Casini Ranch (2)

img_7035Rain! Finally California got a bit of a break from the drought. Our friends in the PNW got quite a lot more than that I’m afraid, but we enjoyed some genuine rainfall over the weekend.

This was our second trip to this private campground and we liked the site we got this time far more than where we camped before. There are lots of full hookup sites at this place and if you’re not careful, you can find yourself in pull through slot land. You can’t reserve specific sites, but you can reserve a type of site and note which ones you’d prefer. I’m sure this is much less likely to go your way in the summer months, but it worked perfectly for us on a rainy October weekend.

img_7048This was a tent site, so no hookups, but it had a fantastic view of the Russian river. We pulled in around 6, knowing we’d be looking at a wet arrival. It wasn’t raining too hard when we got there and in fact didn’t really get serious until Saturday afternoon. Friday we enjoyed a Shuttle Chef chicken curry with Thermos cooked minute rice. Yum!

Nothing beats waking up to a water view. I love that. I get to sit in my nice warm bed and sip lattes while gazing out at the wildlife. That’s my perfect morning right there. After breakfast and shower time, I walked along the river and saw something splashing around. img_7054Grabbing the binoculars, I couldn’t believe my eyes! There were two river otters playing around on the far side of the river! Otters are kind of a thing with me. I’ve seen wild sea otters at a distance but never river otters in their natural habitat. This was quite a treat. As I gawked, a group of fishing guys walked by and I pointed them out. They couldn’t say whether they thought river otters or sea lions on the hunt to be more likely. Apparently it is not unheard of for sea lions to swim quite a ways up river to look for fish. I just know in that moment I really really wanted a boat so I could get a closer look. So now, both kayak and binoculars discussions have resumed.

img_7058Saturday around 3 it rained for real. It wasn’t the kind of pelting monsoon rain my intrepid Altoiste friends to the north had to endure, but it was significant. We turned on our little Caframo fan to keep the indoor condensation down and we just sat there and gazed. I had a report to write, but couldn’t quite take my eyes off the view. The view won for the remainder of the afternoon.

We pondered dinner for a while and took advantage of a break in the rain to go into Duncan Mills to find a place to eat. The first stop was the Blue Heron and they were setting up for some kind of magic show. No one who worked there seemed to notice us for a long time. We ended up deciding it was not a promising sign when you have to ask random people the question: “Is this a restaurant?” We went instead to a place called the Cape Fear Cafe. That was great and we were greeted in a much more open-for-business way. Richard had fabulous fish and chips and I had a Thai noodle salad, plus a couple of desserts. Then it was back to Dory for serious focusing, then bed.

Sunday we packed up much later than the group of campers next to us. There were probably six RVs there, but they were great. Not too noisy, very friendly. That would be a nice group spot actually, as long as no one needs hookups. On our way home, we stopped at Duncan’s Landing and appreciated nature’s power by watching some intense waves crash against the rocky shoreline.

img_0999We had a chilly lunch at the lookout point and then the weather just decided it was done and the sky turned back to its typical blue. We stopped on the other side of the point for a photo op and captured the perfect reflection selfie.

Home again, home again, winch up the rig. With a sky full of threatening clouds, I think this may have been our best garage-ing time yet. Great weekend all around.

Total miles: 100.8, 16.6 mpg, 3 hours 17 min. Site: 47 great! Also (no hookups) 44a, 45a, 46a, 55, 40. With solar and river view: 38, 37, 36. Site 46b flooded a lot, so that would not be a good one if there’s any rain.

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