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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Breaker, Breaker….!!!

Last night after I finished the blog I really felt like cooking a nice home-cooked meal. We had stocked up at Trader Joe’s last Sunday in Bellingham, Washington and it is nice to have ready made food to eat when we’re driving all day, but I really felt like something homemade. What should I cook?

I had some frozen chicken fillets in the freezer, so I left them out in some warm water to defrost while I wrote the blog. I had seen on ‘Half Baked Harvest’ an Instagram influencer I follow named Tieghan Gerard, that she had made a delightful looking Spicy Sesame Chicken and Ginger Rice dish earlier in the week. I had all the ingredients for the dish, so why not make that for dinner?!!

Making the spicy reduction. Orange juice and cherry juice concentrate (Tiegen used Pomegranate juice), honey, Soya sauce, ginger, garlic, star anise, bay leaf, rice wine vinegar, and red pepper flakes. The reduction had to boil down while the broccoli and chicken was baking in the oven.

Delicious Spicy Broccoli and Chicken and ginger rice. Richard loved it!

We are not able to watch tv these days since our internet data package is not big enough to stream Netflix or Amazon Prime, and since the wifi is not good at most RV parks, then it makes watching tv next to impossible. I read on my Kindle instead and Richard usually surfs the web until he gets tired and goes to bed before me!

Last night Richard was already in bed when I was looking at what there was to do in downtown Napa. We try not to plan too far in advance for anything in case plans don’t work out, but since we knew we would be in Napa soon, I needed to figure things out. I started looking at a Napa website and the next thing you know I found out that the ’Blue Note Napa’ had the band ‘Blood, Sweat & Tears’ playing this weekend. I checked the admittance requirements and it was the same as back home - double vaccinated, must be more than 14 days prior to the concert, ID will be checked to the vaccine passport, and mandatory mask wearing indoors. I asked Richard who was already in bed if he wanted to go to the concert. My Ipad was almost out of battery, so I moved over to the dinette to plug in, charge my Ipad and purchase the tickets online for pick up at Will Call for the Sunday night show at 6:30pm. As I was sitting next to there refrigerator, all I could hear was the propane running in the fridge. We were on a 30 amp service, so there is no way the propane should on in the refrigerator. The refrigerator we have runs on propane when we are not plugged in and runs on propane as soon as we are unplugged from the hydro. I asked Richard to get out of bed please to check on the fridge, since I was sure I heard the propane running. Richard had to get dressed, and go outside to check on the electric pedestal to see what was happening. After Richard checked on the pedestal it appeared that we had tripped a breaker on the pedestal and we were running off our house batteries. This switch to battery power must have happened when I turned the oven on and we also had the dehumidifier and fan running in the bedroom. It’s a good thing I asked Richard to go and check on the fridge situation or we might have had a big problem in the morning! If we try to close our slide outs while we are plugged in, thinking we are using the electricity from the RV park and we are actually using our house batteries, we might not have had enough power to close our slide outs. This happened to us last year when we were camping up in Ottawa with our good friends Doug and Heather Kurtin. We ended up having to plug Newman back in to the electric pedestal, until the batteries had enough juice to close the slide outs. OMG!

Last night I also booked us a rental car at Enterprise rent a car which is only a 3 minute walk from our RV park in Napa. Tomorrow we will have a car from 9am until the next day at 9am, which will give us a bit of freedom to explore Napa Valley wineries on our own. The car was only $44 for the day, for a Jetta or equivalent vs hiring somebody to drive us around at $230. It was a no brainer to get a car. Now I can also re-stock at Trader Joe’s in Napa tomorrow, without having to figure out where to park Newman in Trader Joe’s parking lot!

We had decided last night that we will leave as early as we could this morning because we wanted to get to Napa early enough to go and eat outdoors somewhere before the doors open for the concert tonight. When Richard went to check on our batteries this morning, before bringing in the slide outs, the batteries were down to only 33%. Richard went outside again and sure enough the breaker at the pedestal had tripped again. What a lousy RV park!!! Even their 30 amp service doesn’t work very well! We had to be quiet until 8am, so at 8:01am, Richard fired up our diesel generator in Newman and let it run a bit, before bringing in our slides, using the diesel generator. There was no way we were relying on the RV park‘s electric power to bring in our slide outs.

Good riddance Stafford RV Park!

After all the nonsense with the RV park electrical pedestal, we finally got on the highway at 8:30am this morning.

Heading for Hwy 101 South. The next big town would be UKIAH!

Almost immediately we started with the windy, up and down roads, through very large, dense forests.

At least we could be in the far right lane and not hold anyone up behind us, and we didn’t have to worry about oncoming traffic!

The next thing we knew, the road got very, very narrow and we started going through a very beautiful stand of forest called Richardson Grove State Park,

A very narrow, but scenic drive through Richardson Grove State Park.

That truck was pretty big and over in our lane, and as you can see we don’t have much room to our right!

The redwoods in Richardson Grove State Park reminded us of our visit to Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island last month! Richardson Grove is a small park that has an exceptional grove of lowland redwoods on an alluvial flat by the Eel River. The main grove is a prototypical cathedral-like grove of tall, straight redwoods with attractive dark-brown trunks. The tiny but dense redwood grove is unusually open, with few trees of other species and no understory trees. The grove is more arid-looking than nearby Humboldt Redwoods, with little or no groundcover, but is nonetheless unusually scenic. What a memorable drive through this very narrow stretch of highway!

As we drove up and down and up and down many windy, twisty roads on Hwy 101 South today, we reached the summit of another large mountain and I said to Richard “What is that white stuff on the ground?” The grass was covered in what I thought was frost, but could we really be seeing frost this far south in Northern California? Sure enough, I checked the forecast and the overnight temperature at the place we were going through had been +1C. Just as we rounded the very next corner, after seeing the frost all over the grass on the mountain, we saw this!

There was ice on the road and this truck had flipped coming around the corner from the other direction, just before we had rounded the corner! Thank goodness, we weren’t through this section of highway a few minutes sooner! It looked like a few other people had stopped to help these fellows out, so we kept on going, very cautiously because we knew the roads were slippery. Those guys were lucky they got out alive!

At another summit today on our drive. There was definitely a lot of fog in the mountains today!

We saw another car flipped over in Santa Rosa, California, but it was on the other side of the road thank goodness because it was causing a major Sunday afternoon traffic jam which I’m sure no one was happy about!

After driving continuously for almost 4 hours, we finally saw the sign for the turnoff to Napa and Sonoma.

Finally we were leaving Hwy 101 South and heading inland!

Heading into Napa!

Another Napa winery!

We made it to Napa Valley Expo & RV Park around 1:15pm.

There are a lot of very nice, expensive Class ‘A’ motor homes in this RV park. The lots are nice and level and we have 50 amp service, so we won’t be worrying about ‘breaker, breaker’ again for the next two nights! Richard needed a nap after that big drive today. It was a bit of a ‘killer’ drive with nowhere to stop for a break. It is now sunny and 12C in Napa and as I’m writing the blog, I’m watching the RV park fill up for the night. I think a lot of people leave Napa on Sunday, after having spent the weekend here, which leaves room for the Sunday arrivals as well. I’m really looking forward to our concert this evening and to exploring Napa and the Napa Valley today and tomorrow. This should be a fun stop on our trip, and a lot better than the last RV park I’m sure!

Hillbilly Heaven in Stafford, California!

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