With just one night in Los Banos at the San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area we can’t tell you anything about the town itself. But the first word that comes to mind in regard to the reservoir at the San Luis Creek Campground is, peaceful.
Our first day of vacation was spent traveling. Simply a means of getting from Point A (home) to Point B (Eureka) by the next day. Now while the first two days were spent traveling, we did stop on our way to Los Banos at our home town of Taft. Okay, it’s not the bright spot of the trip being a small rural oil town at the southern tip of the San Joaquin Valley, but it does have a silver lining; my dad. At 94, he’s doing remarkably well, living alone in the house I grew up in. He’s outlived most of his friends (except those younger than him) and all his family. Did I mention his tales of World War II? I’ve heard the same stories many times but this visit was different. He told us stories neither Ron (hubby) nor I, heard before. Around lunch time we headed to a favorite local Mexican restaurant for a nice meal. A few hours later after saying our goodbyes, we headed for Los Banos.
The reservoir is quiet and peaceful luring the unsuspected traveler into wanting to stay longer to soak up the tranquility. That evening we were serenaded by doves cooing to one another that was nostalgic – I could have easily stayed another day before traveling on.
In the photo below, hubby is showcasing a home brew made by our neighbors back home in Temecula. Dan and Alicia have started brewing wonderful beers in their garage and are planning to open their own brewery in the near future. We were gifted with four bottles of new beers to try out and review. How lucky are we! It did take about a week before we could try all four, but someone’s got to – right?
Our second day of traveling was unremarkable. I don’t mean to disparage the San Joaquin Valley because it’s mostly farms, tumbleweeds, oil rigs, pasture lands, etc. After a few hours of traveling north, you’ve pretty much seen it all with more hours of travel ahead. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a quiet beauty to the valley that’s best viewed at dawn or dusk when the sun’s shadows are cast over the uneven terrain, creating a patchwork beauty across the countryside.
At Williams, CA we took the cut off to travel west toward the ocean. After the valley, this scenic drive was a balm to tired and dried out eyes. Beautiful pine trees filled the landscape across majestic mountains that later gave way to a lovely picturesque lake called, Clear Lake. All sorts of cottages and vacation homes dotted the winding road around the lake creating a rustic and quaint lakeside retreat.
Once we were on the 101 coastal drive, more pine trees greeted us with relish that gave way to redwoods, the famous redwoods of the northern California coast line. Driving through we planned places to visit once we started camping our way back home along this scenic route!