place that is very friendly, and family oriented. There is a lot to do there if you are a kid. The Russian River is definitely rushing at the moment, so it would have been challenging to paddle it, even with no rain. I’ll have to time a return trip for when it’s maybe calmer. In addition to a little trip to the campground store, we dined in the tiny town of Duncan’s Mills, at Cafe Cape Fear. I had the prime rib special and Richard had the rack of lamb special, plus a bowl of outstandingly good clam chowder. That’s a great place! And there are a handful of little shops to meander, including a nice little general store.

OA5SCsouT4WkvvNuSlcAyQSunday we hitched up and dumped in the rain. I say “we,” but I mean “Richard.” I took a picture though. We then headed down the coast and decided to see if Wright’s Beach was open yet. I just want to state, for the record: I am a really really really dedicated employee. See that picnic table to the left of the Danger sign? It’s an empty site with a vacancy for one night. Did we take it? Even after I’d lost that same site not once but twice when the campground was closed? No. I thought about it a lot though. ZysS2GQvTAupwz7qUPAtEgInstead, we had lunch and hung out by the waves before heading home. Richard always packs one more night’s worth of stuff (like vitamins, breakfast, etc.) just on the remote chance we might blow off Monday and stay out one more night. And he always asks, on stops like these, whether they have any sites. Ugh. This one was hard to turn down. I have a feeling there will be at least one moment on Monday when I think to myself, “I could be at Wright’s Beach right now.”

Mantra: Summer will be here before we know it. Only a couple more weekends planned!

Total miles: 102.2 (taking 116 to avoid traffic; it’s 97.5 via Lakeville Hwy), 15.0 mpg, 3 hours 5 min. Site 62. Nice sites with hookups: 62, 65A, 69, 70, 25, 90, 89, 88. Nice sites with no hookups or water only hookups: 47, 46B, 37, 36, 40. NO cell but really good campground wifi. Good dump. Campground store, nice restrooms.

Collins Lake (3)

qXc+aLsPRdeenQSzVIFKBQAh, there’s the Collins Lake we figured must happen when it’s closer to summer. Both times we’ve been, it was either cold and rainy, or well into the Fall, when the water levels were low. This time we got a taste of the party zone. For a private campground with 500 sites, plus day use visitors, this is a really well run place. I say that because I did not see any ambulances or fire trucks, despite the high probability levels. At our little loop alone, we saw a half dozen empty beer case boxes, combined with people lighting things on fire besides the wood in the fire rings.

Screen Shot 2019-05-08 at 9.38.24 PMSpeaking of injury potential, I learned last week that magnets are dangerous. Like, for real. The way all the warning signs on the packaging said they were. I scoffed it all off and blithely threw it away, but now I know better. You see, I’m working on the idea of making the screen room side flap into a magnet closure type thing. So I went to Amazon and searched all kinds of words around magnets, ending up with an order for “Neodymium” bar magnets (pronounced neo-DIM-ee-um, and I know that because I Googled it after I got injured). They said they were super strong and that seemed like a good idea. When I got them out of their crazily protected packaging, I lined them up on the table, in a long chain, to keep them orderly. I had noticed already that they were quite strong. Then, I started to bend the first one around, to try to get it off the chain.

57906824385__6C24D91B-6870-47B8-AE70-65C6B1369DB1Here’s the sequence of events my brain perceived: 1) I noticed the magnets were no longer on the table, 2) I heard a huge crack, and 3) realized my finger hurt. That’s how fast it happened. I looked on the floor and saw a clump of magnets, including the shards of several that had cracked and broken in the collision. Now I have a magnet phobia. That surely must be called “magnetophobia” right?

SmcjSxLFT7iAYHwurccUawDeciding that these were somewhat overkill for the requirements of the project, I went back online to search for “craft magnets.” Not bothering to check the measurements stated in the product details, two days later I received the smallest magnets in the world. Hmm. I believed my online shopping skills were of a higher quality. Perhaps I should pause and think this through, before ordering more magnets.

But back to Collins Lake. Despite the music and general party atmosphere, we had a very nice time. One thing to note: if you are ever out in a double kayak with your spouse/significant other/camping date, you should know that sound carries very far over water. We hope the couple whose loud, throw down fight we overheard has survived the weekend. Camping with children sounds stressful.

ojyGp6xhRG6W6Ht8lZoW5wWe still recommend the place. But when the lake is full and blue and beautiful, like it was this weekend, it takes on a decidedly different flavor. Speaking of flavors, we can forgive a lot of campground commotion when there’s an ice cream place you can walk to that is open until 11pm. And once again, the Pahaque awning/screen room came out and showed off its ability to drop the privacy flaps when you’re in closer quarters with your neighbors.

mJAr33LAQPW8ixmycHFGnQRichard got in a fabulous bike ride around the Brownsville loop, along Oregon Hill Road. He says the road is messed up, but it’s a beautiful ride if you like climbing. I enjoyed a long paddle in the sunshine. I’d say summer is coming, but it looks like rain again next weekend. It’s ok. It’ll happen.

