A couple of days ago we bundled up LeuC and started heading over the Klamath Mountains. I don’t believe these mountains are part of either the Cascades which dominate Oregon and Washington nor are they part of the Sierras which dominate the eastern border of California. Instead, they connect Cascades and Sierras to the coastal ranges that run up the Pacific coast starting in Mexico and which dominates the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington. The Klamath Mountains are the last geological barrier you need to cross before you drop down into the Sacramento Valley. Thus, our first part of our journey was filled with mountain passes and valleys; sharp, steep curves and lots of trucks carrying their cargoes down south. The drive was not as stressful as our last drive because it was not raining and the road was dry.
We passed through the Siskiyou National Forest and its wide swath of burned out forests. Last year’s a massive forest fire ran up and down this part of the mountains leaving the evergreen trees bare and black. So very sad.
We drove around the mighty Shasta Mountain with its peak poking high up into the clouds. Since we are nearing the end of the long California dry season, its slopes were bare of the deep snows that we remember seeing that would cover it flanks. We also passed by the massive Lake Shasta Reservoir, which was significantly lowered, thirsting for the winter rains to come and refill it.
As we dropped down into the Sacramento Valley, we knew we had returned to California with the warm temperatures and clear blue skies. The hills and valley were golden brown. We drove past Redding, the northern most significant city in the Sacramento Valley and continued on to the town of Red Bluff. Here, we turned off the freeway and drove a short distance along the massive Sacramento River to our campground: Sycamore Grove Campground, within the Mendocino National Forest.
As we searched for our campsite, we were surprised by how empty it was and how beautiful it was. This would be our last campsite until we arrive in the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday.
When we got out of LeuC to unhook our cute, little Fiat, we were caressed by the warm air with its temperature of 85 degrees and low humidity. It felt soooo good. We lived in California from 1984 until 2007, when we started our nomadic lives by moving onto our sailboat. I love this state because of its remarkable, beautiful weather, its amazing mountains and forests and its spectacular coasts. However, these features, along with its robust and diverse economy, has attracted so many people that we knew when we sold our house in Dana Point, that it would be difficult to afford a house of the same type that we had become used to. It is a very expensive state to live in.
Yesterday, we spent the day golf and gambling. Mary Margaret loves to play the slots and she usually walks away with money stuffed in her pockets. Yesterday was no exception as the casino was $60 lighter when she was through.
I enjoyed a wonderful golf course called The Links At Rolling Hills. It was in perfect condition with beautiful greens, ponds that were filled with waterfowl making their way south, and narrow and challenging fairways. My front nine score was super with my achieving a birdie on a par 5 hole. I was very pleased with my 46. My back nine was another story as the wheels started falling off my game. I did card a 50 for a finally score of 96, so I was pleased overall. However, it really demonstrated to me that I need to exercise more as I just got too tired during the back nine to play my best. Sigh!
Today, we just rested at our campsite. This respite gave me the opportunity to walk around a bit and capture how nice our campground is. The pictures I post below with show you.