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October 2010

Off the road, off the grid

Mercey Hot Springs Credit Barbara L SteinbergMercey Hot Springs Story & Photos by Barbara L. Steinberg

Sometimes I hate to share all of my best California secrets, but here I go again!

No need to beg for mercy at Mercey Hot Springs, there's plenty to see, do, and enjoy! Out of the way and way off-road -- 13 miles from Interstate 5 and many more miles from scenic Hwy. 25 -- this historic hot springs resort (don't be thinking 5-stars) is worth the drive. This is especially true if you enjoy solitude, open spaces, and a clothing optional hot springs soak!

The full-size swimming pool -- hot springs water -- is available during the better weather. The pool and decking have been refurbished and a series of new soaking tubs added. Also added were two full baths. All that you want and more. This area of the resort is clothed and provides more options for visitors. The upgrades are fantastic.

Mercey Hot Springs Cabins  Credit Barbara L SteinbergThe rustic cabins have all been restored. The cabins are tiny and only outdoor BBQs for cooking, so come prepared for a little roughing it on the soft side. You can bring your own Coleman stove or utilize one of the fire pits. For a little more money, the #5 cabin has a kitchenette. So ask about availability. There's no TV, but through the marvels of science WiFi has been added. Don't know if that's a good thing or not! No escaping technology even in this remote corner of Californa.

  The outhouses are the nicest I have ever seen! There are a couple of private soaking tubs in one of the ramshackle buildings, which also includes the most marvelous reptile Img_7104_4 mosaic. The restoration of the historic buildings has been done with their history in mind. Though modern conveniences have been added, the buildings maintain a weathered look and feel. Come spring, the hillsides and valleys bring forth a profusion of wildflowers after a wet winter. Even in the fall, the drive into Mercey delivers undulating golden hills of the Central Valley and Little Panoche Valley. A stunning view; so take it slow.

In the meantime, a colony of long- eared owls has taken up residence at Mercey. They arrive in late summer/early autumn and stay until Spring, nesting and birthing their babies. It's a sight to behold! Owl  Day visitors can pay a fee to stop and see these wise birds.

The most amazing part is that the owners have created a completely green environment and everything is off the grid. There's solar, bio-diesel, and wind! Quite an accomplishment.

There are many hidden hot springs throughout Caliornia and I hope to visit each and every one. In this northwest corner Subaru Legacy 1994 Credit Barbara L Steinberg of Fresno County, you are truly away from it all. I recenlty spent another quiet weekend at this delightful retreat. My Subaru taking me happily off-road and on. There are many wonderful back roads in the area and other historic sights to see. Enjoy the ride.

And a slide show of photos!

California, Hot Springs, California, Travelfresno, san francisco


This Bud's for you!

Don't Miss the Fun:  National Bud Happy Hour!

Bud ClydesJoin Anheuser-Busch Brewery in
Fairfield,
California for Budweiser Tours' Week-long Visitor Appreciation
September 28 to October 2, 2010

WHAT: On Wednesday, Sept. 29, the Anheuser-Busch Fairfield brewery tour center will remain open for tours and sampling until 7 p.m. as part of “Budweiser National Happy Hour."

Visitors taking the brewery tour from Tuesday, September 28, through Saturday, October 2, also will get some extras as part of the week-long consumer appreciation event:

•  10 percent discount on Budweiser merchandise
•  Complimentary Budweiser key chain
•  Opportunity to win a Budweiser gift

WHEN:  10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, September 28 through Saturday, October 2
             10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday, September 29
WHERE:  Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour Center
              3101 Busch Drive
              Fairfield , CA
              707-429-7595
              www.budweisertours.com  


One of California's best things you almost didn't see

One of the Many & Photo by Barbara L. Steinberg

While on a recent writing assignment, I was fortunate enough to enjoy some wonderful conversation with two men who invited me to sit at their dinner table. As is often the case when traveling, I love to share stories with people I meet along the way. On this  recent adventure, I talked about some of California's great landmarks....many that are often missed or overlooked. One of my dinner companions mentioned one such landmark and sent me off to discover this "best thing you almost didn't see." He gave me some limited details and motivated me to go forth and search. So search I did.

California The Best Thing You Almost Didnt See Credit Barbara L Steinberg 2010Here is "the thing" (I believe) and am sending this photo to him for confirmation. Thank you, M.R., for this early morning adventure. I stopped a number of people in the general vicinty. As you said, no one knew what I was talking about. No one!

For everyone else, do you know where this is? It's in northern California. This commissioned work of art has ties to the Freedom of Speech Movement.

 


What's great about Sacramento is that it's country close!

Hang-out with your new best friends on the tour
Hang-out with your new best friends on the tour
Courtesy of Placer Farm & Barn Tour