Saturday, July 28, 2018

Whiskeytown Lake – Carr Fire

At Sister’s House in Citrus Heights, CA

Whiskeytown Lake, Carr Fire, Redding, July 23, 2018 in Redding Record Searchlight

On Monday, July 23rd, a fire broke out at the Carr Powerhouse along highway 299 near Whiskeytown Lake, west of Redding California.  (NOTE: Judge Francis C. Carr (1875-1944) and his descendants played a prominent role in the development of the federal Central Valley Project, including Shasta Dam, and the creation of the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.  The powerhouse was named after him.)  Above is a picture which ran Monday in the Redding Record Searchlight of the fire…and as you can see, there was a sailboat out in the lake just enjoying the day.  Monday night and Tuesday morning the fire was listed as being 2,500 acres, and 5-15% contained.

Whiskeytown Lake, June 13, 2018  Whiskeytown Lake, June 13, 2018

Above is what it looked like as we passed through the area on June 13th…such a pretty lake, and pretty area.

Whiskeytown Lake, Carr Fire, Redding, July 25, 2018 in Redding Record Searchlight

By Wednesday night the fire had more than tripled, and this is one of the last “good” pictures of Whiskeytown lake, again found in the Redding Record Searchlight

Whiskeytown Lake, Carr Fire, Redding, July 28, 2018 on Google Images     Whiskeytown Lake, Carr Fire, Redding, July 28, 2018 on Google Images

Today many news organizations are running pictures like these two above…Whiskeytown Lake has been devastated, the fire has reached Redding 14 miles to the east, and the fire, as of Saturday night, is listed at over 80,000 acres, there have been 5 deaths, and over 500 structures have been destroyed, with nearly 5,000 more being threatened, and over 30,000 people have been evacuated from Redding and the surrounding area. 

Fire Tornado, Carr Fire, Redding, July 27, 2018 by KPIX

With temperatures hitting 110, and winds blowing through the area, and with the fire itself creating its own tornado-like winds (as shown in this picture from a video on KPIX Channel 5)…this whole situation is out of hand.

Huntley Park, August 22, 2017, solar eclipse and smoke from Chetco Bar Fire

Last year, the Chetco Bar Fire in Oregon (picture above taken on morning of solar eclipse shows the smoky affect in the area), which was caused by lightening, was allowed to burn for weeks, just a small little fire on July 12th, which grew into a 191,125 acre fire.  For weeks the forest service did little to try and put it out.  July 20th it was at 300 acres. August 2nd, up to 2,900 acres.  August 19th, it was over 22,000 acres, and by August 24th it was over 102,000 acres.  We learned of the fire while camping at Huntley Park around the 10th, and by the 22nd we evacuated the area and headed back to Sacramento.  Had they attacked the Chetco Bar Fire like they did the Lobster Creek Fire this year, no one would have even known of the Chetco Bar Fire.  Up in Redding, they did attack this fire, perhaps they could have been more aggressive at it, perhaps we need to be better prepared for something like this…but it is totally out of hand…and it isn’t going to be over for a long time.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the folks in and around Redding California, especially to those heroes that gave all, and to those who lost love ones.  Like Santa Rosa last year, it is going to be a long, hard fight to not only put out the fire, but to recovery from this terrible disaster.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Casini Ranch Family Campground

At Casini Ranch Family Campground, Duncans Mills, CA

Casini Ranch Family Campground

We felt lucky to have found the Casini Ranch Family Campground, in Duncans Mills, to stay at for the wedding…it could not have been any more convenient.  The park is what is says, a “FAMILY CAMPGROUND”.  I have never seen so many kids in campground before!  And because of all the kids, EVERYONE obeys the 7 mph speed limit, that is for sure…or kids would be run over.

Casini Ranch Family Campground     Casini Ranch Family Campground

This is the first campground where I think the tents outnumbered the RVs over the weekend.  LOTS and LOTS of tents.  By today (Monday) the RVs outnumber the tents…and the park is only 40% full…waiting for another Friday to show up with a crowd of people.  We have an electric and water site, and for our four night stay it ran us around $230…which included a $2 per day per pet fee, and 50% discount for Sunday and Monday nights due to Passport America.  Now that is like nearly 3 weeks of staying up at Huntley Park…and there we did not have to deal with the kids…did I mention there are LOTS of kids here?

Stephanie and Ryan saying goodbye -- Micahel and Anna's wedding

But we were here for family reasons…it was a great wedding, great to see the kids all together again, and always hard to say goodbye…as Stephanie and Ryan are doing in the picture above.

Day after Wedding festivities along Russian River -- Micahel and Anna's wedding
Day after Wedding festivities along Russian River -- Micahel and Anna's wedding     Day after Wedding festivities along Russian River -- Micahel and Anna's wedding

Those who stayed over for Saturday night were down at the River Sunday.  Marcia stayed at the motorhome since walking on the rocks was not going to happen for her…and I went down there just long enough to have a very slight sunburn on my forehead, and to enjoy the company of family.  Got back to the Campground and found it to be less crowded, much quieter, and time for us to just sit back and rest up for the trip back to Sacramento on Tuesday.

