Casini Ranch (4)

jmi29fvpR2OEZNtI0Q1WdQAnd just like that, we’re back in the home routine. Our summer trip ended the Sunday before my first official teacher work day. I awoke Monday to a 7:30 am call from my principal asking if I cared where the movers put my furniture in my classroom. “Wow, yes. Yes I do. Be there in a few minutes.” I put on my teacher clothes, pulled my green purse out of my blue messenger bag, and got in my green Subaru to drive to work, signaling the color coded return to home life. The transformation was complete that Thursday when all the employees in the district gathered for a welcome back breakfast. Before leaving, I looked down at my feet, and noticed I was still wearing my hiking shoes. I dug around under the driver’s seat in Bruce, where my black, orthotic, minimal tread teacher shoes had been shoved, back at the beginning of June. Camping Levenberg becomes Learning Center Levenberg once again.

We took one weekend off of camping to do a major hosing down of everything. I’ve said it before, but I sure do appreciate plastic carpeting. The upholstery got Bisselled, the bedding got washed, and Dory got a nice refreshing bath. Bruce is still waiting for his. He got another nasty scrape on his front right bumper (I need a camera there or something to spot big rocks placed near campsite boundaries). The corner of it has pulled away enough that I’m afraid a car wash, even a fancy hand car wash, will catch on it and make it worse. Anyone know a way to fix that without replacing the whole damn bumper for $2500??

cobIMzJ8RsSFEs+PrTcHyAOur first weekend out ended up being to the same place where we celebrated our first weekend out, following the maiden voyage four years ago. Not planned, but kinda cool. It was our fourth visit and the first time I’d ever gone boating on the Russian River. It was so calm and wide, it really just seemed like a very long lake. There was no current to fight at all, so I just paddled inland for a while, until I decided to turn around and head back. No wildlife spotted, save some birds and a couple hundred humans frolicking in the river. It was a packed weekend at Casini Ranch.

Ft2rgGEuSUqQuq1yr1blZwThere’s a lot to love about this place, despite the fact it was very busy. The location cannot be beat, and there are so many fun things to do for kids, it’s entertaining to watch, even if you didn’t bring any of your own. I mean, who can’t appreciate seeing a tractor pulling a train of wagon cars around the campground, full of kids shouting, “Hey!!” It’s called the “Hey Ride” and that’s just darned cute. In addition, there’s always the fun little store where you can get anything from It’s Its to groceries, to river toys and floaties. They’ve really put a lot into upgrading the place, including some super fast wifi, with repeaters placed all through the campground. And of course, there’s karaoke for those who are into that.

9D7xXh65SlCr6sW5AC9rJgOur site was not at all private and we had so many people stop in front of us to speculate about Dory’s roof, it would have been potentially lethal to have made a drinking game out of it. We gave many tours.

Richard did his biking loop through Monte Rio while I paddled. The weather was just the right level of hot to make both those activities enjoyable. On the way home, we stopped at Spud Point for crab cakes and clam chowder.

nTUNyJgHR9GHv8lQLQ5C4QThat’s a fun place to visit, but you gotta be ready for the vibe. It’s a party place, but in a well behaved, family friendly kind of way. But for hookups right on the Russian River, I don’t know of any place better.

I was worried about reserving so many of the same places we’d already been multiple times. Coming off a trip where every destination is somewhere new and exciting, it is a shifting of gears. It turns out though, I really don’t care where we go or whether we’ve been there before. As long at it’s out and in Dory, that’s all I need. So, you’ll see almost all repeat locations for the next few months. C’est la vie, and onto Dory report writing. It’s all good, bring it on!

Total miles: 96.7. 15.2 mpg, 3 hours 24 min. Site 20D electric hookups. Great wifi, solar, NO cell service. Dump on site. Sites 2, 3, 6 have hookups and might feel just a little more set back from the main drag with still strong wifi. They would also be closer to the river for kayak dragging.

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