May 4 and 5th – Home

HomeWe took the more direct route home because we had stuff scheduled in Ashland. But, we still took our time, spending the night at the Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff, CA.TwainLeaving Angels CampHWY 49Beautiful tree lined roads on the way to highway  5.Sunday moring rideWe passed these riders Sunday morning bringing back memories of early morning rides.Olander dividerBack on 5 with Oleander separated lanes.OlivesPassing thru Corning – known for it’s olives and olive oil.

We stay at the Rolling Hills Casino RV Park when it’s just a quick overnight, but since we were getting into Red Bluff in early afternoon we opted to stay at the more luxurious Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff. ReflectionRegistering at the park; you can see Rose’s reflection in the glass of the Club House across the way.Durango ParkedSettled in for the night.

We had a relaxing time the next morning, before departing for our last leg of this trip.

Approaching the mountainsApproaching the mountains near Shasta Lake.Black Butte in the rainIt began raining as we passed Black Butte.State of JeffersonNear Yreka is the State of Jefferson Barn. The state of Jefferson is a proposed U.S. state that would span the contiguous, mostly rural area of southern Oregon and northern California, where several attempts to secede from Oregon and California, respectively, have taken place in order to gain statehood. Both areas feel under represented by their parent states.

There are several metal sculptures as you leave the area around Yreka and ascend into the Siskiyous which separate California and Oregon.Metal cow and calfHere is a cow and calf. The last time we passed by there was only the cow.DragonAnd here is a dragon – pretty coolRepairFinally, here we are dropping off Rose to have her air conditioned repaired. It had failed while we were in Angel Camp.

May 3, 2014 – Calaveras Big Tree Park

Calaveras Big Tree Park, this is my favorite of the excursions of this rally.  This is a state park that preserves two groves of giant sequoia trees.  Volunteer guideAgain our group was so large that we had to be broken into smaller groups. This time we were broken into 3 different groups. Our group was led by a very knowledgable park volunteer.Our first big treeOur first Sequoiadendron giganteum or giant sequoia. According to our guide these huge trees have survived better than the redwoods because their wood is not a good to build with.On the TrailHere we are hiking to our next stop. The rangers are trying to bring the park back into a more natural state. Not allowing fires has created tons of undergrowth between the trees. If there was a fire with the park in it’s current condition it would be much harder to control. The rangers and volunteers are culling the undergrowth.Wild DogwoodThere are a lot of wild Dogwoods growing in the park and they are being culled. Our guide told us they are basically weeds in the park.Tunnel TreeThis is the Pioneer Cabin Tree, the tunnel was cut in the 1880s to compete for attention with Yosemite’s Wawona Tree.Pine ConeHere is a cone from a sequoia, not very big for such a large tree.SeedBut even smaller is the seed.BabyAnd here is a baby Giant Sequoia.  Mother Tree2The Mother of the Forest, was the largest of 92 giant sequoias growing in the valley in 1852 when a man named George Gale discovered the massive tree. In 1854 he had the bark stripped from the trunk. Gale toured with the bark, showing it off to crowds. Once the bark was removed, the tree did not survive for long. What is left of Mother of the Forest stands as a large fire-blackened snag in the forest.GiantStump The stump of the Discovery Tree.  It was discovered by Augustus T. Dowd in 1852 and felled in 1853, leaving a giant stump which is the only remainder of the tree. It measured 24 feet (7.3 m) in diameter at its base and was determined by ring count to be 1,244 years old when felled. It took five men 22 days to cut it down. 

 

This was the end of our visit to Calaveras Big Tree Park.  I’m happy to say we are treating the giant trees better than our ancestors.

AirstreamsWe returned to the Fairgrounds and here is a view of the sea of aluminum from the top of a hill near the fairgrounds.

