So, as the title suggests, we've had a bit of variety lately! Moving on from Ukiah we arrived at Calistoga RV Park with lots of rain in the forecast. We basically holed up in the RV for two days with a couple of brief walks in light rain through the lovely little wine town of Calistoga.
We took advantage of our one dry day to meet up with fellow RV friends, Rusty and Tony, who live down in the Bay area. On the way we stopped for a hike at Spring Lake Regional Park
in Santa Rosa. Lots of folks were out enjoying this beautiful morning, happy to be outside after all the recent rain.
|Spring Lake, Santa Rosa, CA|
Refreshed and ready to party we continued on to Petaluma for our meet up with Rusty and Tony. We met these two happy souls during our first year of travel, their first year of part time RVing as well. This time we enjoyed lunch at Pub Republic and a tour of Lagunitas Brewing
We've long been fans of Lagunitas' Little Sumpin' Ale and had the pleasure of trying their limited release Born Yesterday Fresh Hop Ale during our recent stay in Ukiah. The tour was super casual with tasters served first at the bar while employees tell the company story, followed by a short stroll around the grounds.
|Hans, Rusty and Tony enjoy Lagunitas samples.|
|Lagunitas had the largest barrels I've ever seen!|
With more rain on the way we cut out of Calistoga a day early because our site was getting pretty messy. For our next stop we returned to Lodi, CA and Flag City RV Park, one of the stops we had made back in June with my dad as we headed North.
This time we made a special visit to one of Hans' boyhood homes. Well the house no longer exists but the people from his past life do! From about age four to eight Hans' family lived in an old farmhouse in Linden, CA. The rancher who owned the land grew almonds, walnuts, and cherries and Hans often got to spend the day riding around with him while he attended to ranch business.
Today Lawrence Sambado's companies, A. Sambado & Son, Prima Frutta Packing, and Primavera Marketing, grow, pack and distribute walnuts, apples and cherries all over the world. Lawrence took us on a grand tour of his state-of-the-art packing facilities and we enjoyed a delicious lunch with the family.
Sambado's decades of experience in the field have led to the creation of innovative processing technology and it was fascinating to see the inner workings of this complex business. Thank you Lawrence and Beverly, Tim and Richard for your hospitality and generosity...we'll be thinking of you as we enjoy the apples and walnuts!!!
|Lawrence and Hans and a whole lot of granny smith apples!|
|Clean apples are dried and sorted.|
|Lawrence describes how the walnut shell bits are separated from the walnut meat.|
|A portion of the walnut processing system.|
Woodbridge Ecological Reserve
|Walnut sorting is labor intensive! |
(AKA Isenberg Crane Reserve) is just five miles from Flag City RV Park so of course we had to visit it. Sandhill cranes spend the fall and winter in the Delta and Central Valley and every evening thousands of them fly in to the area surrounding the Reserve.
|Lovely evening light colors the clouds above Woodbridge Nature Reserve.|
These last couple of weeks have been the wettest we've experienced since we went on the road in 2012 and we've discovered a slide leak (wet carpet in a small closet in a slide), and water may have gotten into our satellite dish rendering it inoperable. It's time to make tracks to the desert so we can dry out!