Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Eastbound And Down


Loaded up and truckin’ is what we’ll be doing tomorrow (except we’ll be southbound).  When we reach our next stop we’ll put our house in storage and move in with our kids for a couple of weeks.  It’ll be fun.  We’ll be like their kids coming home from college for spring break—dirty laundry and all! 

Actually, there is no place close enough to them to park, and on Sept. 8th we will be taking the house out of storage and taking it to an rv repair.  For quite some time our bedroom slide has been making ominous noises.  When we set up here at Russian River TT “Resort” it refused to open.  We called the local mobile repair guy, but he was out on vacation until the end of Sept. That’s when we got the excellent idea of crashing with our kids.  Payback time!  We plan on leaving clothes lay around, standing in front of the fridge looking, and never putting dirty dishes into the dishwasher.

Today we had to think of everything that we didn’t want to leave in the house—not only stuff that we’d need but also stuff that we want to keep safe.  It’ll be weird sleeping in a different bed and waking up in a different room, but that’s part of the travel adventure, isn’t it?

Warning!  Lots of pix of our cute grandchildren are in your future!

Louise and Duane

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

T’other Side Of The Mountains


From our Thousand Trails campground outside Cloverdale, CA, US 101 took us north today for a loop ride on the other side of the Mayacamas Mountains.  


Things to note in this pic:  the innovative rumble center line, the young grapevines and the dry brown grass.  With the onset of winter rains, the grass turns bright green and the grapevines will be bare.


Ukiah held two stops for us. 


This store owner had an appreciation for older bikes.



Did you know H-D made a scooter? 


Actually, there are two H-D scooters.




We’ve been seeing signs for these and decided to try them out.  Not bad, but McDonalds always had the best fries, so why try to fix what isn’t broken?


Large carvings across the street.  On the other side of the eagle is a huge bear.


In Ukiah we connected to CA 20 east and over the mountains to Lake County.  The first lake we encountered was the beautiful Mendocino Lake, birthplace of the Russian River.  The Corp. of Engineers created the lake by building a dam in 1958.


“…and forever in peace may she wave!”


CA 20 continued east then turned south along Clear Lake.  We turned south on CA 29 which traveled along Upper and Lower Blue Lakes.  These lakes were created when a landslide into Clear Lake pushed water into this valley.  The lakes are now spring fed.


Did this shot make you say “Huh?”  I think I zoomed in on the tight curve.


CA 29 continued along the east side of Clear Lake, but not close enough for a good look,


but then we found a roadside overlook of the south end of the lake in Lakeport.  Here we found the first roadside rest in Lake County that had a visitors’ center.  The nice lady inside provided us with excellent information about this unique lake.  We learned that geologists have determined that Clear Lake is the oldest lake in the New World.  Lakes and marshes have existed here for 2.5 million years but the lake as it is today is at least 500,000 years old.  The lake basin was created by Mount Konocti (kon nok tie—long i), a volcano.  This volcano did not erupt; the earth’s crust slowly sank to compensate for the magma that flowed out of this volcano thousands of years ago.  It still sinks about 1/4 inch each year.  Mt. Konocti is accessible from Kelseyville  by a four mile road leading to a three mile hiking trail to the top.



I think they waited to long to move this sail boat. This gives you an idea just how low this lake is right now because of the drought .


Just south of Lake Port we left 29 for CA 176.  Up and around we went


then stopped to see where we’d been.


The top of the ridge offered several good views of Clear Lake.  At the food of the far mountains is a good look at most of the lake.  The brown mountain on this side of lake I believe is Mount Kinocti which actually consists of five peaks.


CA 176 is a wonderful motorcycle ride across the Mayacamas Mountains.  The road has some uneven road surface, and some sand or dirt making some of the tight turns a little tricky, but for the most part the ride is a delightful roller-coaster ride. 

Drop straight down from the berm.


176 dropped us back into the Russian River vineyards valley on US 101.


In search of a Mendocino Valley pino noir for our Napa Valley kids, we stopped at this lovely vineyard just north of Hopville.


I picked it because we’d passed it on the start of our trip, and I saw a sign for at the end of our loop.


Stacie, was very welcoming and informative.  She explained that this area was formally used for growing hops for beer, but that it was discovered that it was better suited to grapes.  She patiently answered all of our questions about grape growing and wine production. 


After making our selection we let the Eagle follow the Russian River  back to the campground.


A beautiful ride under perfectly blue skies.

Louise and Duane

Mountain Climbing


Curiosity made us take the truck back along Geysers Rd).  We started along this road yesterday with the bike, but turned back when it turned to gravel (re Poof! blog.  The road follows Big Sulphur Creek along the western edge of the Mayacamas Mountains.


The gravel road proved short-lived


and quickly turned into poor pavement.


As we rode the terrain changed constantly.  That’s the creek bed way down there.


Sometimes the road was one lane with no place to go.IMG_0791

Steep then flatter, rocks to grassland.


At times we were treated to two-lane with a center stripe,


then back to bumpy semi paved one lane.


The scenery was ruggedly beautiful, but the road was so narrow and twisty that Duane had to find a wide spot and stop to see any of it.


There was no end to blind curves.  The next five pix are a continuous 1/4 mile section of road.






At this point we’d driven east and southeast up the mountain side, then down to the creek level, then south across the creek and up the the ridge on the opposite side of the ravine.

From this point on Geysers Rd. was two-lane with a center stripe.



Near the top (2400 ft.) the next valley opened up.


The road led to the left of that valley, around and across the next one over.


The top section of road.


After we crested the road above we got our first view of the Alexander Valley, prime grape growing land along the Russian River.


Vineyards along the hills gave way to vineyards along the valley floor


in the heart of Sonoma wine country.


In addition to the wonderful scenery, we saw some other interesting things we saw along the way:

an old mine,


Calpine geothermal plant using the underground geothermal reservoir here,

(Geysers Rd. is misnamed for this reservoir which at one time vented steam into the air.)


this historic truss bridge we used to cross the creek,IMG_0873

(Sulphur Creek is only a few inches deep here.)


two wild turkey hens,


and the only stop sign on the entire road, with a detour sign.  To the right of the sign is a drop off of several hundred feet, to the left the road continues around the curve.


Geysers Rd. ended at CA 128.  We took that north to US 101 and home.  We are very glad our curiosity led us along this wonderful road.   It took us two hours to drive about 30 miles, creeping along 2/3 of it at 15 mph or less.  It is a very popular bicycle ride and would have made a wonderful motorcycle ride if the road had been more even. It is motorcycle friendly from CA128 east then north to the ridge above the Alexander Valley, but at that point we recommend that you turn around and retrace the road to 128. 

One more ride tomorrow.

Louise and Duane