Category Archives: Sierra Nevada

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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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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Frugal travel across the US, Canada, the world: Affordable Travel Club and Evergreen Club

The Elk River and Canadian Rockies were just north and east of the Marchant's home in British Columbia.

David and Nancy Marchant, of Baynes Lake, British Columbia, were our first Affordable Travel Club hosts. Judy and Ward Lowrance, who introduced us to the Affordable Travel Club and invited us to split a house-sitting assignment in Seattle. A natural bridge slowly forms in Zion National Park, our destination in a week or so! Frugal [...]

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High Sierra adventure; Hwy. 108, Sonora to Sonora Pass offers fun and adventure!

Pinecrest Lake, at almost 5,700 feet, attracts crowds of both swimmers and fishermen to its clear, cold waters.

Pinecrest Lake, at almost 5,700 feet, attracts crowds of both swimmers and fishermen to its clear, cold waters. Relief Reservoir shines its azure blue waters about 2.5 miles up the trail from Kennedy Meadows Resort. The high Sierra, looking northeast from Sonora Pass; great hiking from this vantage point! Horsemen and pack animals from Kennedy [...]

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Trailerfest offers you tour of several hundred vintage travel trailers

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Trailerfest continues tomorrow and Sunday at Tower Park Marina, just west of Lodi on Highway 12. Tour through several hundred vintage camper trailers, with open house for the public on Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM. It’s your chance to view classic travel trailers, talk to the owners about buying or rehabbing an old [...]

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California’s national historic districts and monuments make the state special!

Pt. Reyes Lighthouse bathed in sunlight on a windy day.

Old Fort Point, tucked under the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge.The Balclutha, left, and Eppleton Hall at Hyde Street Pier. Mountain biker charges down a Ft. Ord singletrack trail. Ft. Ord wildflowers come in many hues on the old army base. Old windmill offers contrast from Carrizo Plain NM wildflowers. Explore some of [...]

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Pick Six: Top national parks in California and surrounding states

Yosemite Falls thunders, with our '64 Scotty trailer in foreground.

Yosemite Falls thunders, with our ’64 Scotty trailer in foreground. Couple admires Grand Canyon from rim near Moran Point Our top six picks: The top national parks in California and surrounding states This week is National Parks Week, with admission to all national parks and monuments FREE through the 29th! Californians are blessed by close [...]

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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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    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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