Category Archives: Central California

Backroads: the wild East Bay, alive with wildlife, hiking, scenery, history!

Spouse Susan ascends the Hardy Canyon Trail in Round Valley Regional Preserve.

View from Mt. Diablo, looking west from Northgate Road. Wildflowers just off the Hardy Canyon Trail in Round Valley Preserve. Hikers descend from the native oaks in Round Valley Regional Preserve. Spouse Susan ascends the Hardy Canyon Trail in Round Valley Regional Preserve. Backroads in the wild East Bay, alive with wildlife, hiking, scenery, history! [...]

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Roadtrip: Mokelumne River; wild and scenic river, wildflowers, history and quaint towns

California poppies blanket a hillside above the Mokelumne River just above Hwy. 49 in late March.

The hills along Electra Road are alive with California poppies and other wildflowers. Old homestead dating to late gold rush days along Middle Bar Road. California poppies blanket a hillside above the Mokelumne River just above Hwy. 49 in late March. Mokelumne River; wild and scenic river, wildflowers, history and quaint towns Recent spring rains [...]

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Interstate 5 blues; creative cures for a monotonous five hour drive

Old windmill is surrounded by wildflowers on the Carrizo Plain National Monument.

Beat the Interstate 5 blues; creative cures for a monotonous five hour drive If you are a California resident, you’ve probably driven Interstate 5 south to the Los Angeles Basin many, perhaps even scores, of times. You likely have your favorite gas or reststop, maybe ventured to Harris Ranch for a burger and a drink, [...]

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Gold Rush history lives on in ghost town gems along the Mother Lode, CA Hwy. 49

A replica of Sutter's Mill stands at the site of California's gold discovery in January, 1848.

Discovering ghost town gems along the Gold Rush Highway, CA Hwy. 49 Recent rains have cast our Sierra foothills in a verdant shade of green, perfect for exploring our state’s gold rush legacy. I always suggest starting in the place of gold’s discovery, just 80 miles northeast of Stockton, at the tiny town of Coloma [...]

Also posted in Northern California, Sacramento/Capitol region, Sierra Nevada, Stockton/San Joaquin County | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wildflower blooms, wildlife and scenery in the California desert!

Wildflowers bloom in perfusion in february in northeastern part of Death Valley.

Death Valley, Joshua Tree National Parks offer wildflower blooms, wildlife and other-worldly scenery Tired of chilly mornings and frosty windshields? Use the late winter/spring to take a road trip to the California desert for wildflower blooms, exotic wildlife and stunning scenery. Our destination includes two stunning national parks, Death Valley and Joshua Tree, and several [...]

Also posted in Sierra Nevada, Southern California | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dodge Ridge re-opens on Friday, March 2; Bear Valley also celebrates big storm!

Family takes in the view in Boulder Canyon off Dodge Ridge's Chair 8.

Dodge Ridge re-opens for the season on Friday, March 2; Bear Valley also receives huge snow fall Dodge Ridge Ski Resort will reopen on Friday, March 2.  Wednesday evening delivered a significant storm with three feet of new snow expected by Friday evening. With this significant snowfall, Dodge Ridge will have a majority of terrain open with [...]

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

Be cool; moving up from tent camping to a classic travel trailer

Thinking of moving up from tent camping to a classic travel trailer? Be cool with the classics! Last week, I shared thoughts about moving from tent camping to small, newer travel trailers. I offered that small trailers share special qualities; they’re easy to maneuver into tight campsites, easy to store and can be towed with [...]

Also posted in Alaska, Canada, Eastern, Canada, Western, East Coast US, Hawaii, Midwest US, Mountain West (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado), Northern California, Pacific Northwest USA (Oregon, Washington, Idaho), Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Southeast US, Southern California, Southwest USA (Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas), Stockton/San Joaquin County, Teardrop and tiny travel trailers, United States beyond! | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tiny trailering; see the country in small, cozy travel trailer!

Friends Christine and Steve Lewis and dog Alice with their T@B trailer. Tiny trailering; see the country in small, cozy travel trailer! Our classic ’64 Serro Scotty in Yosemite; these other trailers are just a bit larger and heavier than our trailer. My spouse and I have spent the last 10 years or so crossing [...]

Also posted in Alaska, Canada, Eastern, Canada, Western, East Coast US, Europe, Hawaii, Midwest US, Mountain West (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado), Northern California, Pacific Northwest USA (Oregon, Washington, Idaho), Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Southeast US, Southern California, Southwest USA (Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas), Stockton/San Joaquin County, Teardrop and tiny travel trailers | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On-line travel features in the Record offer a 300+ destinations and travel topics!

Catagories screen shot

Search on-line travel features in the Record; a huge variety of destinations and travel topics! Did you know the Record offers a wide variety of travel features, approaching 300 articles, which can be selected by “Category” (various portions of the USA and Canada)? Hence, you can go to the Stockton Record’s blog site, choose ‘Valley [...]

Also posted in Alaska, Canada, Eastern, Canada, Western, East Coast US, Europe, Hawaii, Midwest US, Mountain West (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado), Northern California, Pacific Northwest USA (Oregon, Washington, Idaho), Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Southeast US, Southern California, Southwest USA (Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas), Stockton/San Joaquin County, Teardrop and tiny travel trailers, United States beyond! | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day destinations close to home!

The historic Murphys Hotel, always a gold rush favorite!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with these classy destinations close to home! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner – if you’re seeking adventuresome and romantic destinations in northern California here are several recommendations from my wife, several friends and me, both locally and further afield. With the holiday falling this year on a Wednesday, you can celebrate [...]

Also posted in Northern California, Sierra Nevada, Stockton/San Joaquin County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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    Tim Viall

    Viall is a local travel writer who retired in late 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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