May 2, 2014 – Murphys, CA

Our second excursion of this rally was a walking tour of Murphys, California. Murphys is a Gold country town near Angels Camp. Group waiting Here is our group waiting for the guides from the local Historical Society.Clawfoot tubAcross the street was this neat claw footed planter. Our group was so large that it had to be split into 2 groups.DocentWhen our group formed around it’s leader, he mentioned that he was a bit “long winded”. One of our members commented “don’t worry we have plenty of time”. Wrong answer! That statement appeared to have given him permission to talk as much as he desired. Here he is telling us the history of the founding of Murphys. He went all the way back to the Potato Famine of Ireland, the settlement of California and then Gold Rush. This was to a group of Californians, I think we know our state’s history.  Rock walls - first constructionWe also learned that the first buildings built by the settlers were made of stone. Several years later a brick factory was built and brick building began being built.Late 1800s-early 1900s - woodAround the turn of the 19th century, buildings began to be constructed of wood. This store is a good example. PupsMark had gotten a cold, so I got a ride with Claudette and George Paige. Here is Claudette and her pups, Puck and Leo. The dogs were restless and she escaped, taking them for a walk. Murphys HotelWe finally moved on to the next stop of the tour, Murphy’s Hotel, one of the oldest hotels still operating in California, opened in 1856. Murphys PokeyHere we are stopped near “Murphys Pokey” – a small jail. Murphys PokeyBy this time, we were tired of standing and began looking for a places to sit. Still talking Still talking … with the side of Murphys Hotel in the background. Around this time Claudette rescued me. We did a little shopping, had lunch at Ironstone and then returned to the Fairground.

May 1, 2014 – Ironstone Winery

IronstoneOur first Rally excursion was to Ironstone Winery located just outside of Murphys, California. The organizers of the Rally had organized a tour of the winery for us.TourThe tour guide met us at the front of the winery.Mining toolsWe saw an an area dedicated to the gold rush, filled with tools for extracting gold. Here is a water wheel and a tool used to crush rock that might contain gold.Elaine and AshleyWe were able to take our dogs with us on the tour. Here a Elaine and her pup, Ashley. Ashley had just been groomed and had cute little bows on.Entrance to CavesAfter visiting the gold mining area we visited the caves used to age the wine. The caves are man made and hold a constant temperature year round. The caves are also used for social events, dinner parties, wedding receptions and other events.Tour 3Here is our guide in the caves with us. He is holding a portable speaker system he used to on our tour.Waterfall at end of caveHere is a waterfall at the end of the cave. They set up tables here for social engagements.Pond in ParkAfter leaving the caves we walked around the ground, passing this charming pond. CoyoteThere are statues of coyotes scattered around the grounds to scare geese away. This one is very lifelike from a distance.Amphatheater2We next visited the Amphitheater where they host concerts. They bring in major talent, Lady Antebellum and ZZ Top are playing at the winery this year.GoldOne of the most impressive things we saw was Ironstone’s Crown Jewel, the world’s largest piece of crystalline gold. It weighs in at 44 pounds troy. It was unearthed at the Sonora Mining Co. mine in Jamestown, California on December 24, 1992. After acquiring the gold-bearing rock, John Kautz, proprietor of Ironstone Vineyards, had the sample etched with acid and most of the rock removed by tweezers. This process took over a year.Black IrisThe winery had beautiful flowers all over the grounds. Here is purple iris so dark it looks black.Happy HourWe always start the evening with a Happy Hour where we enjoy drinks and tasty treats while the rally organizer goes over tomorrow’s plans.

