Engine 45 at Northspur

Another well-preserved water tank

Dick & Janell at Mendocino bluffs

Dick & Janell's 2012 North Coast Journey

 

Links to Photos, related links, and More Travel Reports at bottom

 

June 24, 2012: For maybe only the second time, after ten years of writing these travel reports, I'm starting to write it before my departure. The main reason is to establish some momentum and maybe make it easier to keep this report up to date as we travel. It is also an excuse to try out a new text editing app on the iPad, to see if that device can be used for writing. I've been playing with it for about two months, and while it's a long ways from being like a real keyboard, it is 1,000 times better than a phone keypad.

Since we will be at Fort Bragg on the Mendocino coast on July 4, I called a few weeks ago to make reservations. Good thing - they had only two spaces available for that week. I also made a reservation for our first night at Bodega Bay - only two spaces there also. And I reserved a rental car for use while we're at Ft. Bragg. Oh yes, we made reservations for the Skunk Train, which I will talk about when we get there.

I will be traveling with my friend Janell Sidney, who was planning to go last year, but had her plans unilaterally changed by her boss. Ah, the horrors of working!

And, as has happened a few times in the past, I had a pre-trip problem with the motor home, but fortunately it happened when there was still plenty of time to fix it. I go to the storage place at least every two weeks and start the engine, run the generator, and turn on the refrigerator and water heater (propane operation). One day the engine did not start, but the generator did, so I hooked up my charger and got the motor going.

A few weeks later the same thing happened, so I took the vehicle to a local dealer to get a new battery. While it was at their lot, they backed it into a crane truck, causing scrapes and dents. I tried to refrain from pointing out that I had driven it 18,000 miles without backing into anything. Of course, they paid for the repairs, but I was without it for almost a full month.


June 26
: I was planning to get the vehicle washed, and talked to a man who provides mobile wash service. When I first rented my space at the storage yard I was told that I could wash my motor home there, but the wash man was told we could not. This is only the latest of many incidents of being told one thing one day, and another thing the next day (or year, or whatever). We had an alternative plan, but I went to the storage place today, and the vehicle did not look dirty enough for the price being charged. I think the body repair place may have rinsed it off. So I will wait till it's good and dirty after I return (or even after our planned Utah trip this fall).

Janell and I have been burning up the Internet discussing menus, food shopping lists, where to go and what to do, etc. We will go to the Farmer's Market in Clovis Friday for last minute fruit and vegetable purchases. I have become addicted to blackberries or boysenberries for breakfast (with whipped cream, chocolate milk and toast). I can only indulge this habit in the summer, so we will pick up a supply Friday, along with cherries, tomatoes, bell peppers and whatever else looks good.


June 29: Yesterday when I was putting air in the motor home tires, a woman walking by told me she had seen several young kids (Jr. high age) on bikes, riding around the motor home and checking it out. Her concern was that they might plan to come back later with bad intent. Since I will invent something to worry about if there isn't anything real, this caused me to lose sleep, to go out and look at the vehicle a couple of times when I got up at night, and even to try sleeping there the first part of the evening (impossible due to passing traffic and warm weather).

After some thought I decided the most likely explanation was that they were saying, "Wow, wouldn't it be cool to have something like this?...fill it with booze and babes and head out on a road trip!"

I've parked it there many times with no problems, but as Lincoln said when he was shot, "no one ever did that before." And as expected, there were no problems. Of course, I can still worry about tonight.

 

June 30: The motor home and I both survived Friday night. I had it parked on my side of the street, and there's a fairly bright pole light at the end of the complex.

But before that, Janell and her sister came over and we went to the farmers market in Old Town Clovis. We got berries and some other fruits and vegetables, but didn't go on to the bluegrass concert in the park as we usually would.

We got started early the next morning, leaving Janell's house on the western side of Fresno at 7:30, and heading north on CA 99, then east on CA 120 and I-280. When my older grandson was playing hockey, we made many trips to the Bay Area, and became fans of Nation's, an excellent hamburger joint. Their burgers actually look like the pictures in other restaurant's menus. And the burgers are as good as they are good-looking. So Janell and I decided to stop at the Nation's in Tracy, where we arrived about 10:30. The place was nearly full, with a lot of people having breakfast. We had a proper lunch - cheeseburger, fries and Coke, enjoying it very much.

