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We visit 7 more great California State Parks!

And Greg thinks about adopting a kitty.

It can get lonely being on the road alone all of the time. I find myself getting involved in lengthy talks with, well, myself. At least I am assured of having an intelligent conversation.

One of the topics I brought up to myself involved acquiring a pet, a companion on my journey.

I toyed with the idea of getting a dog, to the extent that I even visited some shelters recently. But the logistics held me back. I will wait until my constant traveling is over.

I have been noticing an increasing number of folks bringing their cats along with them on the road. Many years ago I had a cat that would go hiking with me. He would fetch and retrieve balled up newspapers and even wore a sporty bandanna. Thought he was a dog.

Which got me thinking that maybe a kitty would make a good companion.

I found one the other day but have not adopted him yet. Still deciding. I took some photos and will share them at the end of this post.

Anyway, I have spent the last two weeks travelling through the heartland of California, visiting eight state park campgrounds.

McConnell is a small spot set along the Merced River.

McConnell-Sign Merced-River-View-1 Merced-River-View-2

Of it's 21 sites I preferred 11, 13, and 18.

McConnell_011 McConnell_013 McConnell_018

Turlock Lake was next.


It's 62 sites are adjacent to the Tuolumne River.

Tuolumne-River-View-1 Tuolumne-River-View-2

With rain in the forecast I quickly walked the campground, settling on 23, 50, and 61 as my favorites.

Turlock_023 Turlock_050 Turlock_061

I also deployed my "rain awning".


At 10x12 feet, it provides quite a bit more shelter than my smaller 8x10 "sun tarp".


I stopped briefly at Caswell Memorial State Park.


There are 64 sites near the Stanislaus River.


Of those, I liked 13, 20, 35, and 45 the best.

Caswell_013 Caswell_020 Caswell_035

(Crazy people camping in the rain, lol.)


I continued onwards through the rain to Brannan Island in the Sacramento Delta.

Rain-2 Brannan-Island-Sign

This is a larger park with 115 sites. The ranger said that 97 was her favorite and since I was the only one here I took it.


Yes, it stopped raining briefly when I arrived. Briefly being the key word.

Sites 32 and 47 were nice as well.

Brannan-Island_032 Brannan-Island_047

In case you were curious, this is what my "rain tarp" looks like from the rear.


I stayed at a private campground in Oregon House for the next few days to recharge batteries and do some housekeeping.


While there, I visited the two main campgrounds at Lake Oroville.

Loafer Creek is the largest with 137 spots.


11, 41, and 115 were good examples.

Loafer-Creek_011 Loafer-Creek_041 Loafer-Creek_115

Five miles away is Bidwell Canyon.


The 74 sites include water and electricity.

11, 12, 24, and 60 received my approval as some of the better ones.

Bidwell-Canyon_011 Bidwell-Canyon_012 Bidwell-Canyon_024 Bidwell-Canyon_060

Lake Oroville is down to something like 40% of it's storage capacity.


The boat ramp is especially funny looking.


Back at Oregon House I stopped by a local market to pick up a luxury item.


Yep, fresh local artisan bread. At $5.75 it is definitely a luxury.


It was baked that morning and still warm.

I whipped up some PB&J's for dinner, after a small taste.


Breakfast brought grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.


And a visitor. Can you see him near the back of my trailer?


I guess my meal smelled quite tasty as his friends soon showed up.

Deer-1 Deer-4

I told them to eat their own food.


And they complied.

Sugarloaf Ridge is located north of San Francisco near Santa Rosa.


It's 49 sites are very popular with hikers tromping the park's many miles of trails.

My favorite sites were alongside a small creek.


2, 3, and 28.

Sugarloaf-Ridge_002 Sugarloaf-Ridge_003 Sugarloaf-Ridge_028

Site 28 was a massive creekside spot.

My favorite campground was Clear Lake State Park.


It is the largest natural lake in California, formed nearly 1.5 million years ago during the Pleistocene era as I recall. For those of you saying "What about Lake Tahoe?", don't forget it is shared with Nevada.

I have been meaning to visit this park for many years and I am glad I finally made the trip. I just wished I still had my canoe because this is the place for boating and fishing.

Unlike Lake Oroville, Clear Lake was full, almost more than full.


That was right behind my campsite, number 64.


The park has a boat ramp, docks, and a visitor center.

Clear-Lake-Boat-Ramp Clear-Lake-Docks Clear-Lake-Visitor-Center

Along with a great beach area and a clear lake...

Clear-Lake-Beach Clear-Lake

There are 146 campsites available in four different sections.

In addition to my site, I grooved on 24, 58, 59, 84, and 110.

Clear-Lake_024 Clear-Lake_058 Clear-Lake_059 Clear-Lake_084 Clear-Lake_110

If you do not need a water view, sites 121 and 123 would work great for families as they offer a huge grassy place for the kids to play.

Clear-Lake_121 Clear-Lake_123

I will be back sometime. For a week. With a canoe...


...and possibly a cat.

A few days ago I heard something running through the oak leaves that carpeted the ground. He bounded up a tree next to me.


His coat coloring blends in well with his habitat. Can you see him?


He started coming closer.


I tossed a few meows his way and he meowed back. Poor little guy. Or maybe it was a growl.


Either way, I thinks he wants to go on an adventure with me. I would call him Bob.

He would be a perfect camping cat. I wouldn't even have to buy him food. Plenty of bite size dogs in campgrounds for him to feast on.

What do you think? Should I go back and invite him along?

Or wait for an answer to my personal ad?

Regards and happy camping, Park Ranger


If it's warm when you go back to Clear Lake, watch out for the mosquitoes. They will descend in visible clouds.

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