Driving through the mountains from the north coast, the temperatures became much warmer and by the time we arrived in Redding it was hot, hot, hot! Fortunately (but not for Lucy or the air in California), we had thunderstorms that night and for most of the next day. In Redding we stayed with a new friend, Barbara, who is Jackie’s (of Phil and Jackie in Livermore) mom. She lives on a few acres with her sheep and has horse neighbors (lucky!). She put us all of us up in her house for a couple days and fed me delicious home-cooked dinners–even when the power went out and she had to improvise.
I swear I tried hard to get to the library in Redding so I could catch up on e-mail, but even once I knew where the new one was, the streets contrived to send me in the wrong direction and I eventually gave up. I did manage to find parking for the Sacramento River Trail though, which we walked for an hour or more saturday morning under the constant threat of rain, which was refreshing.
The Sacramento River
We stayed the standard two nights in Redding with Barbara and then headed south to stay in the Lime Saddle campground at Oroville SRA. I almost wish we had stayed there three nights because the campground was beautiful, well-equipped, and almost empty. Unfortunately, I didn’t take many pictures the first day and after our first night there we woke up to a thick haze which I assumed at the time was fog and would burn off. It turns out that it is smoke and debris from wildfires, some of which were started by lightning. According to today’s paper it may stick around for the rest of this week or longer. I hope it clears up soon not only to improve the air quality, but I want to see clearly the golden hills around Livermore again!
Angus cooling off at Nelson’s Bar at Lime Saddle. We almost didn’t make it down to the water because the ground was so hot!
Our only real destination near Lime Saddle was Chico, which is a college town and I like it. Item #1 on our to-see list was Shubert’s, where they make ice cream and assorted candies. A passerby seemed to think I was hitting the ice cream a little early, but it was after 11am.
Just around the corner there is a great natural foods store where I even found raw milk. For those of you who are asking what that means, raw milk hasn’t been pasteurized or homogenized, etc. like most milk you find at the grocery store has been. State laws vary regarding milk and in some states it is illegal to sell it. For example, I am pretty sure you can’t get it in Virginia or Maryland. Proponents of raw milk maintain that it is better for you because it contains beneficial enzymes that are destroyed by pasteurization and because it doesn’t contain any harmful additives. Well I sure bought some of that and some spinach, too.
After finding ice to keep my precious milk cool we walked around Shubert’s neighborhood, which is a great combination of shops/restaurants and pretty and unique houses. I checked a Chico newspaper and there seems to be a lot going on there, from dance and fitness classes to political meetings to outdoor volunteer opportunities. I liked it a lot.
I was glad we had the stroller in Chico since Angus was feeling the heat
We reluctantly left Lime Saddle campground and headed toward Sacramento, thinking to explore the old town and the river trail for a day or two; however, the campground where we had reservations was in a sketchy neighborhood and when we tried to find the river trail the awful traffic annoyed me. We stayed there one night only. En route southward the next day we stopped at a vegetarian restaurant so popular there is a line outside at 10:30 in the morning when it opens. It’s called Sunflower Drive-in and is in Fair Oaks. Everyone in front of me ordered a nutburger and I did, too. It’s what they seem to be most famous for. You order at a window and I think they have a few tables inside, but most of their seating is outdoors. I took mine to go and the three of us went to a park around the corner. WOW. It was fantastic and I have already scoured the internet to see if I can score a recipe. No luck. I had a pretty gourmet hamburger in Myer’s Flat a couple weeks ago, but this nutburger blew it away. Toppings are crucial, I have to say. Included with the standard nutburger are romaine lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, and some thousand island-like sauce.
While waiting for my food at Sunflower, I noticed roosters crowing. And that’s no casual effort, I swear they put their heart & soul into cockadoodledooing. Then at the park a few minutes later I noticed a rooster and a couple chickens, then what looked like a sick chicken but I think it was actually an immature rooster. He approached the park from one direction and then from out of nowhere a new rooster came barreling into the park headed for the youth. He chased him in circles for probably a full minute before things settled down briefly. Then another rooster came in from another direction but he would sidle up near the young rooster and then when he was a few feet away run straight for him. What a life. I hope that kid grows up soon.
And to conclude, we are happily back in Livermore after spending early yesterday afternoon at the Jayco dealership in Manteca getting the fridge repaired. I believe we can keep butter now.