Once we left Tracy we got into slower and slower traffic heading into Dublin where I-680 crosses I-580. We went north on 680 through Danville and several other cities, working our way around San Pablo Bay, north of SF Bay. On our left side were hills which I am fairly certain are the ones above and east of downtown Oakland.

We turned northwest onto I-780, which ended and became a city street. I was not sure if we were going the right way, but I continued in the most obvious direction, and when I stopped and turned on the GPS, it sent us in the direction I was planning to go.

We reached our RV park in Bodega Bay, and found that our reserved space was right on the water (the smooth waters of the bay, not ocean waves). Since we had nothing planned for this area, and no transportation other than the motor home, we sat out and enjoyed the scenery, then took a walk up the road that goes into the RV park. Along this road were many types of flowers, as well as plenty of poison oak. At the top of the road, we looked in a couple of shops, and Janell spotted a place to get her morning coffee.

Back at camp, we joined other people in watching a seal that was rising up and down in the water, vigorously and enthusiastically eating a salmon.


July 1: With a short drive of about 120 miles ahead of us, we got a leisurely start, stopping a number of times along the way to look at the ocean, flowers and cliffs along CA 1. Fog had come in late the night before, and we had fog along the way for quite a distance, with occasional sun at the higher points along the road.

A few miles before our destination of Fort Bragg was Van Damme State Park, which is notable for the pygmy forest that grows there. Here mature, cone-bearing cypress and pine trees stand six inches to eight feet tall, stunted by the poor quality soil in the area. I had been here over 30 years ago with my sister, and like most wild places, it was not as I remembered it. The path through the forest is now a boardwalk, and the area is heavily overgrown with brush as well as the trees, so you are limited to just what you can see walking a narrow path. However, we were happy to be there, because a few weeks ago this and a number of other state parks were scheduled to close on July 1. A combination of volunteer organizations, grants from individuals and companies, and increased fees has allowed many of the parks on the closure list to stay open with reduced service.

After our walk we continued up Highway 1 through Mendocino and to Fort Bragg, to the Harbor RV Park, where I had stayed last year. The park is located just south of the Noyo River, next to Pomo Bluffs Park, a short distance from the ocean. The park has a paved walkway that goes out to the edge of the bluffs, and you can drive there also. Since we would not get our rental car till Monday, we rode our bikes out to the edge, the first of a number of trips we would make there. Last year I did a lot of wave-watching there, at Shelter Cove farther north, and at Mendocino, and I think the wave action at Fort Bragg is the best.

Of course, there are many other things to do and see in the area, so we planned to get a fairly early start the next morning and head for Mendocino, eight miles south on Highway 1.

July 2: Plans get changed, however. The rental agency was supposed to pick us up at 9 a.m. After waiting for a half hour, I called, and got someone in the Ukiah office, 50 miles away. I was told that the Ft. Bragg agent was out but would be calling soon.

It was around 10:30 when I called again, and got someone locally, who said he would be by to pick us up soon, along with another party in the same area. We finally got to the office and got our car a little after 11. After I politely mentioned that it was not reasonable that we had to suffer for the company's failure to have adequate staff, they gave us a good reduction on our rental charge, so once again I ended up quite happy with Enterprise Car Rental.

We made a quick stop at the motor home to get things we needed for our big trip to Mendocino and headed south. Parking is at a premium during this peak tourist season, so we found a place and set out for a half day of walking and shopping, with our first stop at a coffee bar. We went into many stores, and bought a few things. We both got "Mendocino" t-shirts, and I found a zip-up hooded sweat shirt that I have wanted for hockey games. I also bought a very small sweat shirt that is still going to be too big for a couple of years for a great grandchild who is coming in December.

