I started this week hard by the beach at Bodega Dunes campground, and I’m ending it at the western foothills of the Sierras, east of Fresno. Quite the change in scenery for one week and I’m kind of impressed with my native state of California right now.
Bodega Dunes is a wonderful campground, close enough to a little town to get supplies, do errands, and even pick up the local chowder and shrimp po’ boy sandwich for lunch. And whether you go south to Bodega Head or north along the Sonoma coastline, there are places every few minutes to pull over and enjoy the views.
Bodega Head is a special place, not just for me but for anyone who loves the environment. In 1958, PG&E proposed to build the first commercial nuclear plant in the USA at Bodega Head, which is also where the San Andreas Fault goes into the sea. The locals fought a pitched battle, enlisting the Sierra Club in their effort. In 1964, PG&E withdrew their plans and the result is that 52 years later, we can all enjoy this beautiful place and its hiking trails, whale watching, and birdsongs.
Thanks to a driving tip from my friend, Alissa, I went south and east mostly on Route 12, winding my way past vineyards and small towns in Sonoma and Napa counties. The fall colors were still evident, although when one is driving a trailer, it is harder to stop for photo ops so I don’t actually many photos of the drive. This one was at what must be the most beautiful intersection on Route 12.
I checked into an Escapees park in Coarsegold, excited to use my membership in that club to get a cheap rate ($21/night) that included full hookups and free showers. Alas, the old saw that “you get what you pay for” turned out to be true in this case. My site was less than a 1/4 mile from Highway 41, one of the main roads along the eastern foothills, and since the park was at the top of a grade, the trucks and motorcycles going up and down made a lot of noise. A LOT of noise. I stuck it out for two nights, mostly to get my laundry done and do some high-speed internet uploading for a project I’m working on.
Sunday, I packed up and headed south, through Clovis, and then left at Fresno to Pine Lake, a reservoir with a little campground at Island Park. This was definitely a great move. There are 4 campers and the camp host in the whole park, and so we each have sections to ourselves. Sitting in my chair in front of my trailer, I can’t see anyone else, so pretty perfect. And the view ahead isn’t too shabby either.
I’d consider staying here longer if I could: crickets, bird songs, coyotes howling at dusk, little critters and lizards. But, I have friends in Death Valley to meet up with, so Thursday I’ll pack it up and head more southeast. I’m definitely out of rain country, I haven’t seen any for nine whole days now.
And to end this week, and perhaps put a kind coda to the entire election season, here’s a moment of pure beauty. Nature wins, in the end.
A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.