Waiting out the storm

A huge storm has been moving through all of California and there was no where to hide.  So we hunkered down in Groveland, right outside of Yosemite National Park.  The rain fell hard and steady for nearly 24 hours.

We toured the tiny town of Groveland and camped for free in the national forest for 2 nights.  The rain has finally stopped and the sun is beginning to break through.  Sunny weather will return tomorrow and we will finally head into the park.

No fun photos to post right now, but we wanted to thank everyone for their great comments.  We love hearing from everyone!!

Napa…Nahhh…Sonoma!

Special thanks again to Roy and Cheryl for their incredible hospitality. We enjoyed meals and wine fit for royalty, not to mention the over-the-top care package that they sent us off with. Our visit in Shingletown was great, but it was time to get back on the road. On Saturday, we drove down toward the Napa area. We finally got our fridge fixed, so we were able to run it on propane for the 4 hour drive. We found a campground in Calistoga (a few miles north of Napa) and parked it there for the night. The town of Calistoga had a lot going on, and we looked around a bit for a bottle of wine to go with some steaks that we had in the freezer. We all had a relaxing time in the RV that night. The dogs were exhausted from playing with the five other dogs at Roy and Cheryl’s. Teresa was cooking dinner as I opened our wine choice (Twenty Rows Cabernet) and put on a concert DVD.

Dinner in the RV

(Sunday) It seemed that Napa wineries charged the most for tasting in the area, so we decided to take a quick drive over to Sonoma. We stopped at Kunde Estate. The place is huge (1800 acres) and we tasted five wines, all of which were amazing. Their Sauvignon Blanc was our favorite and we bought a bottle to go with prawns that we had saved for dinner. This winery also had an expansive system of caves that they drilled into the hillside. We got a tour of the caves and of the vines. I was told that I could eat the grapes right off the vine and I couldn’t resist an offer like that.

Eating off the Vine

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Right now, we’re in settling into another camp spot in Alexander Valley. We’re just a mile down the road from Jordan, one of the well know winemakers in the area. Tomorrow, we plan to do a few more tastings while we wait for this storm to pass over. Then, its off to Yosemite…

Exploring Lava Tubes and Bumpass Hell

We’ve spent the last few days here in Shingletown, CA, visiting with Teresa’s relatives. Today, uncle Roy had the day off, and we explored the area. We drove 30 minutes east to Subway Cave, a lava tube system near Lassen Volcanic National Park.Subway Lava Cave

The outside temperature when we got our start was about 60 degrees, but once you were in the cave, it dropped to just over 40. The lava tubes extended out in several directions and varied in size. We had to duck down a few times as the ceiling dropped.

Subway Lava Cave Exit

We then put our National Park Pass to work, and rolled into Lassen Volcanic National Park. Lassen Peak’s largest and most recent eruption was on May 22,1915. The park holds painted dunes, cinder cones, boiling lakes, and Bumpass Hell. Bumpass Hell, named after a man who lost a leg from falling into boiling water, is a 16 acre area full of steam vents and bubbling pools of water and mud. The sounds, and smells (sulfer), were very interesting.

Trail to Bumpass HellTeresa and Roy in the Mud

Bumpass Hell

Redwood Coast, we’ll miss the Beach

Yesterday we woke to warm weather in Klamath, CA and sunny skies.  We headed south on 101 through more Redwoods and stopped at Dry Lagoon Beach State Park to let the dogs run.  It seems they love the beach where they can tear around and roll in the sand.  We hiked the beach and let the dogs run until they were exhausted.  Ruby found a place in the shade by this rock…but right after the photo was snapped, she got nailed with a giant wave!  She’s not a fan of the cold water.

DSC_0237Next we drove down to Arcata and Sean pointed out the apartment he lived in for 3 months after high school.  We didn’t stop long on Arcata, but then headed down to Trinidad, CA.  We took a nice hike up onto a bluff over looking the Trinidad bay.  The water was beautiful and the weather was perfect.

DSC_0272After a day at the beach, we headed inland to Shasta and stayed at an RV park where we got some laundry done.  Today we have an appointment to get our fridge fixed and then will be headed to Shingletown to stay with Uncle Roy and Aunt Cheryl.  The weather is sunny and high of 81 in Redding today, Yahoo!

Mystic Redwoods Reached

We woke up to sunny weather on the Oregon Coast…but we hear that Bend got 7 inches of snow on Sunday!!  Wow!

We took the dogs to the beach in the morning to enjoy the sun before we hit the road again.DSC_0094

We pulled out and took highway 101 south.  It didn’t take long before we were surrounded by the Redwoods.

We took a hike (no dogs allowed) through the forest and stood in awe of trees that have been quietly towering for more than 2000 years.  We felt like charaters from “Honey I Shrunk the Kids.”

We toured Jedidiah Smith State Park and wanted to stay, but the camp sites didn’t offer electric hooks-ups (our fridge is still on the fritz and needs to be plugged in every night.)  So we found a nice, secluded RV park in Klamath, CA to spend the night.  The propriter of the park told us that they suffered a small Tsunami last week.  Sorry we missed that! Sounds like it was pretty exciting.

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Not a moment too soon…

Sean passed all his Helicopter tests on Thursday and we pulled out of Bend on Friday.  We spent Friday night at our friend Jason’s house in Sun River.  After a great breakfast at the Trout House with Jason, we officially hit the road.   And not a moment too soon, as the white stuff has begun to fall in Central Oregon.

We had planned on spending the first night at Humbug Mountain State park on the Oregon Coast, but we found out that our Fridge was on the fritz..so we made a detour to Coos Bay, Oregon to meet up with a repair man.  We ended up staying the night at an RV Park for Mill Casino!!  We didn’t even go in the casino, but did enjoy the cable hook DSC_0099up.   DSC_0115

Today we are headed to Humbug State Park….Then onto the Redwoods.

Ruby and Zephyr are getting used to being on the move, but they still are not happy until we stop to toss the ball

Welcome…Here’s the Plan

Our new RV

Our new RV

Welcome to our blog!!!  We have decided that it is time to depart central Oregon for a new adventure.    A few weeks ago we bought an RV, sold all our stuff and loaded up the dogs.  We have been living in the RV for the past 2 weeks, making sure everything is dialed in (and learning to live in a very small space with 2 very big dogs!).   Sean is studying hard and will complete his helicopter training on Thursday.  We hope to officially hit the road on Friday, October 2nd.

We will be visiting all the sights, including The Redwoods, Napa, Yosemite, The Grand Canyon and whatever else seems interesting along the road.  We will post photos and stories to this blog as often as our Verizon Wireless Broadband connection will allow.  We hope our friends and family will enjoy this blog; we welcome any emails with questions, advice or just wishing us luck!!

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“I can’t wait to get on the road again.” — Ruby