Northern California

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I’ve been really having a hard time getting started writing about our California adventure.   It’s not that we haven’t been having a wonderful time in CA.  We have seen some beautiful areas.  I love CA’s beautiful trees and flowers.   One of the first things that we saw as we crossed the border from Oregon was the Giant Redwoods.  We went through the 31-mile scenic drive called the Avenue of the Giants of the Ancient Redwoods.  We spent time hiking in some of the groves and even got lost once when we got turned around on a trail.  We spent an anxious hour trying to find the trail that would take us back to the truck.  We also spent time hiking at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in Guerneville, CA.   Beautiful area with spectacular redwood trees.    As you stand next to these huge trees that are hundreds of years old you wonder about the history of the area and who has passed by these trees.

When Hwy 101 and Hwy 1 separated we decided to stay on 101 because we had heard 1 was hard driving with a bigger RV so we missed a lot of the northern CA coast.  We drove as far as Santa Rosa and stayed at the Santa Rosa County Fairgrounds Campground for a week.  Just a parking lot with full hook-ups for RVs but with only about twenty RVers in the park there was plenty of room to spread out so it wasn’t too bad.  We were within walking or biking distance from Santa Rosa, and a short drive from Napa and the coast.  We drove to Bodega Bay on the coast one day for lunch and a hike along the bluffs.  It was breath-taking beautiful.  We watched a large group of high school students participate in a group activity in a circle then they each went their separate way sitting about five feet apart along the bluffs to meditate.  It was a very impressive picture.   We also checked out a couple of county run campgrounds on the bay but decided it was to tight of a fit to get our 5th wheel into.

From Santa Rosa we went to Pleasanton, CA and stayed at the Alameda County Fairgrounds Campground for 32 days.  This was not at all like the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds.  Same concept except we were packed in like sardines.  We got use to not having privacy mostly because we weren’t there a lot during the day.  The fairgrounds were only 20 miles from my dad and sister, Sharon, in Walnut Creek and my sister, Nancy and her family, in Alamo.  It was great spending time with them.  My dad turned 90 yrs old the day after Christmas but you’d think he was closer to 70.  He is so active.  He walks a couple of miles every day, works out in the gym, and is very active in lawn bowling where all participants must wear all white.   It was so much fun watching him on the greens.  I spent time lunching and shopping with my sister Nancy in both San Francisco and Walnut Creek.  We went into SF on a Saturday with the guys to a huge farmer’s market at the Ferry Building on the wharf.  So different than our MN farmer’s markets.  Nancy’s husband, John, cooked an excellent Thanksgiving feast so it made our first Thanksgiving away from our kids a little easier.

We also meet up with friends from Los Gatos in Santa Cruz for a day.  Had a fun day with Sue and Virgil exploring the area and of course no day with friends is complete without having lunch at a beachside restaurant.  It happened to be a beautiful day for sitting outside and enjoying watching a beach volleyball game and a few sunbathers (some of us enjoyed the sunbathers more than others).

leasanton had a very charming old main street with all of its new box stores built on the outskirts of downtown.  It was a very easy 2 mile walk from our campsite to downtown for a nice sidewalk café lunch or a little shopping.  We loved the feel of the small town.  Of course, this is also the city where we had to put our little Abby to rest.  I will always feel like we left her there even if her ashes are in MN.