On Monday August 17, we left Green Acres RV Park in Redding at 8:30 – Acey’s mileage 65,799.0 and Thor 70,793. We will be on the interstate for a short drive, then on route 20 through the mountains. We got close to them as we approached Williams.
A very scenic drive
We drove along the shores of Clear Lake while it rained a bit.
A big rocky hill right next to the road!
We got to the RV park about 1pm and got all set up in our spot for the week. Temperatures will be in the 90’s and 100’s – not much shade here.
We drove in to town looking for a car wash and saw this interesting sculpture on top of a bicycle rack!
Unfortunately, the car wash had been out of service for quite some time. We got groceries and headed back home.
Tuesday – Jim spent a lot of time making phone calls about various items that need attention; arranging for a dealer in San Diego that can fix the awning/slide cover (that was destroyed in the winds on our drive into South Dakota) while we are there; Thor (the Jeep) needs a new throttle body as it is choking/hesitating on acceleration but no one locally can get that done this week; then the generator quit! It was 110 outside and the 30 amp power was not enough to run 2 of the 3 AC units and it was getting hot inside Acey. With the generator running, we can run all 3 units and still have enough power to run 20 amps more! Thankfully, Jim was able to diagnose the problem with info on YouTube and a forum for American Coach owners – we need a new fuel pump! So he called around and found a dealer in West Sacramento that would have one shipped in from Spokane – so we will be driving there Thursday to pick it up. Jim also washed Thor as the Jeep was probably dirtier than it had ever been!
Wednesday was another very warm day. We moved Acey to a more shaded spot to help keep cooler inside. We also had room for our outdoor rug at the new spot!
After lunch, we decided to go out! We headed over to Cloverdale River Park to go for a walk along the Russian River.
There was a paved trail there with very little shade over the trail, and the river was very low.
…but scenic nonetheless!
We crossed a bridge over Oat Valley Creek that flows into the Russian River. It was quite evident that this area needs rain! No sign of any water in the creek bed.
We walked to the trail’s end – only a mile, but we were glad to get back to the Jeep and some A/C! It was well over 100 again. We thought we would head to Guerneville and see Armstrong Redwood State Reserve – so we headed that direction. There were lots of vineyards in the area as we drove along.
We were getting closer to Guerneville, we noticed it was getting smokier and a warning went off on our phones. Soon enough, we came to a bridge and there was a roadblock- they were evacuating the area due to the wildfires and smoke in the vicinity. So, we headed back to Acey.
Thursday we went to Sacramento to pick up the fuel pump for the generator. We packed a lunch as it seems very few places are open, and it was over 2 hours to drive there, and then 2 more back again. As we drove down I-5, we saw where the fires had crossed over the Interstate just the previous night!
We got the pump and thought we would do some sightseeing. The first thing we saw was the Tower Bridge.
After we crossed the bridge, we could see the capitol building down the street – which was of course closed to visitors.
We found a place to park and walked down to the waterfront to get a better look at the bridge.
Some turtles were basking in the sun.
We saw these 2 old steam engines. Our son Christopher informed us that they are the same age as the 576 engine that is being restored in Nashville. These engines were built for World War II.
These other 2 engines were “in jail” in a shed – they were probably built in the 1920’s. It was a shame the train museum was closed. Covid19 is really putting a damper on our explorations…
Getting close up to the bars, we got some good shots of the “jailbirds”
The Old Town area was like a ghost town. We saw very few people out – could have been due to the air quality though it only smelled a little smoky.
We passed several vineyards as we drove back though Sonoma County.
Again, we saw evidence of the fires still raging.
But as we headed closer to Cloverdale, the skies were blue. We keep in touch with family by text, and we had been sending photos of the smoke and where we were. When Linda sent the photo below, her brother Ted texted “volcanic eruption? It didn’t make the news.” That would be JUST what we needed!! Her brother Rob thought the cloud looked a bit like Magoo! It reminded her of childhood times when we would lay on the grass and watch the clouds. We would see poodles, cats, elephants and what not as the clouds floated across the sky.
Friday Chuck arrived for a weekend visit. We fixed lunch and headed out to visit a few breweries. Our first stop was Santa Rosa to the Russian River Brewery. We sat on the patio and enjoyed a couple of beers. The air quality (from smoke from the fires) had apparently dropped to the point they decided they had to close the patio and would only sell beers to go.
Then we stopped at Hen House Brewing – they also were only selling beers to go, and no drinking on the premises.
Same story at Moonlight Brewing. They are the oldest craft brewer in Santa Rosa; opened in 1992.
Saturday Jim fixed pancakes for breakfast. We decided to head north, out of the fire zone and visit Hendy Woods State Park to see the giant Redwoods and walk around the park. We packed up lunch and headed out! There was a nice picnic area at the park.
Some of these trees may be more than 300 feet tall and 1,000 years old! It’s nice to feel small sometimes!
These giant trees really dwarf Chuck who is 6’5″
And Jim also looks small next to a giant redwood!
And they grow regardless of being hollowed out at the bottom!
NOT MY PICTURE BELOW!! WE DID NOT SEE THIS!! But, Linda wanted to show you – “this redwood tree burns near Big Basin Redwoods State Park Headquarters & Visitor Center in Boulder Creek, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020”
Looking UP into the tree above – again NOT our photo – we did not see this! Its just amazing the trees can survive after being burned like this. Many of the trees we DID see at Hendy Woods showed burnt areas on the bark – as well as inside. We could not find out when any fires had been in Hendy Woods, but it looked like it must have been many years ago.
A few of these giant trees were laying down with the roots showing – this was not even the biggest one we saw – wondering if the roots don’t spread out very far?
Its really hard to convey in a photo how gigantic these trees are – taller than you can even see!
And here is Chuck again inside the base of the tree above!
This tree had a rather strange feature.
We saw a “walk-thru” tree! But didn’t get a photo of one of us inside…
…and a tree that was leaning quite a bit, but not touching any other trees!
We left Hendy Woods and drove further up highway 128 through Navarro River Redwood State Park. There really was no place to stop for photos, and these trees were really big, but mostly smaller than the ones we saw at Hendy Woods. It is considered a “second growth” redwood forest. Some of the trees close to the road had reflective posts in front of them. You sure would not want to run into one of those trees!
We turned around and went back to nearby Boonville. Linda had to send a picture of the sign to our friend Deena who is from Boonville, IN.
There is a brewery in Boonville – Anderson Valley – but they were closed. Interesting however that nearby wineries were open. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to who is open and who is not. Between the virus and the fires, we are striking out! We stopped at a market very close to the brewery and purchased a few bottles of the Anderson Valley brews- some of which we enjoyed when we got back to Acey.
On our way back to the RV park, we again got emergency warnings on our phone – to prepare for evacuation. The RV park is really not in the yellow zone 2A – see the black dot? — but its really close!
So, we planned to “bug out” on Sunday morning and head south to Morgan Hill – which is an hour drive shorter to the San Francisco airport for Chuck’s departure on Monday. Chuck lives in Baton Rouge – which may or may not be threatened by Marco and Laura – wow triple trouble for Chuck – the virus, the fires and tropical storms!