Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Soaring anyone?
After Ivanpah, we start moving north and stop in Tehachapi at the Mountain Valley RV Park.  The park is adjacent to the Mountain Valley Airport, home to the Skylark North full service glider flight school.  The exceptional lift conditions generated by the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the North, the Tehachapi Mountains to the south and the Mojave Desert to the East have produced countless spectacular and record-breaking flights.  We have a great view of the runway to watch planes towing gliders take off.

In the morning we grab breakfast at the Raven’s Nest at the airport. This is a nice little soup and sandwich place for breakfast & lunch.  We get the Dual with A Lift: a buttery croissant with grilled ham, cheese and a fried egg, served with fresh fruit.  We dine outside and watch the pilots ready their planes for today’s flights. We will definitely return here and do a glider flight or two…

Raven's Nest on Urbanspoon

Heading toward Paso Robles on Hwy 46 a big rig passes us and gives us the flat tire signal.  (Thank you trucker but… SHIT!) We immediately pullover and sure enough Dimples left rear tire is just about toast.  Chris rolls the trailer up onto a stack of leveling blocks and swaps out the flat tire with the spare and within a half hour we’re back on our way.

In Paso Robles we get a super spot at the Wine Country RV Resort.  This is part of the Sun RV Park family.  We stayed in a number of these parks on the east coast so our name is in their system.  Since we are a Sun repeat, but first time visitor to this park, we get upgraded from a cheapie spot along the highway to one of the best in the park. (Sometimes it’s fun to be us LOL.) They have a great general store stocked with lots of local vintages. (Guess what we drank for dinner?)  Also, the Eos Estate winery is within walking distance, (as in right next door) but they were closed by the time we got all situated. (We’ll save that for next time.)

NOW… it’s time for some private boon docking…
Our Own Private Watsonville

A couple of days on a ranch in Watsonville, a couple of weeks along Cow Creek in Palo Cedro and a few more days on a horse ranch in Shingle Town…

In Freedom, near Watsonville we join friends for dinner at The California Grill.  This strip mall eatery takes the farm to table movement to the next level.  Local organic farmer Dick Pexioto co-owns the restaurant with his daughter.  Dick also owns Lakeside Organic Gardens; the largest family-owned and operated solely organic vegetable grower/shipper in California. Producing over 45 commodities, they are 100% committed to being organically grown in the USA. Their meats, seafood, breads and desserts are locally sourced.  This level of quality control obviously raises expectations and this California Grill delivers as promised.

We start our meal with Organic Veggie Dippers:  Lakeside Organic Gardens organic carrots, celery, cucumber, sweet baby broccoli & watermelon radish, (a sweet and spicy radish that knocks your socks off!) Served with jalapeƱo aioli. For Entrees, we order the Pan Seared Scallops (cooked perfectly IMO) and the Veal Parmigiana, real comfort food with layers of cheesy-veggie-marinara goodness.

California Grill Restaurant on Urbanspoon

We drop off Dimples flattened tire in Santa Cruz for replacement and head over to Capitola we meet a friend for lunch at our local favorite Sushi Garden. We’ve eaten here for years and every time it’s love at first bite.  It’s rolls & miso soup for lunch. But wait…that room wasn’t here before… they have expanded since our last visit and added a Sake Bar.  WOO HOO!!!  We have plans to meet more friends for dinner… We call and tell them to meet us at the sake bar later that evening.  After lunch we pick up our new tire, do a little shopping and then return to Sushi Garden and sip sake till our friends arrive… then… lots of food… lots of drink… and a fun time for all!

Sushi Garden on Urbanspoon

Equine Bromance
HR Cattle Ranch
Lots of family time in Palo Cedro… In Shingletown, our cousins give us a tour of the area and show us a ranch with amazing rock walls.  As we take photos, the owner of the HR Cattle Ranch stops – (probably to make sure we weren’t nefarious evil doers intent on mischief.) He introduces himself and answers our questions about the walls.  The first walls were built only 10 years ago, after a tornado came through the valley and destroyed fences and the loading ramps and shoots. They were suggested by a former employee who learned the art of stacked stonewall building in prison.  The ranch is 2,000 acres fenced and cross-fenced. All of the stones have been sourced from the pastures. There is a staging site on the ranch to sort & size rocks, and hired labor continue to replace all of the barbed wire and wood fences.  The fences are long lasting, and beautiful with a bonus – every rock picked up from the pastures leaves a spot for more grass to grow to feed the cattle.

The Great Wall Of Shingletown
We cross over the Sierras into Nevada.  Friends, Family and acquaintances have continued with the “Why aren’t you going to Mexico?”  We’re beginning to question our decision to return to Southern CA for Chris’ dental work this summer. So we start some serious research… Los Algodones, across the border from Yuma seems like the best place and NOW is the time to do this before the weather gets too hot…

So we skirt down the eastern side of the Sierra’s on Hwy 395.  Stop at Kehough’s Hot Springs Campground outside of Bishop. (Nothing beats a hot mineral soak after a four-hour drive.) A quick overnight in Indio and then we land in Yuma, AZ at the Cocopah Golf RV Resort.  Let the dental adventures begin…