In Mendocino we both enjoyed two of the town's most striking features. Last year I noticed a number of tall, spiky plants with tiny flowers, growing to 15 feet or more. My internet research showed they are called echium, but I was sure this was a scientific name and there should be a common name. This year we asked someone in a store and were told that they are called Pride of Madeira, being native to that Portuguese island. They grow in warm areas with poor soil and require little water or care. There are a lot of them along the coast north of San Francisco, but they are reported to do well in many other locations. They are technically considered biennial, but often live many years. I thought there were fewer of them this year, but we didn't get to all parts of the town. I didn't take any new  pictures of them, so last year's will have to do.

The other feature is the many wooden water tanks and water towers in town. In the early days residents built tanks high enough to provide good water pressure, and pumped water into the tank with windmills. I don't know if any tanks are still in use for water, but many have been remodeled with decks on top or converted into rooms. The base of one of them is now a gift shop.

We had made plans to eat out this evening, so around 4 p.m. we started looking at restaurants. We had discovered that the crowd was thinning out and it was usually possible to park close to where we wanted to go, so we had driven to a couple of stores we wanted to check out, then drove around to several restaurants. We didn't find anything we liked (some were closed, some were noisy, some were just take-out places), so we decided to go with plans we had discussed earlier, to go to one of the seafood places by the harbor in Ft. Bragg.

The place we chose, Carine's Fish Grotto, proved to have good food and good service, plus a unique family atmosphere. That is to say, those working there all seemed to be part of the same family. While we were eating I heard a waitress say "meet grandma in the bar," which was a very strange thing to hear out of context. However, when we were getting ready to leave, the waitress said, "meet grandma in the bar, and she'll take your payment." So we did, and she did, and we chatted briefly and let her know that we had enjoyed the dinner. If you decide to try this place, be aware that it is fairly pricey, and grandma doesn't take credit cards.

When we got back to the RV park we drove out to the bluffs for some wave watching, and made a discovery which was one of the most interesting and fun of any of my trips. There are many sections of the headlands that are completely or partly cut off from land, and on one of these hills, inaccessible to sensible humans, we saw a pair of seagulls with two baby chicks. It was getting dark and I only had my small camera with me, so we vowed to come back with the Canon camera with zoom lens and try to photograph the fuzzy-looking little birds.

July 3: When I travel by myself I don't do much cooking, but Janell enjoys it, so I have been eating better (and more) on this trip than usual. Today was the day we actually earned the right to eat like lumberjacks, or at least like people who walked through an area where lumberjacks once worked.

Last year I hiked a trail that goes inland along a creek from the ocean in Russian Gulch State Park. If I had walked another 3/4 mile I would have come to a small waterfall, but I was not feeling up to any additional walking at the time. This year, with Janell along to encourage me, I knew we could make it all the way to the waterfall. The only problem - when I looked at the park web site a few weeks ago, it was slated to close July 1.

Fortunately, like many other state parks, local volunteers and civic-minded businesses had come to the rescue, and the park was open, so after a leisurely breakfast, we drove south on Highway 1 to the park, about a mile north of Mendocino.

When I took this hike last year I wore a sweatshirt over my t-shirt, and I recalled being a little too warm, so I opted for just a long-sleeve t-shirt. Despite the cool breeze that is nearly always present at the ocean, you only have to go a few hundred yards inland to encounter much warmer temperatures. We started off at the slow pace I like to maintain, stepping aside now and then for more determined hikers, whose long, purposeful strides reveal that they are oblivious to the fact that getting there is half the fun. In fact, with a hike like this, once you step on to the trail, you are already "there" - the rest is just walking around enjoying the place.

Along this trail there are many huge old stumps where the redwoods were logged in the 1800s and 1900s, and many of them exhibit the "family circle" or "fairy ring" effect, where new trees sprout up from the roots of a dead tree, forming a circle of young redwoods. Many of these second generation redwoods are now over 100 feet tall. There is also the usual lush growth of other trees, shrubs and flowering plants, so that there is probably no place along the trail where you are not looking at flowers.

