Northern California

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According to many national parks in recent months our thirst was huge like the sea and beach. So we decided to drive from Wyoming zzap and direct route to the West Coast. At the same time we were aware that we can not just go through the piece 980 miles (1580 km). Our first stop was spent in Idaho Falls to the emptied fridge to refill and also the laundry pile had also achieved a considerable amount for the days in the wilderness. Our next stop should be at the “Craters of the Moon”. This national park is known for the bizarre moonlike rock formations. But as the weather was a little unsure, we said goodbye to this idea and went to Salt Lake City that received us with plenty of sunshine and a music festival.

Ordeal in Salt Lake City

We parked our Carthago in the city center very close to the Liberty Park not knowing that this weekend a music festival took place. The numerous playgrounds were overrun with young children so that our children in the bustle of toddlers nearly lost forever. Our stomachs were empty and Stefan stood bravely in one of the long queues that had formed from the many food trucks. After 30 minutes and a great conversation with a Mormon couple Stefan was abandoning his turn to his order. Now patient was again required, because the crowd that was waiting at the food counter was just so great. After about an hour Stefan finally held the dinner in his hands and had to be reconciled in the crowd of the rest of the family. These chips and the castles were by far the best we have eaten in the US 😉

For us it is always amazing how patient people can wait in the US for something. Many “good” restaurants people waiting in patience and good humor for more than 30 minutes to even get a seat.

In Nevada, we spend a night at a casino parking lot and on a BML country. For us it is great again, a lot many options in the United States are available for a free night available. There are many places and ways to park, the sometimes beautifully situated and also are very clean and easily accessible.

Just before we reached California, there was again a family council. The question there was to clarify was not easy: we drive up towards Oregon in the Redwood National Park or west toward San Francisco so we can spend more time at the Beach? We chose the second option. (In the meantime, we in LA and San Diego met many people who praise the coastal region of Oregon in the skies. So we had a few weeks later again a family council hold)

Yosemite National Park

Do not miss it, we wanted to visit Yosemite National Park, which was immortalized in the Apple operating system in several ways (as wallpaper and operating system name). Since the road from the east was open to the west until the next afternoon, we spent one night on a BML land in front of the park. The drive to our place for the night was more than adventurous. The gravel road was narrow, bumpy and confusing. Our headlights were twinkling in the sky in the dark a path through the woods during the star in the dark. The next morning presented us once more with a cloudless sky and we were looking forward to the trip over the Tioga Pass, which connects to 3031 m above sea level, the Sierra Nevada with California. Along the mountain road still piled up the snow walls and collapse from and to the view of the panorama of mountain peaks.

After a delicious lunch, we walked through the park – were but a short time forced to turn back because the snow made many walking routes indisposed. So we continued towards Yosemite Village and stopped briefly at a vantage point to rotate around a Selfi film. Here we were approached in Swiss German by Charlotte. We quickly started talking and after a few minutes, we received an invitation from her friend. Tracy’s house is supposed to south of San Francisco are in a cove on the Pacific. We were thrilled to see you again and accepted the invitation more than happy to.

After a quiet night on a romantic old Forrest campground outside the park we drove to the center of the park. In Yosemite Village the rush of tourists is so great that were formed on the roads through the park long motorcades. And the search for a suitable parking became the gambling. After months in the park, we felt something like a foretaste of the approaching high season. We are grateful and relieved that we were able to enjoy the national parks in the United States before the rush during the school holidays. After a short hike to Mirror Lake and the study of a bear trap we returned to the visitor center. The children were as always made the Junior Ranger program and wanted to pick up their award. After dinner we left late in the evening – after the big traffic jam – the park and drove towards the west coast.

