Posted May 29, 2018 – Narrated by Carmen
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When setting out on this adventure with Beauty and The Beast, we entered into a mystery.
Along the way, we’ve acquired an atavistic entourage – a mix of signs, perceptions, memories – who manifest within us a deep sense of ancestral and divine protection.
While wilderness hiking or stargazing, the subtle murmurings of nature inform us and we listen carefully to learn if we should stay or go and what to do.
These messages from othery, out-there sources can be shrill in those precious minutes before a deer steps onto the highway or a hail storm descends – and, soothing when wind and rain pummel the rig like a toy as we drive through a sandstorm or outrun a hurricane or tornado.
As citizens of the planet we’re proud to, finally, be able to look to the sky and trust our instincts. And, be it maturity or a life-stage thing, we’re connecting with like-minded others.
In Florida, we met a couple – about our age – who lost their first house to the Northridge earthquake and their last house to a recent wildfire and now they’re happy RV residents of the “Same House, Different Paradise” community – what Jim and I call, Living In Beauty.
Due to our long-term savings plan, having better health than we expected, and our great investment advisor, Jeffrey Dunham at Dunham & Associates, we’ll soon enter our third year of a location independent retirement as seasonal exploiters of the most beautiful places in America.
A pilgrimage without a destination, a party that never ends. Here we go again! Our third exodus from San Diego.
We’re on our way to Salem, Oregon for Airstream’s Wally Byam Caravan Club International Rally, where we are presenters on the topic of traveling full-time in an Airstream.
So much has happened since we pulled out of San Diego four weeks ago!
Agua Dulce Winery
Leaving Chula Vista, we took I-15 to I-215 North to Highway 138 and then took the 14 to Agua Dulce Winery in Santa Clarita where we had an excellent wine tasting and retired for the night in their parking lot with wine, crackers, cheese – all the comforts following a long day on the road.
Stacked Stone Cellars
The next morning we drove 200 miles north on I-5 to Highway 46 and the idyllic countryside vineyard and ranch at Stacked Stone Cellars where we spent several lovely days enjoying their top-notch Zinfindel, making mayonnaise from fresh yard eggs, bottling homebrew and learning Paso Robles history from Don, our illustrious host.
Rio Seco Vineyard and Winery
After four nights at Stacked Stone, we moved eight miles down the road to Rio Seco Vineyard and Winery where the Hinkle family (Tom Hinkle, a baseball scout for 28 years) hosted us for an overnight stay in their scenic vineyard and olive orchard. How lovely to share a happy hour and take a “bus tour” with Mike and Erin from Free Roaming Bus.
Tobin James Cellars
After a morning walk through the beautiful Rio Seco vineyard and orchard, we moved a mile or two down the road to Tobin James Cellars – our host for two fabulous nights where we stocked up on Chardonnay and Petite Syrah.
Cava Robles RV Resort
The big surprise in Paso Robles was Sun Community’s new RV resort Cava Robles which had just opened for business. They were calling it a soft-opening because the resort is still under construction. It’s a rare thing to see a resort of this caliber before guests arrive…
…and it was a little eerie to be among the first campers and having the place to ourselves for two days! We love Paso Robles and Cava Robles will be our first choice when we return.
Jessie’s Grove Winery
It’s always difficult to leave Paso … but we moved north to Jessie’s Grove Winery, a family winery in Lodi famous for old Zinfandel vines and great wines.
Vinnie’s Northbay Airstream Repair
Leaving Lodi, our minds were racing with details about a major project in Wilton. Vinnie Lamica at Vinnie’s Northbay Airstream Repair had cleared a week for servicing Beauty. For our journey to Canada, we wanted more solar power and battery storage, and a nice warm cork floor. Vinnie also serviced our wheels and tires and gave us some valuable road safety advice on how to stay hitched in the event of an accident.
Vinnie has the best digs in Wilton. My, how his new Airstream campground is growing up!
From Vinnie’s, we drove 28 miles to Julietta Winery – and arrived just in time for a party celebrating the release of their 2015 Petite Syrah. After a Sunday potluck with members of the wine club, we were shown a beautiful spot in the rose garden to park for the night.
Roseville and Sacramento
We couldn’t leave the Sacramento area without visiting our good friends Marsha and Dale at the Roseville Church of Christ …
… and Jim’s colleagues at the California Medical Association – all who actually follow our blog. Thanks! (Sorry Lance, we didn’t get a photo of you)
And a walk through Old Sacramento
Six Sigma Ranch and Winery
The next morning we pulled out of the church parking lot for a breathtaking 125-mile drive (I-5 to Highway 20, 53 and 29) to Six Sigma Ranch and Winery.
We camped in a valley beneath a giant oak beside a stream where enchanting birdsong ruled the day and frogs serenaded the stars at night. We spent a couple of days there hiking the trails and roads and taking in the sweet fragrance of buckeye in full bloom.
Six Sigma was an ideal setting to test our new beefed-up solar. So Carmen blow dried her hair … and then she blow-dried Pico’s hair …
….while we roasted a ranch-raised pot roast in our Instant Pot and paired it with the 2014 Diamond Mine Cuvée.
Okay, that’s a bit decadent for camp food but, hey, ya gotta eat!
Cheers! And happy travels!