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.
Canyon Creek Resort was situated right on Putah Creek
Directly above the campground was this dam at Lake Berryessa
Our home among the trees, alongside the creek
Dave checks out the creek from the daytime picnic area
Looking down on other hikers when as we began our ascent
View of the dam from (almost) the top of the mountain
Looking in the opposite direction from the dam we could see a looong way east
(Is that Sacramento in the distance?)
Leaving Winters we got a look at Lake Berryessa from another perspective
Vineyards in California’s Napa Valley
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.
This resort was on the Russian River, near Cloverdale, California
Dave and Scott (one of our campground friends) try to outdo each other skipping rocks on the river – boys will be boys…
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!
The city of Willits prides itself on being the “Gateway to the Redwoods”
Is there anything on earth as majestic as a California redwood?
Our home on wheels is easily dwarfed by the beautiful grove
Here we are sitting “inside” the trunk of a fallen redwood
The Immortal Tree
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.
Hwy. 36 to Ruth Lake reminded us a bit of the Avenue of the Giants
Eric & Tuesday led the way in their truck hauling a trailer full of equipment they would need to work on the cabin
Ruth Lake was picturesque
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.
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 🙂 )
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!
The next day we went for a bike ride on this lovely trail…
…which meant we had to ride our bikes through this little creek…
…and then through this larger one!
Dave rides across a bridge over another part of the creek
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!)
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!