Tracy’s hospitality

After a peaceful night in the Walmart parking Atwater we reached the Pacific coast, and followed the Highway 1 up until after Pacifica to Tracy’s house. The architecture of the villa was modern and the view from the terrace phenomenal. We enjoyed the community and talking with Charlotte and Tracy. This encounter was and remains for us a great enrichment and inspiration. The openness, the hospitality and the positive attitude of these people were to talk about for a long time with us. After a delicious dinner we enjoyed together the sunset on the pier during the Noam Cancer fishermen looked into the bucket. Noam had developed in the last few weeks and months our trip a great self-confidence and now speaks on his own people, if something interests him. Fishermen on the pier had their bright joy of Noam and proudly showed off their prey.

San Francisco

We spent the night in our Carthage before Tracy’s house or at the nearby near metro station and inquired from there San Francisco. Noam wanted to Pier 39. Pier 39 is a former boat dock Fisherman’s Wharf to the north of San Francisco. There was not only a year-round amusement with souvenir shops, rides, restaurants and an aquarium but just a colony of sea lions. Here basked vociferously 400 sea lions on large pontoons in the harbor area. The noise of the animals in their arguments to the best place in the sun was deafening and the activity for all of us a spectacle. Of course, a ride on the world famous Golden Gate Bridge had to be there. The city itself was shrouded in a mystical fog day and it blew us every now and then a cooling wind around the ears while a tasty ice, the views of the former prison Alcatraz enjoyed. But when we wanted to visit the famous Lombard Street we had to rotate at a stinking clutch, because the approach was too steep for our motorhome. The Lombard Street is one of the steepest streets in the city with a gradient of 27 percent, which is problematic for many cars and pedestrians. Therefore, it was 1923 in serpentine form as one-way street (downhill leader) rebuilt. The paved road is now at a distance of 145 meters from eight curves. Another day was spent on the playground of the huge city park where Noam tirelessly honed his surfing skills on a cardboard backing.

Napa Valley

After the bustle of the city, we wanted to not miss the vineyards in Napa Valley, north of San Francisco. Here we received huge trees, beautiful green forests and vineyards as far as the eye can see. We do not drink almost no alcohol and wine connoisseurs we’re at, and yet we did not want to miss visiting the experience a winery. Throughout the valley there are so many wineries that the decision was difficult. For us was the experience in the foreground and not necessarily the wine tasting. Thus, we opted for a winery in a castle. The Castelano de Amoroso, a replica after the original Southern European model castle was our choice. The environment was fantastic and the romantic castle we felt like in Italy. The children had thoroughly enjoy exploring the castle, the dungeon, the armor and the many wine barrels. Also we parents were treated to a wine tasting and felt something almost beduselt after our months of abstinence. We left the day with delicious food, relax after a stroll through Napa shopping street and a giant ice before we pitched our camp next to a playground, where we did not seem to bother the neighbors.

The next day we made then again a trip to the Golden Gate Bridge to finally a photo with us, the camper, the bridge and some sun to shoot what really succeeded well.


We went to Monterey, a beautiful small town south of San Francisco. The campsite on a hill in the city was unfortunately fully booked, but this turned out to be very lucky for us. Getting there was sure 3km long and always led uphill. In Monterey itself we found free parking on the street near the famous aquarium, where we spent an entire day. The kids could not get enough of the many fish and watched the divers even twice while feeding the fish to. Noam admired humility a leopard and hammerhead, only separated by a thick pane of glass. We explored the historic downtown, lounged on the beach, making the playground unsafe before we had enough of the many fog and the cold breeze.

Lake Nacimiento

We had the heat wanted and now she was there. Only about 70km from the cool coast of Lake Nacimiento was inland and hot 40 degrees Celsius hit against us. Even the ubiquitous drought was obvious. The hills were brown and dry and the water level of the lake many meters below the original level. We found a parking space in the vicinity of the lake and rested here for the next three days. Once just being. Do not drive, watch anything, just hang out and swim. After we had the first night the entire campsite yet to ourselves it filled up the other two nights. It grew louder, generators of large motorhomes ran all day, made loud noises and smelled to himself. And unfortunately the trash on the lake was allowed everywhere are, so we were glad to be able to leave again after three days.

More and more we understand why the so beautiful national parks strict rules apply and these are also rigorously controlled. Only so it stays nice and clean for the next guest.