Day 82 – 11/20 Cloverdale (Sonoma County) to Nicolaus (Sacramento Area)

Today was moving day, had a good and exciting drive and enjoyed the campground area a bit.

Cold morning here, 37F, which is crazy after a nice warm day yesterday.  No school for the girls, so I’m up and will get some work done with noone up.  I got to do some work catch up, do the posts, and then had a business call.  It warmed up pretty quick outside, and I had shorts on outside by 9am.

Everyone was up by 9, and I was done with my call and other work, so we got going.  Carol got some of the packing done inside while the kids got ready, then they went to the walnut farm while I finished packing down and took the trailer to the dump station.  I got it all done pretty quick, and was heading out of the campground by 10 to meet them by the exit, which is where the farm is.  Carol loved it there, she came back with a bag full of walnuts and was looking up instructions on how to dry them properly so we can eat them soon.  I’m going to guess she has over 50 walnuts in the bag.  I didn’t see her pictures, but it is a really nice spot for pictures.

The GPS had shown me a few options to get to our next stop, which is in Lotus, CA.  One was to go to Sacramento then back up a bit, it’s more miles but usually straight and faster.  Google Maps showed an accident near Sacramento that had the road stopped and was adding an hour to the drive, so it showed another path through smaller towns that would be much faster.  So between 2.5 hours and 1.5 we chose the lesser one.  That path was indeed through quite a few small towns, so while it was less than 50 miles away, it took us a good 1.5 hours or a bit more. 

I had to make a stop at one of the towns as Carol and the girls wanted to use the bathroom, so I pulled up by a park and had some tree branches touching the top of the trailer.  It was all soft branches, so I don’t think anything happened but I have not checked. 

Going through the small towns was not bad, but after the last one we had some 12 miles of up and down hills, very tight turns and very steep areas.  That part was a bit more nerve wrecking.  I take my time and make sure I can make the turns and keep the trailer within my lane.  There were a few spots that that was not possible as the turn was so tight.  Those areas are dangerous because of incoming traffic.  In one of the spots a guy pulling a trailer was going quite fast and almost hit the car in front of us.  Carol was very nervous the hole time.  It is a very pretty area though, but it makes me feel like we are in the middle of nowhere.

We made it to the campground, and we are staying at another Thousand Trails, so we had our fingers crossed that we would have a site with sewer.  We are staying here a few days, so sewer is a very good thing, otherwise it’s quite an inconvenience.  We checked in, and here they asked again for license, registration and insurance info… second campground that does.  They mainly check expiration dates, so I’m guessing they just don’t want anyone hiding illegal stuff here? :). At check in, I asked if they knew of any sites open with sewer and the lady said she thought there was only one, B5.  It was close to the entrance, so we went right there.  B5 was in a funky spot and required a very tricky back in job to line up the trailer and make it fit.  I stopped on the road next to it and decided to scope out the spot before I started maneuvering.  While I did that, Carol was removing the weight distribution bars.  I looked through that B5 and could not find the sewer, at all.  Then I had Carol go look and she could not find it either.  As we were waiting, a truck arrived and the guy asked if we were looking for spots, he said he was on B8 which we were standing right in front of, and would be leaving in 10 minutes. 

B8 was great, easy to park, sewer right there.  Done!  We waited for him, and once he left I just pulled in, super easy.  That was great.  We leveled and got the trailer unhitched and all setup quickly.  

Carol had started lunch as we continued getting things opened up and such, and the girls were outside doing their usual potions.  Every single time we arrive somewhere, they start gathering leaves, plants, and what not, add to water and mash some potion.  Then they don’t play with it again.  I don’t get the idea, but ok.  Bella found some cool moss and was playing with that too.

Carol had made Ramen for lunch, it was delicious.  The girls love it and wanted to take pictures of their plates, so here’s…

Bellas Ramen…

and mine 🙂 Yummm!

After lunch, Carol went out to get some groceries for the next few days, and I walked around the campground with the girls. 

This campground is actually nice.  It’s in the middle of a wooded area, next to a river.  River is very clean, with rocks in and around it. 

We had a really nice walk, took some cool pictures, looked for cool rocks… and found a bridge and hung out under the bridge for a while throwing rocks in the water, making them skip, etc. 

They love skipping rocks.

Posing on the rock.

Bella did too.

We had a lot of fun on our exploration.

It was getting cold so we went back to the trailer.  Carol arrived not much later with the groceries and some goodies for the kids. 

She bought them new markers and they loved it!  They started drawing and painting right away.  They did some awesome projects then. 

The best one, and it was their own invention and out of the blue, was a Turkey where they outlined each of our left hands and drew a turkey with it.  Then, inside each finger they wrote what we were thankful for.  These kids are awesome!  

They pretty much spent the rest of the night drawing and painting.

Our dinner was hamburgers, so I got the grill going outside and got the burgers going.  Carol had gotten some different beers and the Anchor Steam beers were awesome.  As I was finishing the burgers, already warming up the bread, I heard the gas making a different noise and when I opened the grill I saw the flame was getting lower and lower…  hmmm… I went to check the tanks and the dual valve was showing green, but… we were out of propane.  I then moved the dial back and forth and sure enough, they turned red.  Shit!  Both our propane tanks were empty and the valve failed to flip the warning sign, so we were caught by surprise.  It had been a week or two that I was feeling it was weird that none of the tanks were empty… I should have listened to my gut feeling.  Good thing is dinner was ready!  Bad thing is that it was getting cold, and with no propane, there’s no furnace!  So, we heated the trailer with the space heaters, and we turned them off before going to bed.  I went to bed hoping we’d not get too cold overnight.

Good day overall.  Crazy ride here on the hills.  Good spot in the campground.  Lots of drawings from the girls.  Empty propane tanks.  Cheers.

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