A longtime blog follower, Kim and her husband Chuck came by this evening to meet us.  They too have a Dynamax Isata, but theirs is a newer, longer, diesel version where the front end looks more like a truck where ours looks more like a van.  Anyway, they live over in Occidental,  just past where the wedding was held, and both work in Santa Rosa. It was sure nice meeting them, and Kim that jerky you gave us is fantastic!  Thank you so very much...

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Wedding Day – Michael and Anna

At Casini Ranch Family Campground, Duncans Mills, CA

Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018

Michael and Anna were married in a ceremony which was very much theirs, not a traditional ceremony which many have because that is the way it is suppose to be.  No, it wasn’t so nontraditional that it was from a distance…this picture above was taken by me as their photographer was taking wedding pictures before the ceremony…not after the ceremony like many do.

Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018

When Marcia and I arrived at 2:45 for the 3:30 ceremony…not knowing exactly how Marcia was going to be able to maneuver the facilities it was being held at (GoGo or walk type of issues—ended up being able to just walk, which was good), I was pleasantly surprised that Michael and Anna were down in the woods getting pictures taken…and I was able to get a few too from above without interfering with the two professional photographers they hired for their pictures.

Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018

Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018The ceremony and reception was held at this community building which is part of Camp Meeker, which is an unincorporated community in Sonoma County located on the Bohemian Highway, population of 425 people.  Eighty chairs were set up, tables for food and beverages were set up, and everything was ready for the folks who were there to witness and celebrate this wonderful event.  With little parking, they had rented the services of a bus to bring folks to the wedding from the lodge where many were staying about 6 miles away. 

Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018

Inside the building tables were set up with no chairs…after the ceremony, people were asked to take a chair or two into the room, and it became a nice cozy area for folks to gather and eat.

Anna and Guitar Player and friend, Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018

Everything went off without a hitch…except for the bus being late.  Scheduled to arrive at 3:20, with a ceremony time of 3:30…the bus arrived around 3:50.  No problem, the setting and atmosphere made time pass as people visited, and the single acoustic guitar player gently strummed away adding to the atmosphere...and we took advantage of the time for some pictures.

Ryan, Kaelyn, mother, aunt and uncle -- Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018     Michael, Stephanie, Kaelyn -- Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018
Ryan, Kaelyn, , aunts and step-father -- Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018 

Above pictures include brother, sister, aunts and uncles, and mother and step-father of the groom.

Michael, Officient, Anna -- Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018

As we waited, why not get a few pictures of the groom, bride and the officiant.

Bouquet -- Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018

What a lovely bouquet of that Anna held for the wedding ceremony…(the officiant held it for Marcia to get a nice picture.)

Michael with brother Ryan and Sister Stephanie  -- Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018

My three kids…blue seemed to be the color of the day.

Ryan and Kaelyn  -- Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018

Are they next???  Only time will tell…Kaelyn and Ryan make a wonderful couple…(hint hint)  Winking smile

Waiting of crowd to arrive  -- Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018    Waiting of crowd to arrive  -- Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018

Finally the bus arrives, the seats will be full…the service, which lasted about 6 minutes took place.  Now I had a choice…take pictures of the ceremony, or take a video of the ceremony…I chose the latter, so that mom and dad, who just could not physically endure the trip to the wedding, could view it from the comfort of their reclining chairs. Not going to post the video, but we did get some pictures as the professionals were taking family group pictures.

Michael, Anna, Anna's mom Ruth -- Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018  Michael, Anna, Michael's mom Shelley with brother Ryan and Sister Stephanie -- Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018
Michael, Anna, Michael's dad Dave (me)  -- Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018

Yes, that is about as “dressed up” as this old guy will get anymore, at least I guessed the color of the day!  Casual dress wedding means casual to me.  And I was not the only one dressed so casual…

Michael with sister Stephanie and brother Ryan with Anna looking on -- Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018

And I love this picture because Anna shows that even casual weddings take a lot out of the bride…as she steps aside for a 5 second break so that they could get a picture of Michael and Stephanie and Ryan…

Michael's mother's side of the family -- Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018   Anna's mother's side of the family -- Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018

On the left, Michael’s mother’s side of the family…on the right, Anna’s mother’s side of the family.

Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018

Michael and Anna wrote their own vows, they were very heartfelt, humorous, and both included the following statement which is very thought provoking…

Michael and Anna, Wedding Day, Camp Meeker California, July 21, 2018

“ . . . it is a long, long time to be gone, a short time to be here, and I am so happy to be here with you . . . "

Friday, July 20, 2018

Pre-Wedding Festivities

At Casini Ranch Family Campground, Duncans Mills, CA

Micahel and Anna, pre-wedding BBQ, Rio Cafe Take 2, Monte Rio, CA

Michael met Anna at Cal Berkley where both of them were getting their Masters in Public Policy.  Anna was about a year ahead of Michael…the story goes that she was a Teacher’s Assistant, and gave Michael a “B” on an important paper/project that he had done…it was love ever after.  Now, they both live in Sacramento, he works at the State Capital, she at the State Water Resources (or something similar to that).  They bought a house this past January.  Prior to this he worked for the City of San Francisco, she at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.  Buying a home in the San Francisco Bay Area, especially in an area they would want to live in, was just not going to happen…hence, the move to Sacramento.  Anna got her job nearly two years ago, Michael just over a year.

Micahel and Anna, pre-wedding BBQ, Rio Cafe Take 2, Monte Rio, CA

They are having a very casual, simple wedding.  No maid of honor, no best man…they hosted this BBQ dinner Friday before tomorrow’s wedding, which will be in a Redwood Grove in Camp Meeker.  Tonight’s BBQ was held at the Rio Cafe Take 2 in Monte Rio, about a mile down from the Lodge most of the family are staying at, and 3 miles from the Campground, Casini Ranch Family Campground, where Marcia and I are staying at, and six miles from Camp Meeker.

Micahel and Anna, pre-wedding BBQ, Rio Cafe Take 2, Monte Rio, CA

Above I captured this picture of my son Ryan (far left) and his girlfriend Kaelyn (bending down), my daughter Stephanie (back to camera), their mother Shelley and her husband Bryan.

Micahel and Anna, pre-wedding BBQ, Rio Cafe Take 2, Monte Rio, CA

Here is a better picture of Kaelyn and Ryan…today was the first time I met Kaelyn, she is a very likeable person.  Both of them are in Chiropractic College, Ryan in Kansas City, Kaelyn in St. Louis.  Both should graduate next year, he in April, she in August.

Micahel and Anna, pre-wedding BBQ, Rio Cafe Take 2, Monte Rio, CA

To the far right in this picture is Anna’s mother Ruth.  Ruth is an American Classics scholar, a Professor of Greek and Latin at the University of Michigan.  The other two are longtime friends of the family.

Micahel and Anna, pre-wedding BBQ, Rio Cafe Take 2, Monte Rio, CA

The gal to the far right at the table above is Anna’s cousin, and her mother, dark glasses, is Anna’s aunt.  She also had two uncles and aunts who came, one pair flying in from France where they have lived for 13 years now.

Micahel and Anna, pre-wedding BBQ, Rio Cafe Take 2, Monte Rio, CA

Tomorrow is ‘their’ day…about 45 people showed up tonight, and probably 70-80 will be showing up tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Bear River Casino for a ‘One-Night’ Stop

At Bear River Casino near Fortuna, California

Bear River Casino blacktop camping, near Fortuna, Ca

Last year we stayed at the Bear River Casino for two or three nights.  All it takes it a FREE Bear River Casino Club Card, and then registering at the valet office, which seems to double as an outside security patrol’s office too.  Since I had the card, it only took a few minutes, and they give you a paper to put up on your window.  We are parked in the same location we parked last year…only this year the entire parking lot is being repaved…and they did the upper area, where RVs and large Trucks are suppose to park, first.

Bear River Casino blacktop camping, near Fortuna, Ca

We were the third RV to arrive, now there are five…far fewer than the eleven we had last year, but it is only 8 pm, so there is still time.

Bear River Casino blacktop camping, near Fortuna, Ca

It has been very sunny up until 7 pm…I took this shot just after putting the solar away, back under the bed where we store it when it won’t be used for a long time.  I figure it will be there for a month or more.  Tomorrow we will be in the Ukiah Fairgrounds, $37 with electric, water, and if we are lucky, sewer…if not, then use of the dump station.  Friday we arrive in the Occidental area where my son Michael and wife to be Anna will be married on Saturday…we will be there through Monday night, and arrive back in Sacramento on Tuesday.

Highway 101 south of Crescent City   Highway 101 south of Crescent City

The 100 mile ride from Crescent City changed from sun to ocean mist over and over again.  Every view of the Ocean looked like….

Pacific Ocean along highway 101 south of Crescent City

…this…misty, clouds, fog combination.  The drive is full of 30 mph to 55 mph (65 if you are not towing), and there were three construction spots which required us to stop, although one started up just as we arrived.  Traffic was light to moderate, and surprising, only a handful of bicyclist today.  With all the ups, downs, turns…one had to stay alert, so it is not an easy drive, glad it was only 100 miles today. 

Trees at Bear River Casino near Fortuna

Tomorrow will be closer to 150 miles…right through some very tall Redwoods.  Won’t see very much of the ocean anymore, sure like the looks of these trees along the coast, sculptured by the Ocean winds.