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New Clairvaux Winery

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Wine and new friends.  Possibly two of the best things about travel.  We headed up to Chico California to meet new friends.  We share a mutual friend with Robin and Martin, who suggested that we meet each other.  That prompted our visit to Chico.  We spent a whirlwind three days, often not getting to bed before 1AM.  Our kind of folks! On top of them hosting us for two fantastic dinners at their home, they guided us to one of the most unique wineries that we have visited. The New Clairvaux Vineyard and Winery  is operated by an order of Trappist Monks and is one of the most historic wine making properties in California.  An order of  Cistercians Monks are cloistered here.  They live and work at the  Abbey of New Clarivaux  in the small town of Vina.  They make some fantastic wine here.  There is the additional joy of seeing the restored 12th century “Chapter House” that was originally part of the  Saint Maria de Ovila Cistercian abbey in  Spain.  The reconstruction has an interesting

San Francisco. City by the Bay.

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  Our last visit to San Francisco must have been decades ago.  As we worked our way down the pacific coast we knew that we had to stop close enough for a visit, if only a short one.  The main reason for getting so close was to visit Steff’s cousin who lives just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.  We found the Marin RV Park that was just minutes away from their home. The additional benefit was that we were also minutes away from the Golden Gate Ferry from the Larkspur landing that lands you on at the Ferry Building in the middle of the Embarcadero.  We grabbed a day trip, with Steff’s cousin as a knowledgeable guide.   There is probably a lot to avoid here on the Embarcadero, as it is quite commercialized.  But there are sights to be seen and enjoy.  We enjoyed our walking tour along the piers of San Francisco Bay.  We also enjoyed fine weather as the forecast was calling for an “Atmospheric River” driven by a “Bomb Cyclone” to hit the San Francisco area Saturday night.   We first walked

Jedediah Smith State Park, California

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We last visited the California Redwoods four years ago, and for a shorter stay.  It allowed short drives in the area, the main one being the Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway, and several shorter offshoots.  We chose to extend this visit to allow for more exploration. The Redwoods National Park is a bit unique in that it also encompasses three California State Parks.  The Del Norte Coast Redwoods, the Jedediah Smith Redwoods, and the Prairie Creek Redwoods.  They extend over 60 miles between Crescent City to Trinidad along the  Redwoods Highway (CA101).  Here you can see the tallest trees in the world mixed with rugged pacific coast.   Here is our visit to the Jedediah Smith State Park which consisted mostly of a drive along the dusty and narrow Howland Hill Road, and several walks among these massive giants. Grove of the Titans This is a three mile round trip hike through these massive Redwoods.  The trail is newly constructed and upon arriving at the Grove you find yourself on raised me