Another day of driving. The landscape had changed from tall forests to oak woodlands and savannah. We woke up in the dry grass at our campsite on Spring Lake near Santa Rosa. Cali must have pulled a muscle because she’s not moving too well and doesn’t want to lift her head. We readied ourselves for the road then walked down to the lake for a quick walk around. This is a very popular spot for weekenders to come and walk, ride bikes and fish in the lake. A group of youngsters were out having a cross country running meet. You really had to keep your eyes open. I almost got run over by some mountain bikers on the upper trail walking down. It was sunny and warm and a diverse crowd of locals were down by the water enjoying their weekend.
We pulled out and hit the long and dusty road. The bare brown landscape was taking a bit of getting used to. It’s been almost two years since we’ve spent any time in the southwest. We drove back roads through small towns like Vallejo, Rio Vista, Valley Home and Oakdale. The only city traffic we encountered was a short ten mile stretch of I-5 that took us through Stockton before exiting onto another small west-east byway.
In the late afternoon, we reached our turn off to Tulloch Lake and headed down 4 miles of a poorly maintained county road until we reached the campground on the lake. The entry gate was unmanned with a sign pointing us to the office. The “office” was a wooden pallet for a step that led up to a window at the living room of an old house. The pot smoke wafted out as the young man opened the window while an older gentleman was watching television in the background. He got us lined up and sent us down to the lake to camp. Pretty bare bones, but we are right on the water. The camper at the end of the row had a quality set of speakers and decided that we would all enjoy some old school country music. PJ had her weekly call with her girls and sat out on the picnic table overlooking the water. A pair of small deer chose that moment to saunter by not four feet away from her stopping to give her a good looking over before moving along past the spot I was sitting. A nice sunset and warmer weather than we’ve grown accustomed to.