We completed the first 1.6 mile of the hike and came to a resting spot with picnic tables, and a sign declaring that it was only .7 to the waterfall. Just before arriving here we had seen our first banana slug, Janell was a bit put off when I mentioned these creatures, but I explained that they are large, yellow, and not in our yard, so they are much "better" than the ugly brown ones that we sometimes step on when going outside barefoot at night. Seeing the actual thing brought Janell into the camp of banana slug fans (fans as long as they stay on the coast, that is). Ultimately we saw a total of eleven slugs.

The waterfall proved to be small but lovely, and certainly worth the hike. It drops over a bank about 30 feet, with one main fall, and smaller cascades to the side. We spent a fair amount of time there, just resting and enjoying the falls, and building up strength to complete our nearly 5-mile round trip walk.

Once we got back to the parking lot, we drove to the place where the creek runs into the ocean, under the Highway 1 bridge, a classic arch design probably built in the 1930s. After a rest and snack here, we drove to the western part of the park, which features narrow dirt trails out through the grass to the bluffs, where we walked around for a while before heading back to Ft. Bragg. This area provides great views of the bridge.

We had made plans to get a pre-cooked chicken at a local grocery store, to be eaten with corn on the cob, potatoes and salad. As we walked into Safeway I noticed that the store was packed, and realized it was 4th of July Eve. However, with our single item purchase, we found a self-checkout station, and were on our way back to the RV park in short order.

With it staying light till after 9 at this northern latitude, we drove out to the bluff again, with the Sony camera and its long zoom lens ready. We had tried for photos in the morning, but the baby gulls were not in sight. Tonight they cooperated, posing for a number of shots. As I remarked to Janell that I wished I could get a shot of the baby and parents close together, one baby obediently waddled over to the adult and I caught several good shots of them together.


July 4: If you tell people you are going to Ft. Bragg, many of them will say "be sure to ride the Skunk Train." If you tell them you have been to Ft. Bragg, they will ask, "Did you ride the Skunk Train?"

Yes, we rode the Skunk Train.

The railroad, which got its start during logging days, offers several different rides. There are trains pulled by diesel engines, and there is the "motorcar," which is a long, bus-like single car that operates on either gas or diesel. However, the whole purpose of riding an old-time railroad is to see and hear a steam engine. Last year I considered a ride, but there was no steam trip during my stay. This year I went on line to check the schedule several weeks in advance. There was just one steam trip during our time here, on the 4th of July, so I immediately ordered tickets, and at 9:30 this morning we were at the station near downtown Ft. Bragg, ready to board for the 4-hour trip that would start at 10.

Our train consisted of the engine and tender, an open air observation car, and about four enclosed cars, one of which is "parlour class," providing wine and cheese for an extra fee. We started out in one of the enclosed cars, which still provided a fairly good view as we left town and headed into the woods. The route follows the Noyo River much of the way, and passes through large redwoods and lush vegetation, much like our hike up Russian Gulch.

We spent most of the ride out in the open air car, getting a good look at the many stream crossings; as well as cabins and some ranches along the way. The train will drop you off at any of various locations along the way, and pick you up later. The final stop is at Northspur, about half way between Ft. Bragg and Willits on US 101. Here there are restrooms, food concessions, and plenty of room to have a picnic or just relax while the engine is switched to the opposite end of the train for the return trip. Rides are also available from Willits to Northspur, and on selected days, you can travel the entire route.

We watched the coupling of the engine to the western end of the train, and soon it was time to get on board for the return trip. We relaxed inside most of the way, moving out to the open car after the train had gone through a tunnel. Everyone is required to move inside during passage through the tunnel, since fumes can't disperse and constitute a danger.

Needless to say, there is a gift shop in connection with the train, and we spent some time there before and after the trip. I bought some magnets, and Janell found a jacket she liked.

That evening we made another trip out to the bluffs, taking our lawn chairs, so we could watch the ocean and the birds in comfort. That day and several other times we saw flocks of a dozen or so pelicans fly over.

