From Dreaming to SAILING!

For a couple of years now,I’ve been sailing around the world…..from my couch!  I’ve been obsessed with a few YouTuber channels called Sailing LaVagabonde, SV Delos, Gone with the Wynns, among a few others have taught me all sorts of sailing jargon and terminology not to mention I get to visit places I’d probably never see in my life (in person).

I can tell you what “taking a reef” means… or What a Spinnaker is… or the difference between a Ketch and a Sloop and a slew of other random sailing facts.. but I’ve NEVER stepped foot onto a sail boat – EVER – in my whole entire life until last weekend!

I was nervous , excited, afraid I would puke (drugs worked) and I waited for two whole months for this day to arrive! Would I do it again??? HELL YES!  So, here we go on my first sail from Richmond CA to Angel Island and around the San Francisco Bay thanks to “Captain Ed” who graciously took a group of six out for a glorious day on the bay!

AHOY!

 

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Mt. Judah & Donner Peak! WOW!!!!

This wonderful trail in the Northern California Sierra, with abundant spectacular views is a must-do if you traverse around Donner Summit. The trail starts on the PCT just down the road from Donner Ski Ranch. You then take the Mount Judah loop trail from the PCT. Don’t forget to hike up to the summit of Donner Peak while on your way around and look out the “window” onto Donner Lake! WOW!

 

Let’s take a Walk Back in Time!

Bridgeport in Nevada County California is a hidden gem of Northern California!  If you are into gold rush history, you are gonna LOVE this place! Just up Hwy 20 near Penn Valley, you can make a day of meandering the hills on the various hiking trails, looking at the cool historical exhibits, swim in the river and have a nice family outing!

It just costs $5.00 to park! What a deal!

And the best part is the awesome covered bridge that is the largest standing covered bridge in the world!

We Met our Strange and COOL Neighbors today!

We live right next to Beale Air Force Base! Our property is just outside the back gate!  Living next to an Air Force base can be weird at times. We hear all types of strange announcements over the loud speaker, weird sirens, and see odd planes coming and going.  There is also a gigantic over-the-horizon radar structure that we immediately get asked about by friends who come over for the first time. The radar was built in the Cold War to give early warning of a nuclear attack.  I guess that’s a good thing? When we first moved in 18 years ago, we couldn’t use our VCR or analog answer machine without hearing pops and static over our movies and messages because of this radar!! Thank goodness we are all digital now! However, it still interferes with some of my recording equipment and camera microphone on certain days.

The military has its secret,s and when they are your immediate neighbor, it spurs your imagination and sometimes paranoia. I can’t just go walking up to their door and say “howdy neighbor what’s going on here” without a large – fully automatic rifle pointed at me!  I better have good reason to be there!

A few years back, there were 5 large planes from the base that circled our neighborhood at about 2000 feet for several hours every night!  These planes carried a crew of six and were outfitted with equipment to listen in on phone conversations.  We were told they were just training and not really listening to us..  hmmm…….

Our neighbor also has the U2 Spy plane that takes off like a rocket daily, flying to foreign lands to see what’s going on.  The U2 can go check out the happenings in the middle east and be home by dinner!  When it takes off, we can hear it climbing to its 70 thousand foot cruising altitude for a good 15 minutes!  The pilot has to wear a space suit! Oh and our neighbors have a really REALLY cool drone called the Global Hawk!

Today our mysterious neighbors invited the public to enter this secret-mysterious land and treated us to an airshow free of charge!

With the Sutter Buttes as a backdrop, the show was pretty spectacular! If you are into airplanes, you are gonna LOVE this video!

 

 

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A Spring Flight Hunting for Wildflowers!

Spring is HERE and the wildflowers are off the charts! One of the best shows for wildflowers in Northern California is Table Mountain just outside of Oroville CA. It’s amazing and a must see! The hike is very easy. The window of opportunity to see the flowers and waterfalls is pretty short. As soon as it stops raining and the temps rise, the flowers die and the streams dry up.

We also get a good look at the re-constructed spillway at Oroville Dam

Here is the link to Table Mountain: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/pla…

My Back Yard – Wildflower Wonderland

Spring is here and the window of opportunity to see wildflowers in the Sierra Foothills is very short. Once the temps start to rise, the wild grasses will quickly die along with the flowers. In just a short time, the land becomes fuel for wildland fires.

The area Rebel and I trekked yesterday is literally in my back yard (just down the road a couple of miles) complete with waterfalls, raging creeks and  wild flowers galore. It’s a feast for the eyes.  If you want to see this show, you better hurry, it won’t last long!

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YOSEMITE! A Winter Spectacular! WOW

Alex and I have been going to Yosemite for many years during the fall. The crowds are gone, the colors are amazing and we can camp right in the Valley  with pretty much last minute reservations!   We have NEVER been there in the Winter.

So this time, Alex (my hard working husband) treated us to a room at the Yosemite Falls Hotel for two nights in the Valley… a little pricey, but way worth it in the Winter.

Chains were required unless you have 4 wheel drive with snow tires.

And Yosemite didn’t disappoint!  We got a show of epic proportions!   I wish we could have stayed longer, but at 288.00 a night, well, yeah… you get the picture.

 

OH And make this video FULL SCREEN!  You need to see this BIG!

A Train, Cool Cars and a Spooky Bowling Alley!

On February 5, 1994, I married my best friend and for our honeymoon we took Amtrak to Truckee and rented a house in North Lake Tahoe for a few days of skiing. It was a big snow year in 1994. We decided that after 24 years, it was time to take that trip again.

This time we took some very good friends and rode all the way to Reno. If you’ve never done this trip you are missing out! The Sacramento Railroad Museum has volunteers that ride the train from Sacramento to Reno and give commentary on all of the places we traveling through as well as very interesting railroad history over the Sierra.

This year the snow levels are pretty low so we didn’t get the epic white that we saw in 1994. But the ride was still a lot of fun, and the lunch and Bloody Marys were delicious!

Also, when in Reno, stop in and see the Car museum and stumble upon the biggest bowling alley I’ve ever seen and we were the only ones there!

I also came back 60.00 richer from playing a few slot machines! 🙂