Casini Ranch (8)

Site 92 is set back just enough to feel more calm, and almost private.

We have stayed at this place many times and there isn’t much to update about the campground. It’s a great place to go if you want amenities and a fun campground store, while still having access to a nice calm river. There are always tons of people, but we tried a site a bit out of the thick of things, and it was nice. You can pay lots of money to camp in a covered wagon, or pay lots of money to camp in a cutesy cottage, or pay lots of money to camp in your RV. Any way you slice it, the place is not cheap. But they sell six different kinds of It’s Its in their store, so I rest my case.


Our Saturday was all about me getting my boat in the water to test my patch, while Richard tried the King Ridge Loop again to see if he could do it without getting lost. Last time he tried, he wound up thirty miles up the coast. I had to drive up to Stewart’s Point to retrieve him. I then contacted my Occupational Therapist friend to ask, “No seriously, what is wrong with him?” Now he has assistive technology in the form of Guru Maps. The app runs without service on downloaded maps. It can show you where you are on the map, and where you are in relation to a downloaded route. All good stuff.

It came so close to working.

No sinking here!

I probably spent around two hours paddling around. My boat passes the does-it-leak test, and it was a lovely day on the river. There was a couple on rented kayaks out there, looking very happy. As they passed, the woman called out to me, “Isn’t this great?? It’s my first time! I’ve never done this before! I’m having so much fun!!” She even thanked me for being out on the water with her, to share in the fun. That just made my day. It’s great to be around that kind of excited energy.

She was right. It was so much fun.

Eventually, I decided it was time to get in the car and see if I could catch Richard on the road. I, too, had the downloaded route, and the plan was to follow him until we met up. It all started out great as I took Austin Creek Road to the tiny place known as Cazadero. I was mostly curious to see it because of my bestie neighbor, Caz. It really is just a couple of buildings and a general store, but cute all the same.

I mostly just took this for Caz.

Then I took the right fork out of town and started up King Ridge Road. Here’s the thing. Richard does these roads on a bike. To him, there is always plenty of room, even it it’s a one laner. I specifically asked if the road was wide enough for two cars to pass each other, because I don’t like scooching by someone coming the other way. He’s all, “Yeah, most of it is wide enough.” So I took the fork.

Not two lanes

Here’s the other thing. I keep listening to the bicycle rider with impaired spatial awareness regarding driving conditions when he hardly ever drives. My fault. He did notice that the road conditions were potholey and terrible, except in the places they have newly paved. But yeah, there is no way two cars can pass each other comfortably on almost all of that road. Add to that the fact that most of it is also blind corners, so you can’t tell if the car coming the opposite direction will just suddenly appear. And then, to top it off, much of the road goes along a ridge. Like its name would suggest.

Still not two lanes

I did not enjoy most of the fifty miles spent crawling along that ridge. And there was no cell service. Are we having fun yet? When we were able to occasionally get texts through, I was all about hands free mode, due to the vice grip of my hands on the wheel. As I finally approached the end of the ordeal, many texts from Richard came through at once, the last of which sounded like: “You passed me :(” The car said aloud: “sad face emoji.”

Not scary part of ridgey bits – because hands too clenched during scary parts to take pictures

By that time, I was almost back at the campground and I wasn’t sure what he meant. Once stopped, I went back through texts and tried to reach him. One of his messages also said, “running out of battery.” So, the poor guy, exhausted from his massive ride, had tried (poorly) to communicate that he was going to wait for me at a vista point on Highway 1, where he wanted me to stop and give him a ride the rest of the way. But all of Richard’s poor communication super powers, combined with low cell service and and expiring battery, messed up the landing. I did go back and look for him, but he had abandoned the vista point after I passed it by, and proceeded down the steep and windy section of Highway 1, shivering all the way because it was getting late.

At least Hauser Bridge was wider.

We didn’t connect until Duncan Mills, the little town about a mile outside the campground. Way too late to be helpful. I decided that since it was already into dinner time, I would pick up some pizza at Gold Coast Coffee and Bakery. That, at least, was a plan that worked as expected. We wolfed down a variety of pizza by the slice combinations, and examined all the ways the day could have gone better. We do own a portable iPhone battery charger, and that is now going to go with Richard on any long ride. We parsed some unclear grammatical usage, like ill defined indefinite pronouns. My advice to him is to avoid pronouns generally, so a sentence like “hope all is ok” would be revised to: “hope the plan to have you pick me up at vista trail is ok.” Also, vague verb usage should be avoided when rides are hoped for. Like, “gonna stop here” would be much more effective if it read: “gonna stop for the day at vista trail. I will wait for you here.” Because then, even if I got texts sporadically, I would know exactly what the plan was.

Seaview and Myer’s Grade Road are two lanes at last, with a nice finale to a hard ride (or drive).

Anyway, he made it safe. Shaking and exhausted, but not enough to deter him from planning the next time he wants to try that ride. Trust me, we will have a much clearer sag plan in the future.

Always a fun place to visit

Still and all, it was a great weekend. We stumbled upon a pair of Altoistes camping with friends. We introduced ourselves and said the magic word: “Altoistes.” There were cheers and embraces like meeting long time friends. They mentioned Randy and how they are trying to get in to see him. It’s one of my favoritest things to run into Altoistes on the road. Just after proper grammar.

Total miles: 92.9, 16.7 mpg, 3 hours 8 min. Site 92 hookups. Good dump. Good cell for ATT now; used to be a dead zone. Campground wifi not as strong in this site as it is closer to the beach area. Awesome campground store. Activities for kids.

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