Lathrop, CA (Yosemite & Wine Country)

We thoroughly enjoy visitors from our non-nomadic life joining us for stints during our nomadic life. And when our visitors leave, we get sad. Because we miss them. And also, because we have to catch up on the work we put off while they were with us. So, mostly missing them. But also, sucky work. After a whirlwind of familiar faces back on the California Coast and in San Francisco, we had a lot of catching up to do. Since Jake holds down a typical (ok, not so typical- his company is awesome) 40hr+ a week job, we like to plan to be in a quiet place with little distraction from time to time so he can catch up on the computering (real word) that he put on the back burner at a low simmer while we were galavanting around exciting places with friends. And I can’t be bothered to bathe the beast (Dyna) or blog or do any other household duties while friends are in town (whichever town that may be). I just keep that stuff in the hypothetical fridge- it doesn’t even make the hypothetical stove. Ideally, I would really like to never even take the process of washing Dyna out of the hypothetical fridge- ever. But, duty calls. Soapy, clammy, dirty, laborious duty. Sometimes I get ‘lucky’ and washing of an RV is banned in a specific park or area. Let’s just say, I got ‘lucky’ in Lathrop, CA. Sorry Dyna, that salty ocean mess if gonna have to hang on a bit longer. 

Note: we did not deface this wall. Lathrop was just really ‘feeling’ our presence.

We stayed at Dos Reis Regional Park, which plopped us in between Yosemite National Park and Sonoma Wine Country. Also, it was fairly cheap (in California money) and turned out to be a nicely laid out park with full hook-ups and plenty of foliage. The park also boasted the strangest camp host situation we have run into yet. It actually ended up being cool, because we got to hang out with a large group of Aussies who had been stranded without showers after several days of exploring Yosemite. Because, you know, sometimes camp hosts don’t feel like turning on the public showers which campers pay for. Not even during the times of use that are stated on the door. And don’t ask the hosts, who live behind a large fence with several noisy dogs if they could turn on said showers; because they apparently cannot do so a thing except at non-posted times of the day. Sadly, due to fence and dog situation, Jake and I never got to thank these glorious camp hosts for the opportunity to meet the gaggle of Australians who instead used Dyna’s shower. We thoroughly enjoyed talking politics, travel destinations, and beer and wine with these fine, formerly smelly, but now clean folks. So, thank you, kind of lazy camp hosts. You may have denied us the ability to receive mail, made it difficult to make sure we were paid up, distracted us with your loud playing of 80’s butt rock and barking dogs on the daily, and had altercations with at least 2 different day use folks who came to you with questions, but you can’t fool us. We know that you are really just trying to instill camaraderie amongst the peons who camp outside your fenced in fortress. So, again, thank you. 

Seems like everyone in the Lathrop area is begging for water.

Jake did take a break from working for a trip out to Yosemite National Park. We left at the butt-crack of dawn to drive 2hrs+ to get to this fabled place, which, we later found, was a good move as we found ample parking so that we could hike up the Pohono Trail early on a Saturday morning. Up above the valley, everything is awesome. Quiet, killer views, places to nap and snack once you’ve reached peak elevation. We did not, however, expect what waited for us once we returned to the valley to find the red rammer and head out for a beer. Thousands of our closest friends had joined us to enjoy the sacred lands of Yosemite; and they were creating quite the traffic jam. If we had known that 2hr+traffic jams within a National Park was a thing, we would have brought extra snacks. But we couldn’t complain. If you’ve got to be stuck in traffic, Yosemite National Park is not a bad place to be stuck. Except for the whole lack of snacks. Tip: bring extra snacks if you ever have the good fortune to find yourself headed to Yosemite National Park. 

Jake also took a break on Sunday with plans of venturing into and about Sonoma wine country. After finding me a park to get some non-concrete based running miles in (note: Lathrop, CA is not wilderness running friendly) and surprising me with chocolate cake for breakfast to celebrate me leveling up to level 30 (what a man what a man what a mighty fine man), we headed out onto the Sonoma Wine trail. And after trying our darndest to fully enjoy the winery experience at two wineries, we hightailed it to the nearest brewery, which just happened to be Russian River Brewing Co. Hey, we tried. I could blame our wine trail semi-fail on our familiarity with Finger Lakes wines, which are sweeter and much cheaper. But let’s be honest: it had to the with the fact that wine is not beer. We like wine. But we like beer more. Also, Russian River Brewing Co. brews a beer which is notoriously difficult to get on the East Coast: Pliny the Elder.  Go ahead craft beer fanboys, make fun of our excitement over Pliny. It was the nearest thing to an IPA nectar of the gods that I’ve ever tasted. Jake has been hot on Pliny’s trail for a bit; that Sunday was our date with destiny in beer form. And no, Pliny did not let us down. Smooth, kind on the palate, and on a half price special for happy hour. We never did make it back out onto the wine trail.