Oroville, CA

Logan's first day of work starts tomorrow. We thought we would have one last out of town getaway before he starts at Rideout Memorial Hospital in Marysville.

Logan and I packed Kenna up and headed to Oroville, CA, about 30 miles north of where we currently live in Yuba City.

I researched online activities to do and found some neat things. . .

Our first stop was at a Chinese Temple... How interesting! Apparently, during the gold rush, it wasn't only Americans who came to dig for riches.  Many Chinese people also came... speaking no english, they built a sort of "China town" in Oroville. Three temples were built, the first two out of wood. When they both burned, they made the third out of brick, and it still stands today.

Our tour guide told us that when they would enter the temple, they would have to ring the gong three times to wake the gods. (This tour made me glad MY God never sleeps!! Hallelujah!) They also had to step over the threshold so that evil spirits could not cling on to them and enter the temple. Seemed strange to me, but it was interesting learning about their culture.

There was a beautiful garden with a koi pond and lots of other buildings on site. There was a typical Chinese home, the old pharmacy, and a tapestry room. Amazing!

Bamboo grew all around the building.
After we left the Chinese Temple, we drove around Oroville. It was filled with neat shops, beautiful historic homes, and the one of the largest earthen dams in the United States.
We also found the greatest little fruit stand on highway 70 headed south back into Yuba City.  I bought a dozen peaches and I swear they may be the best peaches I've ever had. Photographing this fruit stand reminded me of the Missoula Farmer's Market! Oh, how I miss that place. 



 Thank you, Tony's Market for the fabulous peaches and the photo opportunites! :) I will definitely be back for more!


Logan and I worked really hard today! We arranged everything in our room, we went grocery shopping, I made a beef stew in the crockpot (that made the whole 2nd floor of the hotel smell amazing...) and to celebrate our efforts, we took Kenna to Ellis Park!


We have arrived!

We left this morning from Elko, NV and drove the last 440 miles of our journey.

The majority of the trip was nothing but flat desert, with an occasional small mountain in the distance. I could write about it, but you would get bored.... So I'll skip to the good parts.

When we crossed into California, Tahoe National Forest quickly took our interest. We were in awe of the huge evergreens... the winding roads and rock cliffs took our breath away.  By taking a back road we were able to take in so much more of the scenery; however, at times it became kind of obnoxious, up and down hills, hairpin switchbacks, and 30 mph speed limits.

Once we passed through the Tahoe National Forest, the landscape and topography completely changed. Logan looked up from his book and asked, "Are we in Africa?" The land had instantly changed to an African-esque savannah. The tall golden grass grew everywhere, the hillsides were dotted with gnarled green conifers. We kept our eyes peeled for rhinos and maybe a giraffe, but all we saw was a single whitetail deer.

When we arrived in Yuba City so many things excited us. We were stunned by a big lake in the middle of the city park, the Yuba River which ran right through the city, and the fact that there were espresso bars everywhere. The 109 degree heat greeted us as we pulled into the parking lot to check into our hotel.

We unloaded the necessities and checked out our dinner options. We decided on a quick chinese meal we could order and pick up, only a mile from our hotel.

We ate and researched what all is in this town. I can't wait to explore some! We are so close to some very cool things. I'm looking forward to camping, backpacking, photographing and touring this summer! Did I mention Yuba City has 5 Starbucks? (Hallelujah!)

We walked to a local grocery store where everything costs 99 cents. I couldn't believe it! Even their produce was 99 cents or less. Spinach, blueberries, strawberries... all of it. I'm a sucker for a good deal, and this place was heaven! We picked up some snacks, stopped at Sonic for a drink on the way back, and relaxed the rest of the night.

A little information about Yuba City for you:
-YC is 14 square miles
- Population 65,000
-YC is home to the "Sutter Buttes", the smallest mountain range in the world.

More randoms for the day:
-Kenna learned how to say the word snack, but it sounds more like "Nak" when she says it.
-Kenna also learned how to give hugs-- and it is the best ever!
-Since this move, I have now lived in every timezone in the continental US.
-Kenna now has ten teeth!

If you miss us and wish to skype- my skype name is bclemonsphotography . We have internet here at the hotel and I should be available! I'm so thankful we are able to keep in touch with our family and friends who we miss dearly~!


Desert Journey...

After a rough night at the "Mesa View" motel, we were ready to get on the road early. Kenna slept terribly, and Logan and I didn't sleep much better. We packed the car, and headed down the road. God must have been smiling down on us, because he placed a Starbucks in our path that just happened to be open at 5am. (Praise the Lord, thank you Starbucks employees!) We got breakfast and got back on the road headed toward Salt Lake City.

