Nothing exciting about our travels yesterday – and that often is a GOOD thing. A perfect travel day is one that has NO unpleasant surprises (mechanical or otherwise), but has dynamite scenery… not the case when driving the freeways from Redding, California, down the Sacramento River valley, taking the I-505 cut-off to I-80 and joining the heavy, reckless traffic to be found heading west. We know this drive well – too well - and I was not filled with anticipation of good things to come!
The hills were brown, baked and dried at the end of the long, hot summer. We pulled into the Flying J truck plaza in Corning, filled the diesel tank ($190), and rolled on down the road, into the smog of the Sacramento/Bay area urban sprawl.
We were relieved to exit the freeway on CA Hwy 12, winding through the vineyard-covered rolling hills towards Napa. The ocean’s breeze, tentative though it was, thinned the smog. We were headed to the Napa Elks Lodge, so I gave them my usual “do you have sites available?” phone call.
Bad news – they were full! On to Plan B: I called Skyline Wilderness Park (click here to read our review). Yes, they had two sites left, one with full hookups, the other water and 30 amp electric. We were five miles away, but the two sites were still available when we arrived and, after trying first one, then the other, we finally settled into the FHU site and paid for four days. Thus ended our uninspiring travels for the day.
The Napa Elks Lodge (click here to read our review) is Odel’s favorite place to stay in Napa. It has great amenities, lovely sites, and a good price - $20 for FHU, including cable TV. Skyline Wilderness Park is my favorite campground. Though it is more rustic (by far) and costs more ($25 – senior rate - for a FHU site, and no cable TV) , the campground is located in a HUGE regional park with miles of hiking trails, deer, wild turkeys, giant oak trees, a huge native plant garden… amenities I appreciate. Either campground works for us.
This morning we awoke in the quiet, foggy park, had a big breakfast, and took off on a hike. What an excellent antidote to yesterday’s boring drive!