Sunday, May 26, 2019

The Drive From Hell Takes Us to a Heavenly Visit

May 3-6, 2019
Lakeport, California

While in Bodega Bay with our friends, they shared with us their experience on a nasty, narrow, winding road with their 5th-wheel on the way to Yosemite. Didn't sound like anything I'd ever want to do!

And yet......

Friday morning we head north on Hwy 101 from Santa Rosa, on our way to the little town of Lakeport, California. No matter which route you go, you have to get over the mountains. Our two GPS's disagree on the best choice so I opt to follow the one that's programmed with our rig sizes. 

And yet......

Hwy 29 is challenging, but fun to drive with no other traffic. Don't need to do it again, but it's not that bad. Then we turn north on Hwy 175 and we're on the road from hell. So steep that I'm pulling the curves in second gear at 25 mph. So narrow that I can only avoid the sharp drops on the right by driving on the center line. So winding that I'm getting an upper body workout!

Of course we eventually make it to the other side, and hop on a decent road that takes us to Konocti Vista Casino RV Park. We set up in a parking lot with small sites that require everyone to use the site next to them for their tow vehicle. Fortunately it's not crowded and this isn't a problem. I'm just glad to be done driving - maybe forever :-)))

We make our way to the little lake house of our sister-in-law, Wayne's widow, Marilynn. Her daughter Jenna is here as well and we have a lovely visit and make plans for the next couple days. The look on their faces when I tell them we took Hwy 175 confirms it's not a road anyone should ever take an RV!

Saturday morning they meet us near our park and we enjoy a day touring the beautiful countryside of Lake County and Clear Lake.


Boathouse Winery

Bill and Marilynn
We enjoy their beautiful vintage boat collection.
The boardwalk is a nice way to see this side of the lake.

The weather is warm for so early in the season.


The lake is still very full, we enjoy the gentle lapping of the water among the trees.

A stop at the historic Tallman Hotel in Upper Lake, California.


I love the Elk sconces and the subtle murals.

Simple drawing room.

It's a cute little town.
Sunday we sleep in and then head back to the lake house for delicious BBQ and more visiting. We watch two movies - including the 2018 film The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot starring Sam Elliott. Yes, it's as bad as it sounds, but we just had to check it out :-)))

We're grateful to have this time to catch up with these wonderful women, in this heavenly place.


Marilynn and Jenna


Clear Lake is the largest natural lake in California, and at 480,000 year old, the oldest lake in North America.



Going north we will not be repeating our previous route - turns out there is a "normal" highway over the mountain going north. Yaaaay!



18 comments:

  1. We took the time to visit the Clear Lake area a few years ago. No family there but certainly did feel the welcome of a few winery tasting rooms. It is a beautiful natural lake, did not know it was also the oldest.

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    1. With the lake full and the hills still green, it was especially pretty this time. And all the new wineries have really cleaned up a lot of the area.

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  2. My best friend, Barbara LaForge lived and died in Lake County. I cherish my one visit there.

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    1. She was fortunate to be in such a beautiful area of California.

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  3. What a gorgeous area, Jodee! That winery is right up my alley...love those boats. Very cool about Clear Lake.

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    1. You would have loved those vintage boats - and they were all in perfect condition.

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  4. Replies
    1. Believe me I was whining the whole damn way!

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  5. An upper body workout driving the winding road, LOL!! We've driven past Clear Lake many times on our way to Wilbur Hot Springs, our favorite hot spring in northern California. But only in a car!

    What a gorgeous spot. I'd love to see the Tallman Hotel. And that vintage boat collection at the winery is fabulous!

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    1. This was the first time we've really toured the area rather than just visiting at the lake house - it's a really beautiful place!

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  6. That road sounds like it was really scary. Glad you made it to your destination. The lake it gorgeous especially the last picture. Reminds me of the Tree of Life. Safe journeys!

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    1. I'm just glad we didn't have any traffic coming toward us! Those old growth oaks are truly magical, and there are so many of them around the lake.

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  7. Beautiful! A summer on the Pacific coast is so special!

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    1. We're excited, and hoping this lovely weather continues!

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  8. Gee, I don't understand why you didn't take photos of your fun mountain drive!! So glad I wasn't along and that you made it! Clear Lake is beautiful. Sweet that you could visit family.

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    1. LOL! Any photos probably wouldn't have captured the true "excitement" of the road :-)

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  9. We also drove that road from hell. Need I say more? The lake looks great.

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    1. Oh man! We should get badges for that drive!!

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