Well, Smoky Skies is the New Norm, I Guess…

Work finished on Rosie, it was back on the road to visit the kids and grandkids in Kalifornia and get some medical visits out of the way. Our first stop  was in the megalopolis of Sutherlin, OR. We made a return trip to the Escapee park there, the Timber Valley SKP Park for a couple of days. This is a fairly nice park as far as Escapee RV Club parks goes; spacious sites, nice dry-camping sites also available, lots of wild critters to see, and what I call “SKP Reasonable” as far as nightly rates go ($22 per night). I don’t know how I managed to do it but I found my cousin Mike and his wife Cherie, whom we have not seen in over 30 YEARS(!) or so. We got to have a very enjoyable “catch up” visit with them during our stop here.

One of the “residents” of the Timber Valley SKP Park. Thanksgiving is getting pretty close, you better run, little buddy!

Home, at Timber Valley SKP Park.

Some of the boondocks sites at the park.

Jeanne’s brother Dwayne and his wife Shelly have been on “piglet watch” of late, their pet pig Penelope about ready to pop. So our next stop was a 4 day layover at the Red Bluff (CA) Elks Lodge in the hopes we could be there for their “blessed event”. But alas, it was not to be during our stay. We still had nice visits with Jeanne’s brothers, Dwayne and David & families.

Home, at the Red Bluff Elks Lodge.

Red Bluff Elks Lodge

A very pregnant Penelope…

Then there’s Wilbur, taking a pig’s version of a cold shower…

One of Dwayne’s turkens…

Penelope “popped” after we had already left. Here the little ones use her for a pillow.


Our trek continued southbound, our next destination Coarsegold, CA and a visit with Jeanne’s mom Yvonne and her boyfriend, Fred. Fred was generous to allow us to once again mooch-dock at his daughter’s vacation home just across the street from his house. Besides being a nice visit, we managed to turn Yvonne onto the TV series “Suits” (I think it was a USA network series) through Amazon Prime. Now she is addicted… (It is a great show, once you start, it is hard not to binge watch…).

One of Fred’s two turtles.

Yup, October is tarantula time on the local roadways…

Jeanne got a kick out of feeding the turtles.

Then it was back to Atascadero to see our son Chad, wife Crissy and our granddaughters Little Miss Hailey and Little Miss Ellie. We split our time there between the Atascadero Elks Lodge (1 week limit per month) and the Vines RV Resort up north in Paso Robles. As is one of my favorite things (NOT!) about Kalifornia, the prices of everything continue to climb beyond rediculous. Not only the $4 +/- per gallon for diesel fuel ($3.75 +/- per gallon for unleaded), but the Vines RV Resort (a SUN Resorts affiliate) upped their cheap sites to $65 per night and the Atascadero Elks is up to $35 per night for a dirt lot with hookups. And don’t get me started on the prices of groceries!

So the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero puts on a yearly event called “Zoo Boo” at Halloween time. The whole family loaded up and took Hailey and Ellie to see Zoo Boo. Hailey had fun playing the games that were scattered around the zoo for non-edible “treats”.

Jeanne & I with our two “little bugs” at the Zoo Boo.

Welcome to the Charles Paddock Zoo.

Little Miss Ellie Grace was excited…

Some of the resident Lemurs at the zoo…

Little Miss Hailey Marie doing a little ring toss…

Hailey showing off her bowling skills…

And she’s never even heard of Elton John!

Hello, Mr. Anteater.

That’s about a lizard and a half!

Now where was that haunted house?

We got the chance to babysit a few days and take Hailey and Ellie to the new playground just installed at Atascadero Lake Park. We also got some adult time in and visited the Barrel House Brewing Co. and Santa Maria Brewing Co. for snacks and tastings. BHBC has live entertainment in their yard where we got to see a guy named Patrick Contreras wail away on a fiddle (OK, v-i-o-l-i-n) while enjoying the best fish tacos I have ever had from Ruddell’s Smokehouse food truck.

Wheeeeeeeee! Hailey loves the slides!

She also loves the bouncy bounce footbridge.

OK, OK, OK. There’s just about NOTHING Hailey doesn’t like on the playground.

“These twisty slides are ‘da bomb!”

Airborn sisters!

Patrick Contreras on stage at BHBC.

The best fish tacos, ever!

That Contreras kid was some fiddle player…

Welcome, to Santa Maria Brewing Co. in El Paso de Robles, CA.

Sampling the wares at Santa Maria Brewing Co.

The last couple of days we were here turned out to be the beginning of another Kalifornia inferno. The Camp Fire erupted up near Butte County, about 360 miles north of Atascadero. The smoke quickly filled the air as the fire was growing uncontrollably. And if that was not enough, the area of Ventura County to our south also began to burn out of control. These fires raged as we relocated north to Sonoma County for our medical chores and a visit with daughter Jenn, husband Gus, and grandson, Maximus the Gladiator. The smoke filled skies were horrendous, and some news outlets were claiming these skies were the most unhealthy, worldwide. Burning eyes, frequent hacking and sneeze-fests, I believe it! Our home in Sonoma County was the Petaluma Elks Lodge.

Breathe deep!

A typical nightly sunset in Petaluma these days.

While back in this area, we wanted to go by and see the progress on restoration of the Coffey Park area, where our former lifelong home burned down in the big fire of October, 2017. It’s been over a year, but houses are starting to rise from the devastation. 

This is what our former home looked like last October, 2017…

…and this is what it looks like a year later.

We were happy to see our former neighbors almost up and running again.

One of our other former neighbors also almost up and running…

This used to be wall to wall houses.

In between visits and medical appointments, we again found adult time to visit a couple of the local breweries, Russian River Brewing Co. (Windsor) and Henhouse Brewing (Petaluma). Russian River built a huge brewery in Windsor.

Welcome to Russian River Brewery

Now THAT’S what you call a flight!

RRBC has a pretty big new campus in Windsor, CA.

Inside Henhouse Brewing.

Not too bad as IPA’s & double IPA’s go, the porter was not spectacular. Hollow Earth was worth the effort…

Their still building on the Henhouse Brewing Co. in Petaluma.

Well, that about catches us up to the present. Stay tuned, until the next post…

About rvrrat520

Recreational wanderers just livin' the dream while we can still get vertical.
This entry was posted in Atascadero, California, Oregon, Santa Rosa, CA and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Well, Smoky Skies is the New Norm, I Guess…

  1. Tami Soler says:

    I enjoyed reading your post. As of Saturday, 11/10 we moved into our rebuilt home. We are very happy with the design of our new home. Please feel free to stop by for a visit while you are in town.

Leave a Reply