Death Valley, not a great place for an old dog.

A trip I intended to last five days turned into a three-day dash to, through, and from Death Valley. Annie, my fourteen-year-old corgi, did not do well in the heat, which is why I cut the trip short. It was still an amazing get-out-to-see-my-country experience. Here’s the vlog.

And here’s the route.


California Delta – Rio Vista, Locke, and Lake Solano

Even though the weather report promised rain, I headed out for the St. Patrick’s Day weekend for a three-day road trip to the California Delta. Here’s the vlog:

In case you don’t feel like watching the seven-minute video, here’s the map and some of the highlights: First night at my favorite Sandy Beach County Campground in Rio Vista on the Sacramento River. Gorgeous drive along the levees toward Sacramento, with a stop at the old Chinese town, Locke. A Starbucks stop in Sacramento, then west toward Lake Solano, another county park (only $20/night for seniors plus a dollar/dog). I stopped at a bakery in Winters, which is an adorable town, and purchased a yummy chocolate eclair. I spent a peaceful night in the woods with the peacocks by Lake Solano. Sunday morning I explored Winters, then headed home with a stop at the Costco in Vacaville to fill up on gas. A perfect trip. I highly recommend it.

Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach County Park in Rio Vista

California Delta

California Delta



Bridge over Sacramento River

Delta market

Locke Chinese Medical Office

Bath in Locke

Lake Solano

Lake Solano

Ramsey sug as a bug in Lake Solano County Campground

Ramsey snug as a bug at Lake Solano County Campground. They have electric and water hook-up sites but I didn’t use them.

Boondocking at Viaggio Winery in Lodi – My First Harvest Hosts Experience

I just took a four-day trip to Yosemite and the California Gold Country. I needed a place to stay on the way to Mariposa, where I wanted to see the California State Mining and Mineral Museum. There are a lot of wineries in the Central Valley between San Rafael and Mariposa. Having heard about Harvest Hosts, I signed up and was able to boondock for free in the parking lot of the Viaggio Estate Winery in Lodi. There are six wineries around Lodi that participate in the Harvest Hosts Program. I describe it all in this YouTube video. Enjoy.

Little Ol’ Lady in Pasadena

Pasadena is famous for the tiny cottages ‘grandfathered’ into the back of properties in neighborhoods reserved for single-family dwellings. My daughter and son-in-law do not have one of those cottages, which is why I visit in Ramsey. This time I upgraded from parking him on the street to shimmying my way up the driveway to park in the backyard. It was a tight squeeze, but worth it — quieter and a safer walk to my front door for my tiny grandsons.

Camping near the Russian River

I just posted this video on YouTube about a loop I took from my home in San Rafael to the Russian River. After a night near Guerneville, I drove about 15 minutes to Jenner on the coast at the mouth of the river. Then I headed south along the cliffs to Bodega Bay, then home. I’ve included a 24¢ tour of my rig. The good news about traveling in January is that there is room in the campgrounds. The bad news is the mud, as you shall see.