Friday, April 25, 2014

California Coast - Part 3

We explored the Northern California Coast from RV parks in the Sonoma Valley - one in Santa Rosa and a Thousand Trails Park in Cloverdale - The Russian River RV Campground..

I know several readers are interested in the Thousand Trails parks in this area. We really liked this one. It was isolated with limited cell and MiFi coverage (2 bars 3G) and no TV reception but really beautiful and well located on the border between the winerys of Sonoma and Napa and the redwoods of Northern California and just a 30 minute drive from the coast.

We've come to realize that Thousand Trails Campgrounds (and they are campgrounds, nor resorts - although they all have club houses, swimming pools, etc.) are indeed "get-away from the real world" spots. If you want TV - bring a satellite dish.

One day we drove out to Bodega Bay to have lunch at the Spud Point Crab Company. This was a tiny spot with a big reputation:
Basically a small take-out spot on the side of the road with outside seating
The seafood chowder is kept hot in large pots outside and the crab cooker is outside as well:
The large pot in the foreground is the crab cooker
The menu appeared to be pretty limited but when we got to the front of the line (there were about 10 people in front of us), inside the building there was a much more extensive menu. Which you can view on their website.
These are the specialties of the house.
Arch had the clam chowder and crab sandwich and I had the crab cakes. All very delicious. I am not sure why all the restaurants we visited served clam rather than crab chowder. Maybe the crab chowder does not "hold" very well after it is made. There is a recipe on this blog for Lobster and Scallop Chowder. If you can get fresh crab I suggest you substitute crab and clams for the lobster and scallops - really yummy.

We took a different route home and stumbled upon the Northwood Golf Course, Set among the redwoods in Monte Rio. A unique and historic spot. To quote their website:

Northwood Golf Course combines the magic of the architecture of Dr. Alister MacKenzie (Augusta National, Pasatiempo, Cypress Point) set amidst towering Redwood trees. It's like nothing you have played before, and prompted Travelin' Joe Passov of Golf Magazine to place Northwood on his top-5 MacKenzie courses... in the world!

It was quite affordable so Arch wen back to play another day:
He booked a tee time and asked the booker to pair him with other players. His partner turned out to be a lawyer from San Francisco. Between the stories his partner told him and the challenge of the golf course he had quite a day.

Close to our campground in Cloverdale was The Hamburger Ranch & Bar-B-Que. We soon realized it was a very popular BBQ place frequented by the locals. So we decided to try it out.
Arch ordered the ribs and tri-tips plate - it was huge and he ate every bit of it:
And paid the price the next day. I think he is through with US Bar-b-que for this year. For my Canadian readers - in the United States BBQ means smoking and slathering with special sauces (usually sweet or spicy, or both) and then grilling - not cooking on the barbecue.

We left California wine country and headed north along route 101, Taking a side (but parallel) route along the Redwood Scenic Byway - a 39 mile drive through towering redwoods:

Arriving back at the ocean at Eureka. Unlike the coastline between San Diego and San Francisco, the California Coast north of San Francisco is really quite accessible, with much of the land preserved as state parks and beaches. And beautiful.
This is just North of Bodega Bay
Our final night in California was at Trinidad, on the Oregon border. We stayed at the Cher-Ae Heights Casino - a great boondocking spot - and after unhooking the car took a very scary drive along the ocean. Beautiful but.....
In most places the road was washed out one way - it is left to the drivers to decide who goes first - with several washouts and no guardrails. I was too scared to take pictures.
At one point we stopped at a look-off:
That is Arch out on the end of the walkway. No way I was going out there.
Then it was on to the Oregon Coast. Beautiful and quite different than California. But that is a subject for another day.

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  1. Hiking along the coast is so much fun. There are so many little hidden coves.

    That was one huge plate of food and it takes a lot of food to impress me. Hope it was as tasty as it looks:)

  2. Oregon coast-a part of the continent we do not hear much about-looks awesome!

    1. Most beautiful area we have visited, Debbie. Really amazing.


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