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!

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 [...]

Posted in United States beyond! | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 [...]

Posted in Central California, Northern California, San Francisco Bay Area | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 [...]

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Five cool places to beat summer’s heat, close to home!

Pinecrest Lake, just off Hwy. 108, attracts big summer crowds to its cooling waters.

Caples Lake, near Kirkwood on Hwy. 88, is a favorite fishing and camping destination. Pinecrest Lake, just off Hwy. 108, attracts big summer crowds to its cooling waters. Big Sur’s Bixby Bridge dates to 1937 and allows access to the rugged coast. Five cool places to beat summer’s heat, close to Stockton and San Joaquin [...]

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

Big trees, gold rush towns, summertime resorts and high alpine lakes – it’s Highway 4 in the high Sierra!

Lake Alpine is a high Sierra gem, just above Bear Valley Resort on Hwy. 4.

Lake Alpine is a high Sierra gem, just above Bear Valley Resort on Hwy. 4. Huge redwood trees reach over 250 feet tall in Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Historic Murphys Hotel anchors quaint Main Street in downtown Murphys, CA. Find big trees, gold rush towns, summertime resorts and high alpine lakes – take Highway [...]

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Utah’s Arches and Canyonlands National Parks; side trip to Grand Canyon North Rim

A couple tales in the other-worldly view of Canyonlands, with the Green and Colorado Rivers in distance.

Author and spouse Susan pose in front of Landscape Arch, spanning well over 300 feet with its delicate arch. Arches Park visitors trek fo Sand Dune Arch on short, flat trail through slot canyon. Our Horsethief Campground, maintained by the BLM just outside Canyonlands, was scene of several evocative sunsets.  John Wesley Powell pioneered the [...]

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Spectacular Utah: awe-inspiring Bryce Canyon and Capital Reef National Parks

Hoodoos by the thousands, carved by water and wind for eons, line Bryce's canyon walls.

Natural Bridge in Bryce Canyon NP. Ascending The Wall trail amongst rock escarpments and strange Hoodoos. Tourists hike up Grand Wash in Capitol Reef NP.Bryce Canyon. Spires climb skyward from Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. Watertank holes, up a dry wash from Grand Wash in Capitol Reef NP, is site where I slipped and [...]

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Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, star attractions in southwest UT.

Hoodoos, the lofty spires along Cedar Breaks red rock amphitheater, are visible and reming us of the hoodoos that make Bryce Canyon such a popular attraction.

Another view of Cedar Breaks lofty amphitheater, offset by cloud formations. Cedar Breaks National Monument’s red rock amphitheater is three miles across, and almost a 1/2 mile deep. From the observation points on the rim drive, well above 10,000 feet, temperatures can be cool during summer! View in Zion National Park, where the Virgin River [...]

Posted in Mountain West (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado) | 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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