We also saw a number of deer, most notably in the large yards and fields along the road to the bluffs. These were obviously deer that are used to being around people, some of them lying right in the front yards of the houses. On the return train trip, we saw two deer in the creek, and we would see more the next day.

Last year I was also here on the 4th of July, and enjoyed watching the fireworks display. They were launched from river level, and rose up just above the level of the bluffs, for an interesting perspective. We were ready to take our chairs out to the nearby bluff and watch the show this year, but darkness fell, and there were no fireworks, and no sign of activity on the beach, where last year dozens of campfires were built. I checked on line and discovered that this year's display would be held on July 7, after we were back home. So much for tradition.

While our time in Ft. Bragg was hardly regimented, we had our activities pretty well planned in advance. During "down time" we discussed where to go and what to do after we left there. We finally ended up reserving a space at Hendy Woods State Park, off state highway 128, which runs southeast from Highway 1 inland to US 101. The map program on my iPad said it was 41 miles - and a 13-hour trip! This seemed unlikely, and Google Maps gave a more sensible driving time of one hour.

July 5: We needed to check out and return the car by noon or so, but could not check in to the camp at Hendy Woods till 2 p.m., so we goofed around this morning, fixing bacon for breakfast, and slowly getting ready to leave. Our RV park has very few sewer hookups, and no dump station, but the Chevron station just across the bridge in town had dumping facilities, so we stopped there, then got gas and returned the rental car.

The first few miles of our trip retraced our path down Highway 1, but we soon reached the junction of CA 128 and headed inland along the Navarro River. Within a short distance, this road goes through a virtual tunnel of redwood trees, which eventually give way to grape vineyards in Anderson Valley. A short drive of less than two miles off the highway brought us to Hendy Woods, a tract containing two virgin redwood groves that Joshua P. Hendy designated for preservation in his will.

After we got set up (a simple task since there were no hookups), we decided to hike the shorter loop trail that went through one of the redwood groves. This was a beautiful and peaceful walk among large redwoods, madrones, Douglas firs and California laurel (bayleaf). During this walk we saw a mother deer and two fawns. We also were reminded that this was a preserve within a major agricultural area, when we nearly wandered out of the grove into an apple orchard.

Since we had no hookups, and generator hours ended at 8 p.m., we fixed dinner and watched a few TV shows, then went back outside after 8 to enjoy the evening, and our last night of the trip.

July 6: We needed to get home by Sunday, July 8, since Janell had to return to work the next day. However, having done everything we set out to accomplish, we were ready to return to Fresno today. A few miles past the state park, Highway 128 runs through the town of Boonville, where we stopped for coffee. Not long after this, the vineyards gave way to grass, brush and oaks, similar to driving through the Sierra foothills. There was a bit of a climb over a pass, then we dropped down to Cloverdale, where we got on Highway 101 heading south.

Most of my trips through Oakland have been on I-880, since it goes near the hockey rink, but we stayed on I-580, which splits off from US 101 just north of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. This road then goes south through Oakland, paralleling 880 but a mile or two to the east. At Castro Valley it turns east through Dublin and Livermoore, and provides connections to I-5 north or south. We continued east into Tracy where we once again enjoyed a Nation's cheeseburger, then continued on a few more miles to Manteca and south on Highway 99 south to home.

Post Script: We drove a total of 710 miles in the motor home, and enough miles in the small rental car to use less than a quarter tank of gas. (I don't want to add up how much gas the motor home went through, but in a word, LOTS.) We were very lucky in that gas prices took a significant drop just before our departure, although we were in areas where prices are higher than average. The highest we paid was around $4.05 at Bodega Bay, and we saw signs for even higher prices as we drove up Highway 1. However, at Ft. Bragg most stations were under $4, and we paid $3.87.

Starting the report early did not create momentum. I wrote a few paragraphs the first night out, one or two the second, a few notes the third, and nothing after that till I got home. Writing something this long on the iPad is possible, but not probable, as long as I have some other tool available. I can type fairly fast, with moderate accuracy, but fixing mistakes after the fact is a lot more hassle than on a PC. It performed well for the purposes I got it - checking Email and accessing the Internet. All of this could theoretically have been done with the laptop, but I could never get a connection with it at Ft. Bragg, while the iPad connected fairly quickly.