Sunrise outside of Palisade, CO
As we headed further from Colorado and neared Utah, the snow covered peaks quickly changed into much more red rock and plateaus. They were beautiful. With the sun rising behind us, they were in beautiful light.

We drove all the way through the Salt Lake Desert, through the amazing salt flats, past the Morton salt plant, (so cool!) past the Bonneville Speedway, and into Nevada.  To say we were driving through the desert was an understatement. We went through areas with little to zero plants... and when we did see foliage, it was nothing more than small shrubs and sage.
 The salt flats were amazing- it literally looked like snow on the ground. We couldn't believe it. The temperature had gone from 49 degrees in Colorado Springs two days ago to 95 degrees... and it was HOT.

After exiting the Salt Lake Desert, we stopped on a back road for Kenna to run around and check out the scenery. Everything smelled like sage and evergreens, it was amazing.

The plan was to drive to Salt Lake City, but we were actually able to make it to Elko, NV, where we had a fabulous dinner at a place called "The Star", which served authentic Basque food. This was new to both Logan and I. They started us off with soup, salad and bread. . .  All of which was included in the price of our meal. I got King Crab legs, and Logan got filet mignon which was out of this world.  Our dinner was cut short by a fussy Kenna, who is working on getting another molar!
We headed back to the room after I indulged myself with fro-yo at a place called "Spoon Me!"
Tomorrow will be the last day of our trek westward. We have 440 miles to go until we reach our destination, the place where our real adventures of the summer will begin!



Today proved to be a fabulous day.

We began the morning at the small shops in downtown Colorado Springs. If you have never been to the city, you must go! There are the greatest stores that house jewelry by local artists, paintings, pottery and more. The people are friendly and the city has an awesome vibe.  I fell in love with work by one of the artists who used recycled silver spoons and old belts to create beautiful jewelry. Who would've thought?!

We realized early on in the day we had miscalculated the time it would take us to get to Yuba City. We had an extra day to spend traveling shopping and sightseeing. 

We chose to take a detour south from Colorado Springs toward Buena Vista as recommended by some great friends. Before we arrived in Beuna Vista, we stopped for lunch at a small place called Swiss Chalet.  I ordered the fish tacos (which was amazing smoked trout with a jalapeno avacado salsa that was out of this world) while Logan got the bratwurst with sauerkraut. Dessert was equally as awesome- a four layer fudge cake. . .


(thanks iPhone photo!)
(I'm noticing this blog is becoming more and more about our food while we are traveling... if you know me very well, that isn't surprising!)

Buena Vista was a very cool mountain town, which had a great thrift shop, kayak store, and lots of other shops.

At the highest point in our journey today we reached an elevation of nearly 12,000 feet. When we reached the top, we noticed a still frozen lake I stopped to photograph:

We traveled through many other mountain towns-- Vail, CO being one of our favorites. . . we passed through Glenwood Canyon which was an amazing sight!

Today was a short day; we only traveled about 300 miles. We stopped for the night in Palisade, CO at what could have possibly been the tiniest hotel room ever built. It definitely wasn't like where we stayed last night, but the sheets were clean and we were worn out.

 (thanks, iPhone photo!)
Oh, and I can't forget these exciting things:
-The Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile! *Yes, I crossed that off my bucket list!
-A Volkswagon Beetle carrying two kayaks
-A town called "Yellow Cat"
-A town called "No Name"
-Kenna got another tooth today! :-)


Old Town Guest House

I mentioned the Old Town Guest House in yesterday's blog briefly. After we ate breakfast here this morning, I decided it deserved it's own blog entry.

Coffee, tea, cereals and oatmeal were served in the dining room early this morning. Logan, Kenna and I woke up and headed down to get a cup of coffee and sit outside, enjoying the view of Pike's Peak. What a beautiful place!

At 8:30, we joined two other couples in the dining room for breakfast. We were served fresh fruit and their special blend of juices. (they call it "Pike's Peak Passion Punch")  Don took special care to make sure everything was just perfect. When we arrived, he had already set up a high chair for Kenna and our food was waiting on us.

We were then served a home made, warm date bar that was to die for. It was the perfect amount of gooey and crunchy and yummy goodness. This was my favorite part of breakfast!

Even Kenna, the pickiest of eaters, approved of the date bar!

Then came the main course, a cream cheese and chive egg basket, freshly prepared right on time. It was paired with an all beef sausage, which was out of this world. Cooked and seasoned just right, this meal was a hit.

I cannot say enough great things about this bed and breakfast. If you get the chance, please please check it out! You will not regret it. Don and Shirley work hard to make sure every need is met while you stay with them. You truly feel at home.
^ The B&B has an amazing view of Pike's Peak ^

This precious pup is the watch dog for the place!
Stay in any of their rooms and you will not be disappointed!
Old Town Guest House
Shirley and Don Wick, Innkeepers