April 30, 2014 – Reno/Sparks to Angels Camp

Sparks to Angels CampHere is our route from Spark’s Marina RV Park to the RV park at the Angels Camp Fairgrounds. This was an incredibly beautiful trip, from the high valleys of Nevada, to crossing the sierras, to the rolling hills driving down highway 49 to Angels Camp. It was awesome. Washoe ValleyAfter we departed Reno we continued on highway 395 across the Washoe Valley toward Carson City.OverpassCarson City had these really cool overpass barriers, very old west. We continued in a southern direction, heading for highway 88 and Kit Carson Pass. Bird in TreeIf you look closely you can see a bird, a really big bird, in this tree.We pulled to the side of the road for a short rest stop, since smaller highways don’t have many rest stops. DoorView from our trailer door.Distant farmAnother view from this stop, a beautiful, rural area with a farm and mountains in the distance.Up into Mountains - 88It was good that we stopped when we did, because soon after we started climbing into the Sierras. This is where the scenery began going off the scales, majestic mountain peaks, snow covered lakes and steep grades! After Carson PassI missed taking photos of Carson Pass because I was too busy looking outside the cab, but here is a photo right after the pass. We were heading down, but soon began climbing again. Snowed LakeIt is definitely still winter here, when we passed Calpers Lake it was snow covered.Climbing AgainAfter the lake we began climbing again through a snow covered environment.On the EdgeAt several turns were were on the edge of a sharp drop off as we climbed and then descended on our way over the Sierras.Down - Less SnowAs we descended we found ourselves driving thru forests with less snow.Across the foothills - 49When we arrived at CA 49 we turned South toward San Andreas. Highway 49 is numbered after the “49ers”, the waves of immigrants who swept into the area looking for gold and a portion of it is know as the Gold Country Highway.Prompt CareWhen we arrived at Angels Camp I saw this sign for “Prompt” Medical Care, I guess this falls between Emergency Care and just going to see your doctor. Airstream campground - 2We soon arrived at the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee Fairgrounds and were greeted by multiple Airstreams.Happy Hour - 2Later that afternoon we began the Rally with a Happy Hour.

April 29, 2014 – Standish to Sparks Marina RV Park

Standish to SparksHere is our route from Standish to Reno/Sparks, where we overnighted at the Sparks Marina RV Park. Ace in RigWe had a relaxing morning in Days End RV Park in Standish because the trip to Reno/Sparks was less than 2 hours and we did not want to arrive too early. Here is Ace checking out the activity outside of the rig.Leaving Lands EndWe departed Days End mid-morning following some kind of golf cart-work vehicle. Honey Lake from rest stopWe picked up US Route 395 at Standish and followed it East. We stopped at a Rest Stop next to Honey Lake. This is not the greatest photo, but if you enlarge it you can see how low the lake is.High DesertRoute 395 continues along the edge of the sierra on a high desert plateau.NevadaWe soon crossed into Nevada at Bordertown. We picked up highway 80 and drove into Reno/Sparks.EscortedWhen we arrived at the Sparks Marina RV Park we were escorted to our spot by a guy in a golf cart.Sparks Marina RV ParkAnd finally, here is Rose all tucked in for the night.

 

April 28 – Home to Standish, CA

We left this morning to meander our way to Angels Camp for the May Airstream Club Norcal Rally. We decided to take Hwys 89, 44, 34 and finally 398 to make our way to Standish, CA, our first stop on the way to Angels Camp. Home to Angels CampHere is our route.Leaving Ashland Leaving AshlandTwo things that let you know you have entered CaliforniaCalifornia – the Welcome Sign and thenInspection Stationthe Ag Inspection Station.  We left our oranges and apples at home, only takings bananas with us.Weed Rest StopHere we are stopped at the Rest Stop in Weed with Mt. Shasta in the background.Mt. ShastaA closer view of Mt. ShastaBlack Butte and Black Butte.Hwy 89We were soon climbing through conifers on HWY 89.BloomingSpring had also come to the higher elevations with blooms on some of the trees. These trees looked yellow in person, now just look green. Still looking springlike!Lassen National ForestHere we are entering Lassen National Forest. We actually skirted Mt. Lassen, taking a less challenging route. Lassen??Possibly Mt. Lassen in the distance.Mark and Ace Bogard Rest StopMark and Ace, taking walkies at Bogard Rest Stop on HWY 44.SusanvilleI have never been to Susanville, and Mark has never been off of the airport. Now we both have driven thru on our way to Standish.Ace in grassAs soon as we pulled into and parked at the Days End RV Park in Standish, Ace promptly laid down in the cool green grass and refused to move.Airstream SlideWe parked next to an Airstream trailer with a slide. Airstream made them for a few years in the 2000’s and then discontinued the option.Old AirstreamAnother Airstream! This one is an older unit, I looked in the window and it is filled with junk. Does not look like anyone is living in it.  A possible restore project?Standish DowntownA really cool building in downtown Standish. I think there are about 4 building in downtown Standish!flowersTo close, some pretty tulips.