We saw a lot of animals I didn't mention above, including a gray squirrel at the redwood grove, a pair of birds (not seagulls) with three babies on the rocks below the gull's perch, and a lot of buzzards, crows and ravens. Despite all time we spent near water, the only fish we saw was on our plates at Carine's.

We got out of the fog about half way between Bodega and Ft. Bragg, and had sunny weather the rest of the week. Temperatures were supposed to be in the mid 60s, but we were too busy to actually check. There was a strong breeze a lot of the time, but in general, it was quite comfortable. We're expecting highs of 105 and up for the coming week in Fresno, which makes us want to go back north. 

You'd think we could now relax - but we have to get busy planning a trip to the national parks of Utah this fall, meaning you have to be ready for another of these seemingly endless missives. (For reasons now forgotten, the Utah trip did not materialize.)

--Dick Estel, July 2012

 

Photos (Click to enlarge; pictures open in new window) 

 

The blossoms are as fun to touch as they are to look at

Plenty of yellow A natural design of contrasting color
The blossoms are as fun to touch as they are to look at Plenty of yellow A natural design of contrasting color
 
Janell by Highway 1 north of Bodega Bay This lupine species is a low-growing mat In the pygmy forest
Janell by Highway 1 north of Bodega Bay This lupine species is a low-growing mat  In the pygmy forest
 
Broken and twisted but still growing Headlands at Mendocino This apparent former church is now an organic produce store
Broken and twisted but still growing Headlands at Mendocino This apparent former church is now an organic produce store
 
Masonic Hall in Mendocino, with a bank on the bottom floor Close up of the statue Lots of places to stash goodies...
Masonic Hall in Mendocino, with a bank on the bottom floor Close up of the statue Lots of places to stash goodies...
 
...and with the drawers open The lower part of this tower is a gift shop Old but still good-looking
...and with the drawers open The lower part of this tower is a gift shop Old but still good-looking
 
Mendocino Windmill Another well-preserved water tank Looking at Main Street from near the bluffs
Mendocino Windmill Another well-preserved water tank Looking at Main Street from near the bluffs
 
This wooden water tank looks like it's still in use Dick & Janell at Mendocino bluffs Pride of Madeira in front of a classic coast home in Mendocino
This wooden water tank looks like it's still in use Dick & Janell at Mendocino bluffs Pride of Madeira in front of a classic coast home in Mendocino
 
Our favorite discovery - baby seagulls Babies and parent Hey mom, what's for lunch?
Our favorite discovery - baby seagulls
 
Wild cucumber in Russian Gulch Janell on the Russian Gulch trail Big banana slug by the trail
Wild cucumber in Russian Gulch Janell on the Russian Gulch trail Big banana slug by the trail
 
The waterfall Janell cools off Dick just being silly
The waterfall Janell cools off Dick just being silly
 
The leaves of this plant are about five feet long Relaxing on the train On foot, by car, or by rail, Janell must have her coffee
The leaves of this plant are about five feet long Relaxing on the train On foot, by car, or by rail, Janell must have her coffee
 
Covered waiting spot along the rail The Skunk Train Engine 45 at Northspur
Covered waiting spot along the rail lilne The Skunk Train Engine 45 at Northspur
 
Our conductor helps guide the engine back to couple with the train for the return journey Janell and the railroad's trademark skunk Tender supplies the engine with recycled motor oil to boil water for the steam engine
Our conductor helps guide the engine back to couple with the train for the return journey Janell and the railroad's trademark skunk Tender supplies the engine with recycled motor oil to boil water for the steam engine
 
The motorcar, heading for Willits Deer make themselves at home on Pomo Bluffs Pelican overflights were a regular event on the bluff
The motorcar, heading for Willits Deer make themselves at home on Pomo Bluffs Pelican overflights were a regular event on the bluff
 
