Haloween to Thanksgiving

Trip Start Sep 25, 2007
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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hi everybody,
Well I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since I updated the log, the days have been flying. The rate they are going we'll be home before you know it.
We left Justin and Shars the day after Halloween, Nov 1st with a view to explore some Californian parks and lakes without driving too far as we have to be back at Justin's for Thanksgiving. (today Nov 22nd). Halloween was a real treat for the kids, excuse the pun. They all dressed up and took to the local streets tricking and treating. More treating than tricking. Every body was very generous and all the kids easily filled their baskets within half an hour or so. Candy everywhere, we took control and rationed it out so that it lasted more than a week or so.
We loaded up our gear and bikes along with our 2.5 kg bucket of vegemite we brought on-line for $50 delivered and left the next day. We headed East back to the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas where we boondoked first night at Wal-mart in Sonora. Provisioned up in the morning and camped first at new Maloneys Lake for 2 nights. The water levels are way down this time of the year and they are having a drought too, so it was a fair hike down to the water from camp. Fishing, caught a good size catfish and a bream type fish?.Plenty of  Bike riding, hiking,reading, school work and BBQing and the odd cold one. Real relaxing stuff and loving it. We moved down the road to New Hogan lake where the hike to the water wasn't as far or steep.James celebrated his 12th birthday here and we had a nice family party. No luck with the fishing here but we had plenty of fun and the weather and outlook we had from the camp were superb. Bev's Dad Aubrey and Carol and Justin's family came out the next day for a Braai and Justin,Shar and kids stayed over. The RV slept the 9 of us. I wouldn't say comfortably, although we were fine in our bed, Justin's night on the floor not one of his best nights. We had a lot of overnight rain starting just as we were about to cook. My new Drizabone was christened nicely that night.
We moved the next day to lake Camanche where we had a full hook up for 1 night $38 bucks against the $12-$16 we had been paying for bare camping so of we went next day in search of another campsite on the water. We headed south through farmland to Woodward dam where we had a whole peninsula camping area to ourselves with the water lapping right up to our site. They were drawing domestic water from here so we weren't allowed to swim or even wade in the water, boats were allowed so the boys decided bikes were OK and had a bit of fun. The fish hadn't been biting since we left Maloneys so 2 nights and off we went again.
After stocking up provisions we headed Southwest to Del Valle SRP (State recreational Park). Lake was low and the camp site was set in the valley alongside the dry riverbed. It was a nice setting and like most of the places we had it almost to ourselves. Plenty of big pines and oaks, lots of squirrels and Bev saw a Mountain Lion. We drove down to the Lake the next day and Fished a bit before heading off again in search of another new back yard for the night.
North today up into the hills near the Castro Valley to Lake Chabot regional Park with some nice views to the Southwest and suburban East bay area. Too far from the water here so off we go again the next day heading Southwest to Monterey. This has been the furthest we have traveled in a day since we left 2 weeks ago, 140 miles, thats the thing about this place is  that unless you're in the desert there  is something else to see just around  every corner almost. We hit Highway1 the coast road just North of Monterey and headed South through Monterey and Carmel. Some of the mansions built into and along the cliffs here are Amazing. Pretty prime real estate through here. South of Carmel Heights along the rugged coastline the drive is amazing, Narrow roads and bridges with rugged cliffs and huge drop offs didn't allow me to soak up as much of the scenery as I would have liked as we drove. It's a pretty famous stretch of road a lot of movies have been shot along it. We passed what looked like a film crew set up near one of the bridges with a couple of highway patrol boys w/flashing lights as an escort. On the way down a front was coming through so a crosswind and low cloud helped set the scene. After about 30 miles of this we hit Big Sur state park and found ourselves in another world. A Huge redwood forest in Valley protected from the coastal winds with the Big Sur Hills to the East. With a river running through it. Arriving just before dusk we camped the first night under the canopy of the huge trees. The next day we had to shift because it was so dark under there we had to have the lights on in the RV to do anything in the middle of the morning. We moved close to the river in a small meadow large enough to kick the footy and throw the boomerang we found in the bushes.
 The weather  we are taking for granted, because it seems every day has been sunny and warms to the mid twenties, followed by cool evenings perfect for campfires with lows mostly around 10 degrees just before dawn. We are all sleeping well with nice warm duvets and a hit with the furnace just before we get up.
We all loved Big Sur, the kids in the river with their wooden boats they whittled themselves, racing each other down the rapids. Mum and Dad sitting reading in the warm sunshine. Bev is onto her second novel and I have read about 6 already in the last 3 weeks about 5 more than I have managed to read in the last 3 years. After 3 nights at Big Sur we head North again to find a spot for 2 nights before we head to Justin and Shars new house in Lafayette. They will have been in it for 2 days before we join them for Thanksgiving.
We dropped anchor about halfway around Monterey Bay at Sunshine Beach state Park. The campsite was high in the dunes overlooking the ocean. Too far to walk so in the morning we took the RV down to the beach car park where we parked right behind the beach dunes with picnic tables right at our door and cooked up breakfast. Beach combing, sandcastles and collecting shells, pippies and digging up the Bug looking crustaceans that burrow in the sand were the order of the day. The kids had a good collection of these before we left and put then all back. After  the whole day  with the beach to ourselves pretty  well we  headed back  40 miles or so closer to Justin's and boondocked at Walmart in San Jose. Ate Spicy shrimp and crawfish (Yabbies) at Crawdaddys before hitting the sack. Very small craws, the size we would normally throw back, but nice and Tasty.
A leisurely 30 miles back to Justin's Wednesday the 21st ready for thanksgiving today. Turkeys in the oven as I write.
Happy holiday to you all, will write again soon.
Love from us all.
The McGregors5
PS would love to hear from you all, please drop us a line.
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Comments

mcgregors
mcgregors on

Big Sur
That is a part of Calif I would love to see.
Your blog IS riveting so interesting. We are loving coming along with you for the ride! Glad you are getting some relax time.

Love,luck and prayers,From Mum & Dad. Nanna & Grumpa. We love you

fosters4
fosters4 on

Fosters here
What an amazing blog - so good to read all about your exciting travels. Have loved the photos (viewed as a slide show - and bigger).
Can't wait to catch up with you in a couple of weeks time. Live the moment and keep having fun,
Love Greg, Rowan, Tom and Rob xxxx

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