March 24 – 25 Heading Home

We got up Monday morning, March 24, and prepared Rose for travel. Dave and Babs headed back up 101 to return to Healdsburg, while Mark and I headed east on hwy 46/41 to pick up 5 heading north. HomeHere is our route home. We had not planned a stop for the night, so we went a bit farther until we found a park we were familiar with, the Rolling HIlls Casino RV Park.46-intovalleyWhen we started out on 46 the terrain was hilly with wineries lining the road, as we continued east it became drier with less vegetation. HarrisRanchWe were soon at Hwy 5 headed north. We stopped at Harris Ranch for breakfast where we actually had meals without beef.SacTrafficOur route took us through Sacramento, where we ran into some traffic. TreesFor a change – some trees next to Hwy 5. Love those trees!RollingHillsRVWe had stayed at the Rolling Hills Casino in Corning on an Airstream Caravan. It is a convenient place to stop, near the freeway with full hook-ups.  When we stopped there earlier it was really hot, it the 90’s, this time was a lot more comfortable.RainBeginningWhen we got up the next morning it was beginning to rain and it continued when we got back on the road.RVsMountainRainIt rained all the way thru Red Bluff, Redding, over the Trinity Alps and finally stopped when we got close to Mount Shasta. I was surprised at the number of RVs on the road.ShastaLake Lake Shasta was really low, even with the late rain.MtShastaRestStopWe stopped at the Rest Stop in Weed, with Mt. Shasta in the background. The rest stop is next to a small airport, when Mark was flying freight he used to land at this airport.RogueValleyWe continued thru the Shasta valley, over the Siskiyous and dropped into the Rogue Valley where Ashland is located.RailroadOverpassWe dropped Rose off at the RV storage yard in Phoenix and headed back to Ashland. I always know I am close to home when we pass the railroad trestle at the north entrance to Ashland.TulipsTo close, tulips in a planter box in our front yard. Spring has come to Ashland.

March 23, 2014 – Los Osos and points north

FogSunday morning Mark and I drove to visit Cindy in her parent’s vacation home in Los Osos, a small community near Morro Bay.  It was a very foggy morning when we left Paso Robles.  I thought that the fog would be with us until it burned off later in the morning. Out ot the fogBut I was  pleasantly surprised to be fog free several miles down the road.

After we toured the house we went with Cindy to a local restaurant for brunch.The restaurant has a dog friendly outdoor patio. Of course we chose to eat outdoors so Ace could be with us. Brunch - Dixie and CindyHere are Cindy, Ace and myself.Brunch - Mark and Cindy Mark and Cindy in the patio.

The restaurant shares the location with a very nice nursery. After we ate, we walked across the parking lot to wander around the nursery looking at the plants.Trumpet VinesTrumpet Vine, a vibrant red-pink, climbing a fence.fountainIn addition the the plants, there were also several fountains. I would love to have this one for our yard or patio.succulents There was an entire area dedicated to succulents.

Mark and Ace returned to Paso Robles after visiting the nursery.

OrchidsCindy and I visited an orchid nursery before going to Morro Bay.

Morro BayEntering Morro Bay with Morro Rock in the distance.

We visited a bead shop in Morro Bay that specialized in beads made from dichroic glass. Sorry no pictures – we were too busy buying beads.HangingWe then headed north on CA 1. We stopped at the small town of Harmony, where we visited a stained glass shop. Here is a wall hanging from there.Elephant seals2Elephant sealsOur next stop was the elephant seals near San Simeon. Mark and I have stopped here before, but the majesty of these huge beasts never fails to impress.

 

After viewing the Elephant Seals we went  to Cambria for lunch at Linn’s. If you are ever in Cambria and looking for a place to eat, I highly recommend Linn’s – great food.

We then returned to Paso Robles.

 

March 22, 2014 – Paso Robles

The guys and girls split up, with the Dave and Mark going to Estrella Warbirds Museum and the Woodland Display while Cindy, Babs and I went to the Plaza in Paso Robles for lunch and sightseeing.

REO SpeedwagonNot many picture today, I guess we were having too much fun.   Mark did take a picture of this Classic car, a REO Speedmaster.Ace and FriendsWhen we returned to the RV Park, we relaxed in the area between the rigs. Here are Dave, Mark and Ace.Wine Country RV ResortAnd here are Cindy, Babs, Mark and Ace. Note how Ace manages to get in all the photos. That’s all for today – more tomorrow.