Author Archives: Tim Viall

Tim Viall

Viall is a local travel writer who retired in 2012 after 10 years as executive director of Stockton, CA’s, Emergency Food Bank and six years with the Downtown Stockton Alliance. Previously, a 21-year career in daily newspapers helped shape his writing style. Tim’s interests include bicycling, skiing (37 years as a National Ski Patroller), traveling and three grandkids (all growing fast). Tim and spouse Susan travel extensively with a classic Scotty travel trailer; they specialize in frugal travel and “traveling light” in the United States and Canada! Check out his blog for travel inspiration!

Our national parks in dead of winter; a once-in-a-lifetime must-do!

Old Faithful Geyser thunders into a winter sky at dusk; with three visitors to watch and one lone coyote.

Trumpeter Swans in Yellowstone’s Firehole River near Old Faithful area. Buffalo and calf, Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Park. Lake McDonald Lodge, closed in winter, marks end of the Going to Sun Highway. Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, taken from Going to the Sun Highway. Spend the night in a caboose at the Issac Walton [...]

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California coastal touring in fall, winter; Big Sur to Morro Bay!

Bixby Bridge, circa 1932, is a fixture on the scenic Big Sur Coast.

McWay Cove in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is highly photographed. Ragged Point Resort in Big Sur offers beautiful gardens. Hearst Castle’s Casa Grande mansion is quite the place. Sunsets are often spectacular at Morro Bay! Horseback riders enjoy a sunny afternoon with Morro Rock and Bay in background. Take a California coastal tour this [...]

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Touring the “Mile-High City” of Denver and central Colorado

Denver's popular 16th Street Mall is lined with shops, restaurants and brew pubs!

Author, under the Rocky Mountain High Dispensary sign (Colorado an early state to allow recreational marijuana sales) The Blue Bear, a true photo op, at Denver’s Colorado Convention Center (photo courtesy of Visit Denver). The archway to the lovely and historic downtown of Golden, in foothills of Rockies above Denver, a gold rush town and [...]

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Best road trips for Fall color in Northern California and the Central Sierra

Aspens turn bright yellow, dusted by light snow, near Ebbett's Pass on Hwy. 4.

Sierra mountainside is alive with yellows and oranges, off Hwy. 88. Ironstone Vineyards, just above Murphys, offer yellows, ochres and reds during the fall. Aspens turn bright yellow, dusted by light snow, near Ebbett’s Pass on Hwy. 4. Oranges and reds dot this Sierra mountainside near Tuolumne Pass. Plan a road trip for best Fall [...]

Posted in Central California, Northern California, Sierra Nevada, Stockton/San Joaquin County | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Visit Rocky Mountain National Park, as fall moves into winter…

Majestic bull elk monitors his herd of about 25, just off Hwy. 36 in the park.

Rockies to the northwest, looking from the Many Parks Curve area on Hwy. 36. Hikers set off on snowy trail into Hidden Valley in the park. Rockies to southwest of the park show snow descending at elevations above 9,000 feet. A splash of color remains at lower elevations of the park as winter approaches. Find [...]

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Shenandoah Valley wineries, gold rush history make Sierra foothills the place to visit!

View of Shenandoah Valley vineyards from Karmere Winery.

Our out-of-town guests Janet and Patricia sample wines at Karmere Winery’s tasting room, done in French chateau style. Band entertains at Helwig Winery in the Shenandoah Valley. Fiddletown’s Community Center features a giant fiddle over the doorway. The old Imperial Hotel in Amador City also boasts a fine restaurant. Old Wells Fargo stagecoach thunders down [...]

Posted in Central California, Northern California, Sierra Nevada | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Upgrading from tent or car-camping to a new or classic travel trailer

Author's '64 Serro Scotty trailer with Yosemite Falls in background.

A sleek Casita trailer, at Bryce Canyon National Park. A-liner Ranger trailer, a hard-sided pop-up, at Death Valley National Park. Classy old Shasta trailer, shot at Fallen Leaf Lake, CA. Vintage Airstream trailer and its equally classy tow vehicle, Fallen Leaf Lake, near South Lake Tahoe. Author’s ’64 Serro Scotty trailer with Yosemite Falls in [...]

Posted in Central California, Mountain West (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado), Northern California, Sacramento/Capitol region, Sierra Nevada, Stockton/San Joaquin County, Teardrop and tiny travel trailers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stockton’s Christy and Alan Lenzi tour Jerusalem

The view of the tombs, and the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives, from outside the Old City's Southeastern wall.

Dinner at the Armenian Tavern, the Lenzi’s favorite place to eat in Jerusalem. Responding to adhan, the call to prayer, residents of the Muslim Quarter hurry through the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City toward the Dome of the Rock to perform maghrib, sunset prayers, which will break their daily fast during this first week of [...]

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San Francisco and Oakland waterfront; showing off the Bay Area via public transportation

Historic Ferry Builing, 120 years old!

Historic trollies offer quick transit on the Embarcadero. Historic Ferry Builing, 120 years old! Ferries arriving, departing at SF’s Ferry Building. USS Pampanito in foreground, and Liberty Ship Jeremiah O’Brien, open for tours on Pier 45. Share San Francisco and Oakland waterfront with guests; showing off the Bay Area via public transportation.  You have guests [...]

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Old Sacramento, born again as the place to begin Sacramento exploration!

Western Pacific locomotive 913 prepares for a departure from the California Railroad Museum.

Members of the Sacramento History Society take to the Old Sacramento streets. Old buggy takes visitors past the California Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento. The Delta King Hotel and Pilothouse Restaurant offers lodging, dining and a floating museum on the Old Sacramento waterfront. The zenith of American auto’s tailfins is celebrated with this ’59 Cadillac [...]

Posted in Central California, Northern California, Sacramento/Capitol region | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment
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    Tim Viall

    Viall is a local travel writer who retired in 2012 after 10 years as executive director of Stockton, CA's, Emergency Food Bank and six years with the Downtown Stockton Alliance. Previously, a 21-year career in daily newspapers helped shape his ... Read Full
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