Friday, March 19, 2010

Wine Country of Northern California

We left the Sacramento area yesterday and drove northwest. It was slow going for us because of a headwind and hills.  We were driving into the coastal highlands once again. On the first leg of our journey we saw many fruit orchards, some in bloom but most seemed to have past that stage. I also started seeing more again of the Photinia bush ( a plant of the rose family). It is quite gorgeous right now with its red tips coming off the green branches. There were many seen  in Sacramento, I took a picture of one by the back steps of the governor's mansion. Further north the bush appears to be completely red in appearance, a very striking color. In the summer it produces white flowers.
 We are already beyond Napa Wine country (did not stop there as we had toured that area a few years ago). Driving north and around Clear Lake there are many vineyards, I believe that we were in the Mendocino Wine country. Clear Lake is beautiful, has almost the feel of an Alpine lake what with the coastal mountains surrounding it. Driving past the lake we started entering into more heavily forested hills. In the town of Willits we were greeted with a huge banner which said: " Gateway to the Redwoods". We parked our rig north of that town. It is quite pleasant to be out of the city and more among trees and wildlife. There is a pond next to our home. We went to sleep with the sounds of ducks quacking and frogs croaking. Earlier in the evening wild turkeys could be heard gobbling further up in the hills . The owner of this park said that they get visits from many woodland critters, including bears.

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