Continuing south on Interstate 5 from Medford, it was back to California. I had come full circle! The first stop was in Redding and a stay at the Redding Elk’s Lodge located on the Sacramento River. It was still Fall and Redding was putting on a very colorful show.
From Redding, it was only a three-hour drive to Sacramento. Ralph is still with me and we were lucky enough to stay at my book club friend’s ranchette in Wilton. This gave me a chance to take care of some health appointments, get my hair done, and go up to Saint Helena to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends. The friends that hosted Thanksgiving were in the Santa Rosa fire area. It’s a miracle their home and animals survived the fire when everything around them was destroyed. There was plenty to be thankful for on Thanksgiving.
While in Wilton I was able to get together with my bookies (book club girls), whom I hadn’t seen in nearly a year. It was actually great to be back in Sacramento and see friends.
Soon it was time to leave the Sacramento area and drive the three hours to Monterey. Again, I stayed at the Monterey Elk’s Lodge. This was a great location from which to explore the area and go to the Monterey Bay aquarium. As luck would have it, friends Mick and Deb, who are also full timing, were in the area and we were able to spend some quality time together. We attended the boat parade and the Monterey Bay aquarium. I hadn’t been to the aquarium since my stepdaughter, Stephanie,
was about 12 years old. That was many years ago. I loved it then and I love it now. It is truly a remarkable aquarium. After visiting the aquarium, we had a delicious dinner on the wharf. This short video is the aquarium in motion.
Next stop was Pismo Beach and this time the Elk’s lodge was within walking distance to the beach. I’ve always loved the central coast and was happy to be exploring the area. I visited a loofa farm, downtown San Luis Obispo, and of course, spent time on the beach.
Did you know that loofas grow on plants? I did not. That is until I took a tour of the loofa farm! A loofa starts out as a gourd. What we recognize as a loofa is actually the inside of the dried gourd.
While in Pismo Beach the smoke from the fires in Los Angeles intruded. I certainly had my share of smoke in the Summer and Fall. First in Montana, then Idaho, then California.
Have you ever visited the gum wall in SLO? I have! Yuck!
After Pismo Beach we headed to Desert Hot Springs for a week at Sam’s Family Spa. We took full advantage of the hot water spa. I drove into Palm Springs a few times to check it out. We also took a short hike that led to an overlook of Palm Springs and right beneath Bob Hope’s house.
After our week in Desert Hot Springs we drove further south to Borrego Springs where we would spend Christmas and New Year’s boondocking in the desert with our friends Mick and Deb. We visited Borrego Springs a few years ago and it was nice to return to the area. This time I did a little more exploring, hiking, and discovering desert art.
We stayed in Borrego springs until it was time to head to Quartzsite, Arizona for the big RV rally. Several friends from Sacramento met us in Quartzsite. Stay tuned…