Friday, June 26, 2015

Into The Wild Blue Yonder, Part I ~ May 26-28, 2015

May 26th ~ Off we go into the wild blue yonder. If we don't have it with us we don't need it. First stop East West Cafe in downtown Sebastopol for breakfast. The house is clean and the refrigerator empty, what better excuse to do you need?

First stop is a visit with my aunt and her husband in Durham. Our favorite way to get there from here is north to Hopland, east around Clear Lake to Williams and from there to Feather Falls Casino in Oroville, a gorgeous drive with no traffic. We discovered a restaurant and little general store in Williams, called Granzella's. Great lunch and worth a stop if you're in the neighborhood. Once in Oroville, we checked into the hotel, let Betty and Bob know we had landed and called it a day.

May 27th ~ We spent all day Wednesday with them at their place. Rod did a ton of yard work and pruning and I got a little work done in the house while they napped. I found some more pieces of the puzzle about my grandfather's quest to expose "The Big Business Sons of Bitches" in the form of a couple of newspaper articles and letters, which Betty kindly let me bring home. We had a nice long visit. Early evening we headed back to Feather Falls for dinner at the Brew Pub. Nice touch is a TV at the table so we could watch the Giants. 

May 28th ~ When we checked out at Feather Falls we asked about a large photo of three rocks on wall behind the desk. She told us it was photographed at Big Bald Rock a short drive up Hwy 162 near Berry Creek, in the Sierra Nevada foothills. It's called a granite batholith which is a large body of igneous rock formed beneath the Earth’s surface by the solidification of magma and can have a surface exposure of up to 40 square miles. Many of them have a depth of 6 to 9 miles. 

Finding the spot was a challenge because you can't see anything from the road due to the dense forest. We retraced our steps a few miles and spotted the trail head. A short walk along a forest path and suddenly the landscape changes. It's a popular climbing and camping spot, but we didn't see another soul. 

My Old Mountain Goat

We threaded our way up the slope, figuring how to best traverse spaces between large rocks without hurting ourselves (these days there is no shame in sliding down a short, steep slope on your butt). The reward was a magnificent view of the entire Sacramento Valley. Imagine spending a night under the stars up there?

Next stop is Chester, about 80 miles north via Highways 99, 32 and 36. Got in later afternoon and checked into the Best Western. Discovered  great little place called the Kopper Kettle for dinner just a short walk down the road. Turned in early, tomorrow is another adventure.