Ooooooooh spooooooky….. are we at a cemetery? Has the zombie apocalypse finally begun and there are no humans left? Or is Halloween weekend just a really unpopular time to camp?? We’re guessing the latter and this weekend made for a striking contrast to the jam packed camper experience from last Labor Day.
As noted in my last post, the past two weeks have been rather a lot. And to round out a school week that started with no power on Monday, and Halloween on Thursday, I decided to take a day on Friday and make it a three day weekend up at Clear Lake. That was a really good call. It meant that we hit the road on the day of Halloween and didn’t arrive until well after dark. We did see some trick or treaters on our way through the town of Kelseyville, but that was the last we saw anyone else. There was no one at the kiosk, which was to be expected, but literally NO OTHER CAMPERS in the entire park. Not even a campground host. It wasn’t until late in the day on Friday that we saw anyone else at all, for a grand total of two state park rangers and one other camping family.
Richard had to work all day Friday, but we got out for a little hike in the afternoon. Still no one around besides the numerous birds on the lake. Saturday we finally got people coming through for dog walks and fishing. Can you guess where the fishers decided to set up? That’s right, they set up on the apparently non private beach right in front of our site. My silent voice said, “seriously??” but my mouth said hello. Then I stretched out in my Nemo chair and basically bird watched, gave Alto tours to the curious dog walkers, and napped all afternoon while Richard circumnavigated the lake on his bike.
I had two Blue Apron meals to catch up on and that was a lovely way to do dinner with a lake view at sunset. There are so many White Pelicans on the lake right now, you can spend all your time watching them commute back and forth, in long stretched out lines, just skimming the surface of the water. Every once in a while, a group will decide to congregate nearby and you can watch them do their fishing frenzy dances in unison. Great fun!
Sunday we went home via Highway 29, just to remind ourselves why we don’t take that route. It’s about an hour longer to go up 5 to 20, but it’s much easier driving, especially in the dark. On the way home I think 29 is fine. There is a ten mile stretch that is very twisty, with about 3 of those miles consisting of back to back 180 degree turns. It’ll drop you right in the heart of Napa Valley, and once there, it’s a lovely and peaceful drive home. We noted the disappearance of one of our favorite lunch stops: Dean and DeLuca. Apparently, they are closing down all the retail stores except for the one in New York. This is sad, but I guess all we ever really buy there is high end sandwiches and extremely expensive designer chocolate truffles. But it’s a tradition we’ve enjoyed, so we’re sad it’s gone.
Nothing much else to report except Dory’s rear stabilizers are making knocking sounds. Richard is confident that’s an easy replacement job. The time change happened this weekend, so it’s into the winter camping season from here on out for a while. Extra blankets come out, down puffies replace thin fuzzies, and propane levels get checked more frequently. But that’s about it for us; no winterizing required. All we have to deal with is fires, power outages and earthquakes.
Total miles (via 505 to 5 to 20): 167.2, 15.5 mpg, 3 hours 58 min. To home via 29: 120.8, 15.9, 3 hours 7 min. From the campground, there are about 40 miles of easy driving. Then 3.3 miles twisty uphill, 3 miles nonstop 180s downhill, then another 3 miles twisty down to Calistoga. Site: 58. Still my favorite, despite communal beach. Good dump, nice bathrooms, no hookups but fairly good solar.