Our drive there and back mostly followed Highway 113, and that was a lovely alternative to any of the bigger highways around Sacramento. On the way back, we took 113 to E10 to 505. I’d do that again for sure. That takes you through rolling grassy hills and is a well maintained road. It’s about a 3 1/2 hour drive, but for a waterfront site with hookups and ice cream, Collins Lake makes for a fun weekend!

zsL+bOMbTEOP9tDqoGWYLgOne last thing to report: the amazingly wonderful parents who decorated my door last year for Teacher Appreciation Day, went and choked me up again by gifting me a whole bag full of trailer themed goodies. To say I’m grateful for these families does not begin to cover it. 🙂

Total miles: forgot to take data. Oops. Something like 134 though. Site: 216. Electric and water hookups. Chemical toilets (porta-potties) in most of the campground, but they were clean and not too bad. Poor to no cell coverage, but boostable. Verizon boosted better than ATT.

Hendy Woods (2)

6phNWiufT92W0f4zerfA1wThis one is subtitled: “Not the Grizzly Peak Century.” Every year for the past maybe fifteen, Richard has done the 100 mile Bay Area bike ride. Hell, I’ve even done the thing. Twice! It’s a nice ride with some pretty scenery, but he’s come to the point where it has just gotten kinda old. Except now it’s a thing, right? He’s got quite the collection of shirts and patches, so not doing it felt weird. In order to counteract the thingness, we aimed for a camping weekend near a really nice bike ride, and landed on Anderson Valley.

fullsizeoutput_1194Cutting to the chase: this was a thumbs up. The weather was just perfect, the roads beautiful, and I fully enjoyed sagging him out to the coast and back. The campground is located about half way along Highway 128 between Cloverdale and the ocean. And as it is spring in a non drought-dry California, the landscape takes one’s breath away. There are wildflowers blooming everywhere. I spotted California Lilac, Rhododendrons, Irises, Poppies, Dogwood, and a whole bunch of others I couldn’t name. And every now and then, you pass by a little farm with baby sheep or goats bounding here and there.

YHgRHnrNT82ROc0fblWDbgIn the space of 40 miles, you pass through meadows, rolling hills, vineyards, and redwood forests, in a repeating sequence. Hendy Woods itself is deep in a redwood covered range, and is located along the Navarro River. Some time when we come back, I will need to find out about boating on the river. We’ll also need to be careful if we stay more than two nights. If we’d stayed three, we would have needed the generator because there is very little solar in the campground. We hit 66% battery capacity the morning of departure, so that’s perfect for a weekend.

cS2N8n2aQ1CDPrG0IpSLqABesides being a distraction from the century, we also had a mission: get pie. Last time we came, we stopped at Gowan’s Oak Tree to pick up a frozen apple pie, plus some assorted fruits and nuts. This time we we smart and got two pies. I swear, these are the best apple pies I’ve ever had. The crust is crisp and flaky, and the apples are cut into nice small pieces with tons of cinnamon. OMG. These are so good. It’s worth the drive just for that.RyYtXj3%T9WZXz6+zdwDIA

Not much else to report except that the screen room came in handy once again and has earned the status of “I like it.” I’ve decided to go ahead and finish off the little places where there are holes in the defenses, even though we were completely bug free inside. I’m also going to see if I can find some magnets to sew into the material at the “door” to facilitate egress.

ppPL92WBS4yWy%v52brgJAIt’s a long drive for me, but as long as I do it after Daylight Savings Time, it works. I would not want to hit the initial 10 mile twisty stretch of 128 in the dark.  The road is well paved once you hit the Mendocino County Line. The Sonoma County side, not so much, but I imagine they are still reeling from all the fire damage and loss of property tax revenue. The roads of Richard’s Saturday bike ride, Philo Greenwood and Cameron Road, are not in such great shape, but were fine for an Acura MDX and a pair of bicycle tires. Do be wary of the little road out to Navarro State Beach, however, as there are some serious pot holes. We noted once again that you can camp at the beach. It’s primitive, with porta potties rather than bathrooms, and it’s not reservable. But there were sites open and it sure would be a nice view.

Wonderful weekend! Not sure where we’ll go next year while he’s not doing the Century, but I think I no longer have to be careful not to make camping reservations the first weekend in May.

Total miles: 143.0, 15.7 mpg, 3 hours 59 min. Site 43. Sites that got midday sun: 14, 34, 45, 47, 58, 59. Some bathroom buildings are nice and new. No hookups. Good dump.