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We left Klamath early on Saturday morning on our final trip through those forests of towering Redwood trees. That is until December when we come through this way again.
Parts of Hwy. 101 have been rerouted and a larger and faster highway was built. This may sound like a bad thing, but part of the reason was to save those trees. The pollution of the cars and trucks was doing damage to the health of the Redwoods. Over the past 40 years or so changes were made that keep the traffic further away from the National and State parks. You can still take the Avenue of the Giants or other roads that will take you right through those parks, but mainly you bypass most of it….except for the area at the Richardson Grove State Park (south of Garberville). Here, you still follow the old road that has been there for ages. The road is narrow and only 2 lanes wide.
After leaving Redwood country we continued to our destination for the night. We had planned to stay in the parking lot at the Coyote Valley Casino in Redwood Valley (north of Ukiah). We stayed there one other time about 2 years ago and it was fine and dandy. We found the place in our Casino Camping book. Some casinos have genuine RV parks with full hook-ups and some others allow self-contained RV’s to stay overnight in their lot, and yet many have no over-night parking at all.
The cost was FREE and all we had to do was go in and let the folks at the casino’s security desk know we were out there. We did not go in to gamble, and we did not go in to eat a meal. Bruce and I are not big on the whole gambling thing. We usually stay at a casino just for the free parking opportunity. Sometimes we will go in and eat a meal at the buffet, but sometimes we don’t. Last night we enjoyed a quiet night’s sleep!
Early this morning we were on our way south again. Bruce found a new route for us to take when he checked out the map. Yeah, we use paper maps. Just a couple of miles south of where we got back on the highway, was the turn off toward Clear Lake on Hwy. 20-East. We’d never seen Clear Lake, so we thought, why not? We would follow Hwy. 20 for 42 miles until we got to Hwy. 53-South.
After eating we drove on further to reach Hwy. 53. The landscape here was typical California stuff…rolling hills dotted with trees. My Dad always called them “scrub oaks” but I don’t know if that is accurate or not.
Hwy. 53 took us then to connect with Hwy. 29 heading toward Calistoga. This stretch of highway soon climbed up into the mountains where it became a winding road with tight curves. As we began the descent on the other side, it was a bit of white knuckle time for me. Bruce was doing fine with the 7% grade for 6 miles. He managed to drive the big rig over the mountain and down the other side perfectly. Well….I’m here writing this post so there is the proof of that!
The route we took today was slow….so slow, but also worth it for the beautiful scenery we found. It isn’t a route we’d take often, especially NOT in the winter months since that mountain road is so winding. Today it was fun.
We got to the town of Calistoga, which is in the heart of California’s wine country. Since it was a nice sunny weekend day, the town was packed with folks out for the day. Good thing we were just passing through. It would have been impossible to find someplace to park the motorhome on these streets.
We ended our day in the small town of Isleton, which is in the Sacramento Delta Region. We will be here for 2 nights. We have no plans for this area and we just want to sit and do nothing! The weather was fantastic when we arrived. It was about 83 degrees. YeeHaw!
Until next time…..so long for now!