Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Welcome to July in Northern California! It's still cold!

Wow...I cannot believe it's July!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written. It seems now that I’ve had time to be in one place for a while (a little over 2 months) I’ve had time to settle into a routine…work, work, work! I’ve been keeping really busy at the campground, also working on consulting projects, and deejaying in my spare time. I haven’t done much exploration lately.

I did find a beautiful place to hike, “Armstrong Woods” which is a gorgeous preserve of old growth redwoods…actually they are ancient trees. There’s another place I hope to get to soon called “Salt Point” which is out on the coast and to the north of here about a half an hour up PCH-1.

I endured my first earthquake a couple of weeks ago. It happened at 2:00 am on a Thursday night/Friday morning. The wind here is fierce, so when the coach started rocking, I though it was a huge wind gust. I found out the next morning that it was a 5.0 quake. Well, now I know the best place for me to be when an earthquake hits…in my coach which is on shocks and suspension! I’m parked in a wide open field, so there are no trees to fall on my “house on wheels”. Thank Heavens!

However, there have been hundreds of fires burning in NorCal for over a week now. Even though the fires are about 2 hours north of here and an hour south and east, the wind was blowing the smoke this way. Now that the wind direction has changed it's much better. The sun finally came out. It's so good to see sunshine and blue skies again! I admit the sunsets have been brilliant, big orange balls that sink into a murky sea. Quite unusual!

It seems most of the fires are now under control, just in time for July 4th, but honestly, I think the locals here need to think twice about selling fireworks…which are sure to be a 100% fire hazard over the upcoming holiday weekend. Everything here is DRY! If a spark catches, holy smokes…everything will go up in smoke, LITERALLY!

I’m enjoying my time here at Casini Ranch Campground. The ranch is very, very rustic. Lots of cows, sometimes horses, lots of geese and ducks. Working here has been quite interesting. Management did a big house cleaning recently and let 5 work campers go. Never a dull moment.

They got rid of the chickens too because they walked in and helped themselves…picked bags of candy right off the hooks…they kept stealing candy from the general store and eating it on the front porch of the store! Too funny!

I do most of my shopping at our general store (which is located right behind my coach) and sometimes I shop at the Safeway which is 15 miles inland. The closest Whole Foods is about 35 miles away. I live in the country! It’s much easier on the gas tank to shop here at the ranch.

The weather in this part of the country is also very interesting. They have micro climates here. I live 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean where it can be very foggy (the coastal layer), damp and windy...just 4 miles inland where I'm located, the fog lifts and the sun comes out around noon. Driving farther east (inland) about 15 minutes from here, the temperature shoots up 10 - 15 degrees, and about 20 miles inland the temps go up another 10 - 15 degrees. Finally, once you get inland into the valley about an hour or so inland, the thermometer gets into the high 90s to low 100s. So the temps go from humid moist high 40s to mid 50s at the coast to the dry arid desert 100s in the valley on the other side of the mountains...it's amazing!

I'm in Sonoma County which is famous for it's world renowned wine…and grapes are planted on practically every available square inch of land. The plants are gorgeous. There are also tons of orchards...everything you can imagine. Back east we plant corn, corn, corn. Here it’s grapes, grapes, grapes.

It's a wonderful, picturesque, magical and very spiritual place to be. I’m glad I’ve taken the time to stay in this spot for a while. It’s starting to grow on me. Hopefully, the temps here along the coast will warm up soon so I can peel off the sweat shirt. I’m not accustomed to the weather being so chilly this far into the summer. It’s weird to me! I just can’t get used to it. One thing I don’t miss is the muggy humidity of the east coast.

But I do miss my friends...very much!

Until next time!

~Barb :-)

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