Due to a lack of internet and time, I wasn't able to update from the road for the last couple of days, so this one may be a bit long. We're happily home now, but I wanted to complete the blog with our last couple of days.
We left Arcata on Wednesday, heading east up the 299 towards Lake Trinity. I had never been up this way, having always come to the lake via I-5 and Redding. What a beautiful way to go. The two-lane road climbs up out of Arcata through coastal forests and passes through several summits that are around 2500ft. Each summit offered a commanding view of the valleys below. The last summit set us down in the Trinity River valley, and the highway followed the gentle curves of the river for the next 30 or so miles. We began to climb up the steep grade toward Whiskeytown in the 100 degree heat. The truck protested the climb a bit via the temp gauge, but never got high enough to consider doing something about it. It peaked at about 235 degrees, and the transmission temp peaked at 241 degrees. Without an auxiliary trans cooler, this climb might have been trouble. As we crested the last hill and started to descend towards the lake, I began to get excited, and suggested to Gabby that she should start to look for the lake through the trees. I had a bit of an unfair advantage, having been here before, and pointed out the lake as soon as it came in to view. I was shocked to see how low the lake was this year! According to the folks at the dock, this is the lowest the lake has been since 1978. Three drought years in a row will do that I suppose. Hopefully El Nino will work its magic this year. We camped at the Minersville campground, which was deserted except for a couple of motorcycle campers. Oh, and again we saw hippies. This time they came by Volkswagen van. I'm sure I heard a guitar and drums coming from their direction. Our travels had taken their toll on my poor pregnant wife by this point, and she ended up taking a long nap after we arrived at the camp site. Gabby and I took the opportunity to go exploring around the lake shore. I answered more questions in an hour than I probably ever have. Truthfully we were all pretty tired and so after a light dinner, we turned in early.
The next day we rented a ski boat (I believe it was the same boat my parents rented 10 years ago), and spent the day cruising the lake. For the Trinity houseboat crew - we headed up to Hay Gulch, and tried to go to the spot where we usually beach the houseboats, but we couldn't! The lake was so low, that it was impossible to get back to that spot! We spent most of the day floating in the middle of the lake and swimming. The water was about 80 degrees and the air about 95. We only saw two other boats the whole day and the water was pretty much glass the whole time. Even though we only spent a day on the lake, it was still awesome. We headed back to camp and had a great evening BBQing chicken. Gabby and I walked the lake shore again, but this time we took mommy with us!
Friday morning we woke up early to head out for Sacramento to visit my cousins there. We had planned to tour the capitol, but received some good intel from my aunt and cousin about the tea party tax protests that were to be held that day. As much as I wanted to join the crowd, I figured parking a trailer would be a challenge. So we headed over to my cousin Brian's house where he welcomed us with his keg of Blue Moon! Since it was 100+ degrees outside, I gladly accepted a pint or three. Brian's wife Shellie joined us, and we spent a great afternoon catching up. Later that evening, we were joined by my cousin Megan and her husband Bill, along with their kids, including the new twins! Aunt Kathy joined us as well and Brian grilled up some great BBQ Chicken. It was really a great way to spend the last night of our trip! Aunt Kathy had us over for an excellent breakfast the following morning, and it was a great sendoff. We had toyed around with a stopover in San Luis, but we were all pretty anxious to get home at this point. We settled for an excellent lunch stop at Harris Ranch. I had a tri-tip sandwich with a blackberry cheesecake milkshake. I was making the most of my last day of vacation! Gabby and I both though that it was pretty much the best thing we had ever had!
Well folks, that's pretty much it for my account of our roadtrip. Thank you all for following along, I hope it was enjoyable to read about! I would definitely do something like this again, although I'd love to bring others along next time. To check out the complete photo album from the trip, go to http://picasaweb.google.com/nsgrillo/CampingTrip809#
Love you all,
Nic, Alison and Gabby
Some metrics from the trip:
Total Miles: 1728
Average Fuel Economy: 8.2 mpg
Total Fuel Used: 211.8 gal
Hottest Temp encountered: 104
Coolest Temp encountered: 51
Last Week in Review–June 20th, 2017
2 days ago