Category: Road Trips

Road Trip- Yurt & Yaks

By Melissa Wynn It used to be that a night or two away came with just a few options, hotel, campground or the guest room of a loved one. Today lodging options are as varied as the folks in search of them and those with the imagination to create unique options. From old airplanes and garden sheds to tree houses and house boats, a place to crash for a few days is evolving into an adventurous experience. On a recent road trip with my trusty companions Molly and Lorraine, I enjoyed an overnight stay creekside near Eddy Mountain in an eclectic and cozy yurt. A yurt is a circular dwelling, made...

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Nakoma Golf Resort – The Dragon

By Rick Barlupi Photos by Rick Barlup & Nakoma Resort In 1923, Frank Lloyd Wright conceived Nakoma’s stunning clubhouse design.  Nakoma is a Chippewa word which means “I do as I promise.” It took six years to adapt the drawings to a full set of plans, obtain permits and construct the building, with a dedication ceremony held in 2001. It took three years to complete the golf course designed by Robin Nelson of Mill Valley, California, who also designed the famous Dunes at Mauna Lani on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The owners of Nakoma, at that time, wanted a commanding and impressive course,...

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A&E On The Road to Tahoe – Crystal Bay Casino

By Melissa Wynn Few vistas are as spectacular or as well known around the world as that first glimpse of stunning Lake Tahoe. Late this Spring Molly Barber and I  treated ourselves to not only those unforgettable views of the lake but also to an amazing dinner and Kongos concert at Crystal Bay Casino just ten steps over the California state line at 14 State Highway 28 in Crystal Bay. We took the scenic route through Quincy and Graeagle along Highway 89 since we both love seeing the railroad bridges, St. Bernard rock and the rushing Indian and Spanish Creeks as well as the Feather and Truckee...

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Hotel James, Wine Time & The Lost Dutchman Taproom

By Melissa Wynn On a beautiful Spring day in early April, my friend Molly and I decided to treat ourselves to a weekend of shopping and adventure in Chico. The drive down Highway 32 was stunning,  framed with  moss covered rocky walls weeping with runoff and bubbling underground springs. Running along side, Deer Creek was rushing with spectacular force after a long awaited, exceptionally wet winter. Chico greeted us with temperatures in the high seventies under sunny skies and we couldn’t wait to get to the mall. After our shopping spree we wandered up the Esplanade in search of Hotel James,...

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Oroville, Then & Now

A Walk Through The History Of  Oroville If you’re looking for a weekend getaway that will include a scenic drive down beautiful Feather River Canyon, think about visiting a few intriguing museums of Northern California located in Oroville, Butte County.  The first time I visited Oroville’s most unique and desired destinations was 1991.  I have returned on many occasions and suggest spending your time at only the best three attractions.  And, if kids are along for the journey, they will definitely enjoy them the most. Beginning at Highway 70 and Montgomery Street, turn left and head east....

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Gaia Hotel, Restaurant & Spa A Green Experience

Photos courtesy of Gaia Food photos and article by Christy Milan Travelers driving along I-5 have an opportunity to experience the Gaia Hotel, Restaurant and Spa. Positioned perfectly along I-5, the hotel overlooks the serene Sacramento River. The mountains of Shasta and Trinity loom in the distance with Mt.Shasta standing as a focal point. The valley stretches out offering many activities to locals and visitors. The Gaia is in a unique location offering little travel time to great adventures of all kinds. Within an hour or so you can be fishing, hunting, swimming, kayaking, hiking, skiing...

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A Journey To Lakehead

  Perched on 20 luscious acres, amid a forest of towering oak trees on the banks of Shasta Lake, sits an awesome little hideaway known as Tsasdi Resort. I recently had the pleasure of of an overnight visit with friends. We arrived on a sunny afternoon in the Fall to find owner Scott Schipper busily preparing for a weekend wedding party on the beautiful new deck. The leaves on the oaks were just beginning to change lending a serene sense of calm to the stunning scenery. We wandered the grounds for awhile with Scott taking in the wonderful improvements he and his business partner and life...

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Veterans Honored At The Living Memorial Sculpture Garden Weed, Ca

Veterans Honored At The Living Memorial Sculpture Garden Weed, Ca By Melissa Wynn Under the protective majesty of Mount Shasta sits a somber place of shocking beauty dedicated to those that gave their lives in war and those that continue to serve our country in the Military Armed Forces. This Living Memorial Sculpture Garden(LMSG) rests along the mountain’s northwestern slope,13 miles north of Weed, CA on Hwy 97 in Siskiyou County. Situated on 136 acres of land provided by the United States Forest Service, this garden of remembrance and healing includes more than 90,000 trees, also provided...

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Dunsmuir Brewery Works+1530.235.1900, Brews and Blooms in Dunsmuir

Brews and Blooms in Dunsmuir By Melissa Wynn When the wanderlust sets in I always think of good friends, good food and beautiful places. When my friend Lorraine, who lives near Montague, suggested exploring her neck of the woods, I jumped at the chance for an overnight visit and a little down time. I had been eagerly awaiting a road trip with talented videographer Molly Barber, the newest member of our Mountain Valley Living team, so she and I packed up the camera and notebooks and headed North. I never tire of the beauty of the drive down Highway 44. Stunning views of both majestic Mount...

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GOLDEN WEST DINING AND MOTEL Impressive Cuisine with Small Town Charm

Whether you’re out exploring the beautiful Sierra Valley, birding at the steel bridge, or fishing in one of the many waterways nearby, the Golden West Restaurant and Motel in Loyalton is the perfect place for a delicious meal, a refreshing drink or a clean and comfortable place to spend the night. According to manager Suzanne Shelton, the Golden West was originally built in 1905, and has a rich history of serving the area throughout the past century. Back in the 1930s, the Golden West Hotel was attached to a saloon called Bricks Place. Then during the 1950s it became a boarding house for...

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A Trip To Burney Falls

“Spring time is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn,” said Lewis Grizzard. This quote is part of the reason I love spring. Spring is simple proof that even after a howling fall wind, when the leaves are shredded from the trees and the cold aches our bones and cracks our windows, even after a hauntingly cold winter filled with snow and void of sunshine, even after the land is stripped of its bright and beautiful greens, it can regrow. It can spring back to life and recreate the beautiful, bountiful green grass, fresh flowers, and blooming trees. Spring is like waking up...

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Westwood Museum +1.530.256.2233,

The Westwood Museum, located in the little mountain community of Westwood, contains the artifacts of a once thriving logging town that was founded in 1913 by the Walker Family. During the time the town was owned by the Walker family, the nation experienced the Industrial Revolution, two World Wars and significant societal changes. The Red River Mill was the largest operating mill in North America. The town had a state-of-the-art hospital, a theater and opera house, the largest sawdust pile in the world and an indoor mall, said to be the first indoor mall in the United States. The people who...

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