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Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, and Suisun City CA

Thanksgiving was an unqualified success. Eleanor masterfully cooked both a pumpkin pie and a turkey with stuffing in the Airstream's oven, as well as green beans with onions and almonds, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, and cranberry sauce. Emma helped.

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We're still eating the leftovers for lunch and dinner two days later. I love leftovers, like turkey breast sliced on bread with mayo and lettuce.

We left the park in Benbow to drive south to Sonoma valley. Since we got a break by picking up our mail in Eureka earlier than expected, we had time enough to stop in Sonoma before our scheduled visit in Suisun City. Friday night found us wandering up a dark narrow twisting road to the Sugarloaf Ridge State Park in Kenwood, which is just north of Sonoma on Rt 12.

The campground is more than 1000 feet above the valley, and it was quiet, nearly empty, and very cold overnight. I woke up to find the Airstream and the Nissan coated with frost. Our furnace ran a lot during the night and so our battery was depleted by about half (no electric in this campground).

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But it wasn't a problem since we planned to head down to Sonoma right after breakfast to visit one of Eleanor's favorite wineries (and Sonoma's oldest), Valley of the Moon. As often happens, while walking across the parking lot a woman jumped out of her car and exclaimed, "I just love your Airstream! It's so cool!"

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The grape vines have turned red and gold now, and they make for terrific scenery from nearly every hill and turn. I wished I could have stopped more times for photos, but unfortunately Rt 12 has no shoulder much of the way.

Although it is known mostly for wineries, Sonoma is an interesting historic town with a state historic park right in the middle of downtown. There's a Mission, barracks, and hotel worth taking a look at it. Emma, however, was most interested in the giant prickly pear cactus right in front of the Mission ... and when she picked up a downed pear she found out exactly why they are called prickly. Fortunately the thorns worked their way out eventually.

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One fun stop in Sonoma is the Cheese Factory, where they were handing out samples of various cheddars and the crowd was waving and pressing for bits like a gang of bond traders in an up market.

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Although we had plenty of samples, lunch was in the trailer (a turkey leg and stuffing, yum). Someone pressed their nose to the window and was astonished to see us inside. People are always fascinated by the trailer. We invited her in and gave her family a quick tour before departing.

Our next stop was Tim Shephard's house, located between Sacramento and San Francisco. Tim is best known as the producer of TheVAP, a podcast about Airstreams. You can check it out at I'd done an interview with him last summer which was on Episode 3 (I think) and now we had the chance to meet and do a joint interview with Eleanor about life on the road. It will probably air in December or January.

We're parked in front of Tim's house tonight. It's a nice quiet spot. We had pizza with the family and now we're back home, chilling and thinking about our travels for the next few days ...

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Glad you guys were able to stop by on your Tour of America. Really enjoyed the visit and the interview!

Keep in touch and enjoy the rest of your tour!

To others reading the blog, if you see Rich and family heading your way and can offer courtesy parking, go for it! Very enjoyable family and fun to be with!


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