2012 May

May 1-8

We stopped not far from SF in Winters, CA to spend several nights at Canyon Creek Campground.  It was in a valley so deep that we had no tv, cell, or wifi reception!  It was beautiful and peaceful, but we did feel a bit cut off from the world.  On Saturday we decided to hike to the top of the mountain behind our campground – about 2000 ft to the top.  It was quite a hike – some steep parts that Roberta found really challenging – but once we got to the top the view was magnificent and we had cell reception! On Sunday we did the flatter, easier hike. Monday morning we left the campground and continued our northerly trek.

5-5-12 CA - Winters Canyon Creek Resort 3

Canyon Creek Resort was situated right on Putah Creek

5-5-12 CA - Winters Canyon Creek Resort 4

Directly above the campground was this dam at Lake Berryessa

5-5-12 CA - Winters Canyon Creek Resort 5

5-5-12 CA - Winters Canyon Creek Resort 28 RV

Our home among the trees, alongside the creek

5-5-12 CA - Winters Canyon Creek Resort 29

Dave checks out the creek from the daytime picnic area

5-5-12 CA - Winters Canyon Creek Resort 8 Hike Up

 Looking down on other hikers when as we began our ascent

5-5-12 CA - Winters Canyon Creek Resort 14 Hike Dam Zoom View from Top

 View of the dam from (almost) the top of the mountain

5-5-12 CA - Winters Canyon Creek Resort 18 Hike Down

 Looking in the opposite direction from the dam we could see a looong way east

(Is that Sacramento in the distance?)

5-5-12 CA - Winters Canyon Creek Resort 20 Hike Down As we descended we got a great aerial view of the creek

5-7-12 CA - Leaving Winters 2

Leaving Winters we got a look at Lake Berryessa from another perspective

5-8-12 CA - Napa

Vineyards in California’s Napa Valley

May 9-18

Our next stop was at a campground on the Russian River in California.  Another beautiful and peaceful place – but no wifi and very limited cell service (again the reason for the lateness of the blog updates!) It was so nice there and we made several friends so we extended our stay until the end of the week.  But then it was time to go again – Dave had another friend in Eureka, California that we were planning to visit.

5-18-12 CA 3 - Russian River

This resort was on the Russian River, near Cloverdale, California

5-18-12 CA 4 - Russian River

5-18-12 CA 6 - Russian River

5-18-12 CA 7 - Russian River

Dave and Scott (one of our campground friends) try to outdo each other skipping rocks on the river – boys will be boys…

 May 18-31

On our way to Eureka we HAD to drive through the Avenue of the Giants (also known as State Route 254) – the 32-mile roadway that parallels California Highway 101 and winds its way through Humboldt Redwoods State Park.  This roadway was originally built as a stagecoach and wagon road in the 1880s and today it is considered a scenic alternate to Hwy. 101 because of the historic redwood groves.  Humboldt Redwoods State Park encompasses 53,000 acres of forest, meadows, and watersheds and about 100 miles of hiking, biking and riding trails.  About 17,000 acres consists of old-growth coast redwood forests including the 10,000 acre Rockefeller Forest – the largest contiguous old-growth redwood forest in the world. We did not have time to stop long enough to hike or bike through them, but just the drive was wonderful and worth it! 

5-18-12 CA 9 - Willits, Gateway to the Redwoods

The city of Willits prides itself on being the “Gateway to the Redwoods”

5-18-12 CA 10 - Hwy 101

5-18-12 CA 22 - Hwy 101

5-18-12 CA 32 - Avenue of the Giants

5-18-12 CA 37 - Avenue of the Giants

Is there anything on earth as majestic as a California redwood?

5-18-12 CA 40 - Avenue of the Giants

Our home on wheels is easily dwarfed by the beautiful grove

5-18-12 CA 47 - Avenue of the Giants, Us

Here we are sitting “inside” the trunk of a fallen redwood

5-18-12 CA 49 - Avenue of the Giants, Immortal Tree

The Immortal Tree

5-18-12 CA 50 - Avenue of the Giants, Immortal Tree Sign

May 24-27

Dave’s former work buddy in Eureka, Eric, and Eric’s girlfriend, Tuesday, have a cabin they are restoring in a mountainous hideaway called Ruth Lake. They go there every chance they have to work on the cabin, so they invited us this Memorial weekend to go with them.  It was a drive of about 2 hours along windy, narrow mountain roads mostly. But the lake area is beautiful and we were happy to see their cabin and help however we could that weekend while they worked on it.

5-24-12 CA 2 - Hwy 36 to Ruth Lake

Hwy. 36 to Ruth Lake reminded us a bit of the Avenue of the Giants

5-24-12 CA 7 - Hwy 36 to Ruth Lake

Eric & Tuesday led the way in their truck hauling a trailer full of equipment they would need to work on the cabin

5-24-12 CA 9 - Ruth Lake

Ruth Lake was picturesque

5-24-12 CA 11 - Ruth Lake

Last September a fire came through this area, severely damaging much of their property. Many of the trees that were burned will have to be cut down – one was already down and had been cut into large sections.  One of the jobs that had to be done was splitting all the logs of the downed tree and adding them to the firewood pile that would be needed in the winter.

5-26-12 CA - Ruth Lake 12 Dave chopping wood

Lumberjack Dave hard at work

(He eventually finished splitting ALL the logs in that pile behind him in this picture)

This video shows Dave IN ACTION!

(Sorry it is sideways!!  It was the best of the 2 videos we took of him in action and couldn’t be rotated…so just turn your computer screen sideways to view it 🙂 )

5-26-12 CA - Ruth Lake 37 Bruce chopping wood

Roberta decided she’d like to try her hand at splitting logs too

And here SHE is in action………this is the first & only log she actually split!

5-26-12 CA - Ruth Lake 43 Bike Ride

The next day we went for a bike ride on this lovely trail…

5-26-12 CA - Ruth Lake 45 Bike Ride Dave at Creek

…which meant we had to ride our bikes through this little creek…

5-26-12 CA - Ruth Lake 49 Bike Ride Tuesday at Creek closer

…and then through this larger one!

5-26-12 CA - Ruth Lake 51 Bike Ride

Dave rides across a bridge over another part of the creek

5-26-12 CA - Ruth Lake 52 Bike Ride Burned Hill

One of the many areas showing the fire damage from last year

(The family who owns this land had a house and barn on this spot before the fire – they lost EVERYTHING in the fire!)

Eric and Tuesday have three large dogs that love to run around the area by the cabin. They are great dogs – so well behaved and fun to play fetch with.  Bear likes to put his head in the water of the creek and try to catch fish; Shep and MiHija love to chase sticks, balls or anything else you will throw for them to get.  (Believe it or not, Bear is the offspring of MiHija!)

5-26-12 CA - Ruth Lake 7 Bear resting

Bear relaxing

5-26-12 CA - Ruth Lake 9  MiHija & Shep

Shep, on the right, and MiHija, on the left, taking a break from retrieving the tennis ball they love to have thrown so they can fight over it and play keep away from each other!


About meanderingmomma

A retired school teacher hits the road
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