The RV park is on the fairgrounds and happened to have stock car races during our stay so rather than just endure the noise we went to the races on Saturday night. We also enjoyed a couple of dinners with an old friend from San Diego, Titi and her mother Amanda, who happen to live nearby.
We've had a dramatic change of scenery now that we've moved south of the redwoods. Ukiah sits at the north end of the Northern California wine growing region and any land that isn't covered in grapes is now rolling hills of golden grasses dotted with giant old oaks and madrone forests.
Mendocino Lake sits just north of Ukiah and has disc golf courses at both ends of the lake as well as several miles of hiking trails. We played the South Mendocino Lake disc golf course and found it to be a very challenging course. Lots of steep hills and a few drop offs where it was easy to lose a disc...and the trees! There were a LOT of trees!
|Lots and lots of trees on this disc golf course!
|Nice views from this hillside basket.
After disc golf we took a nice four mile hike along Mendocino Lake. The Shakota Trail wanders up and down along the contours of the lake through mixed forest with occasional views of the lake.
|Great views of Mendocino Lake from the Shakota Trail.
Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve lies about 15 steep, curvy miles west of Ukiah...thank goodness we did not bring Rosie on this drive! In fact, you would not want to drive any kind of RV on this road.
The Reserve protects five groves of redwoods that have never been logged and is far from any major roads or development so is a very peaceful setting. It is just down the road from Orr Hot Springs Resort so it is pretty popular despite it's distance from any towns. There are only a couple of miles of trails but we were able to extend our walk further into the canyon for a total of about four miles.
|It is so hard to photograph these magnificent trees,
but I think the base of this one gives a pretty good idea of the grand scale of this giant!
|We happened upon a group of about half a dozen rough-skinned newts!
|Don't touch! The orange underbelly is a warning of the toxin they secrete.
|Gorgeous views from the road to Montgomery Woods.
On our last day we hiked a few miles in nearby Low Gap Park, where we saw a large flock of turkeys sauntering up the mountainside.
|Turkey on the trail in Low Gap Park.
With more rain in our future, today we've moved on down to Calistoga for a few nights...another curvy drive that was hard on our girl. Rosie will be really happy when we finally get out of Northern California...