Dick contemplates the ocean and a bloody Mary Trying to capture a good wave splash A precarious walk down the cliff leads to a fishing spot
Dick contemplates the ocean and a bloody Mary Trying to capture the perfect wave splash A precarious walk down the cliff leads to a fishing spot
 
Hendy Woods redwoods Bird's nest in a burned out redwood  
Hendy Woods redwoods Bird's nest in a burned out redwood  
 
Related Links
 
Fort Bragg Mendocino Coast Bodega Bay
Skunk Train Nation's Giant Hamburgers Van Damme State Park
Mendocino Pomo Bluff Park Pride of Madeira
Noyo Harbor Russian Gulch State Park Redwood Circles
Banana Slugs Willits Hendy Woods State Park
CA Highway 128 Anderson Valley 2011 Northern Coast Trip
Highway 1 Mendocino Headlands State Park Mendocino History
 
Our favorite discovery - baby seagulls

This apparent former church is now an organic produce store

Janell cools off

Photos by Janell Sidney and Dick Estel; copyright 2012

 
Travel Reports
   
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Before 2002
Early Trips Later Trips
Camping Trips Backpacking Trips
1961 Monterey Jazz Festival Bluegrass Odyssey
   
Multi-Year Compilations
Fresno Area Canal Walks Clovis Trail Walks
   
2002
Journey of 2002 (Ohio & Back) Logandale & Utah Parks 2002
   
2003
Arizona & Bluegrass on the River 2003 Grand Canyon & Logandale Bluegrass 2003
Parkfield & Huck Finn 2003 Early Frog Camps (2003-2005)
   
2004
Paso Robles & Parkfield 2004 Road Trip 2004 (Ohio & Back)
Bullhead City Bluegrass, Mesa, Superstition Bluegrass 2004 Bluegrass in the Foothills 2004
   
2005
Arizona-Southern California 2005 Huck Finn Bluegrass 2005
Morro Bay 2005 Stargazer Rock Camp 2005
Parkfield Bluegrass 2005    
   
2006
Huck Finn Bluegrass 2006 Las Vegas Commodore Expo 2006
Rock Creek Non-Camp Stargazer Rock Camp 2006
Parkfield Bluegrass 2006 Oregon 2006
Bluegrass in the Foothills 2006    
   
2007
Bullhead City, Bakersfield, Joshua Tree 2007 Frog Camp 2007
Eastern Sierra Journey 2007 Las Vegas Commodore Expo 2007
Stargazer Rock Camp 2007 Roundup #1
(Mother Lode; Kings Canyon, Yosemite)
Bluegrass in the Foothills 2007    
   
2008
Nevada-Arizona Hockey & Bluegrass 2008 Parkfield Bluegrass 2008
Frog Camp 2008 Las Vegas Commodore Expo 2008
Stargazer Rock Camp 2008 Bluegrass in the Foothills 2008
Hobbs Grove Festival 2008     
   
2009
Roundup 2009
Las Vegas, Mariposa, Table Mountain, Orange County
Frog Camp 2009 Southern Journey 2009
Parkfield Bluegrass 2009 Stargazer Rock Camp 2009
Bluegrass Tour 2009
Brown Barn, Plymouth, Hobbs Grove
Hensley Lake Camp
   
2010
Mojave National Preserve & Havasu Bluegrass Roundup 2010
Hensley Reservoir, Mojave Preserve 2 & 3
Parkfield Bluegrass 2010 Lake Almanor & Mt. Lassen 2010
Las Vegas Expo Summergrass
    Brown Barn, Watsonville & Hobbs Grove
   
2011
Roundup 2011
Mariposa, Hensley, Table Mountain
Frog Camp 2011
Parkfield Bluegrass 2011 Frank, Pat, Dick & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Northern Coast Journey 2011 Las Vegas Commodore Expo 2011
Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival Chilkoot & Stargazer Rock Camp
Kings River & Brown Barn Bluegrass Festivals Hensley Camp 2011
    
