Travels with Bouncin Betty

My father liked low budget road trips. Mostly out of necessity because we were a 5 person family living on a USAF NCO salary. We criss-crossed the country in various large Merican cars such as Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 etc. with possessions in tow as he was transferred from one forlorn city to another. Long Sunday drives to see what the surrounding countryside held were common.  As such I have always enjoyed exploring California and Nevada with the wife. We chew up a lot of backroad miles in one of the best touring 4WD vehicles available, a Land Rover LR4. We do sleep in it with the rear seats folded down but it is not very comfortable.

Looking to expand these travel  horizons to the western states, Canada and Mexico so we are trying out the Class B RV thing to see if it will work for these upcoming adventures. Meet Bouncing Betty on our first trip over Memorial Day. We camped the first night at Doran Beach in Bodega bay after an easy 2.5 hr cruise from Pleasanton.

IMG_3735 Built on a Sprinter chassis in Saskatchewan. Turbo diesel 6,very frugal.IMG_3737

Just BARELY large enough for an extended trip not resulting in divorce. Doran beach is an excellent campground right on the beach. Clean facilities including showers. $40 a night. I fished the jetty for nada.

Next morning we headed towards Ft Bragg 3 hrs north on Hwy 1. An amazing stretch of road. We stopped in Gualala and generally dawdled.

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The Land Whale made the trip well despite this being one of the curviest roads in the US. We stayed at Sportsman RV under the hwy 1 bridge on the Noyo river. Basically a dirt lot with hookups. Funky was the operative word. Noyo is still a working harbor but also has 4 restaurants, kayak rentals, party boats,  fresh off the boat seafood for sale and a couple of “rustic” bars. We were told to park by the Sphere of Doom.

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Proprieter claimed this was the original model of the Barnum & Bailey “Sphere of Doom” act with motorcycles riding on the inside of the ball.

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Authentic Teardrop trailer

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Hwy 1 and Noyo River

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I fished the jetty until late afternoon for nada. We watched the Warriors win Game 6 at a wharfside seafood place called Silvers. The navigator approved.

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I have wanted to do some boondocking for some time now so the third day out we headed inland on hwy 20 to Potter Valley, gateway to Mendocino National Forest. Famous for ummm growing things. We bounced 15 miles down a very dusty forest road to Lake Pilsbury.

IMG_3783 IMG_3784 IMG_3786Great campsite on the lake. I saw a large herd of Elk cross the northern end of the lake at dusk but was too lazy to get the camera. Long drive back Monday through returning holiday traffic.

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