2012 
Parkfield Bluegrass 2012 Four Squaw Leap Hikes
Northern Coast Journey 2012 Las Vegas Commodore Expo 2012
Stargazer Rock Camp 2012 Bluegrass in the Foothills 2012
A 3-Event Weekend
Farmer's Market, Kings River Bluegrass, Antique Fair
2012 Las Vegas CAN AM Hockey Challenge
Fall Hikes
Finegold Trail; Bower Cave
Into Los Gatos Canyon
  
2013
Silver Stick Tournament - Canada Sierra Foothills - Winter 2013
Finegold Trailhead, Hensley Lake, San Joaquin Gorge
Death Valley - Alabama Hills - Whitney Portal Sierra Foothills - Spring 2013
San Joaquin Gorge Hike, Big Creek Drive
Parkfield Bluegrass 2013 Shaver Crossing Station & Big Creek
Lake Almanor & Caribou Crossroads Mono Hot Springs
Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival A Wedding in Duluth
Sequoia Park Hiking Roundup 2013
Kings River Bluegrass, Buena Vista Peak Hike, Hensley Lake Camp, North Fork Mono Museum, White Rock Road, Hockey in Denver
     
2014
2014 Winter Hikes
Millerton South Bay Trail, Clovis Trail, Hite's Cove Trail
San Joaquin Gorge Campout
Colorado Springs Hockey Tournament Lake Havasu Bluegrass
2014 Spring Hikes
Stockton Creek Preserve, San Joaquin River Trail, San Joaquin Gorge, Millerton Lake, Sycamore Creek, Buena Vista Peak Again
NORCAL Hockey Playoffs and Santa Cruz Visit
Greeley Hill Road Trip Parkfield Bluegrass 2014
Journey of 2014 Journey of 2014 Photos
Nelder Grove Hikes 2014 Sentinel Dome Hike
2014 Fall & Winter Hikes
San Joaquin River Trail South & North, Red Rock Canyon Nevada, San Joaquin South Again
California Flat Campout
Snow Day with the  Upshaw's   
 
2015
Rambler Hikes 2015 Part 1 Rambler Hikes 2015 Part 2
Adventures of 2015 - February to May
(Goofy Smith Flat, Coast Redwoods & Big Sur, Pine Flat, Finegold Trail, Edison Point Trail, Nelder Grove)
Adventures of 2015 - June to December
(Lewis Creek Trail, Kaiser Pass, Kaiser Pass Again, Taft Point, Kings River Bluegrass, Shaver Logging Road, San Joaquin River Trail, Lewis S Eaton Trail, San Joaquin River Gorge, Thanksgiving at the Gorge)
Lake Tahoe & Virginia City Parkfield Bluegrass 2015
Colorado Springs Cousin Convention 2015 Las Vegas Commodore Expo 2015
Stargazer Rock Camp 2015 Grand Canyon & Arches National Parks
  
2016
Adventures of 2016 Part 1 Rambler Hikes 2016 Page 1
Adventures of 2016 Part 2 Rambler Hikes 2016 Page 2
Adventures of 2016 Part 3 Rambler Hikes 2016 Page 3
Adventures of 2016 Part 4 A Pennsylvania Adventure
Adventures of 2016 Part 5 Parkfield Bluegrass 2016
Adventures of 2016 Part 6 Las Vegas Commodore Expo 2016
Adventures of 2016 Part 7 Stargazer Rock Camp 2016
     
2017
Adventures of 2017 Part 1 Rambler Hikes 2017 Page 1
Adventures of 2017 Part 2 Rambler Hikes 2017 Page 2
Adventures of 2017 Part 3 Rambler Hikes 2017 Page 3
Adventures of 2017 Part 4 Hiking and Hockey
Parkfield Bluegrass 2017 Stargazer Rock Camp 2017
Other
Fresno Area Canal Walks Clovis Trail Walks
Butch's Blog Walker Family Trips
Parkfield Earthquake Kim & Morgan Brown Trips & Photos
Travel Report Menu Estel Home Page
Photo Albums Slide Shows
Laurie Lewis' High Sierra Hikes Email
   
 

Updated September 23, 2015