02 October 2012

2012 WILD WEST California 8 - The Lazy J in Lincoln

Chico CA to Lincoln CA


Another easy-breezy day--Chico CA to Lincoln CA. Only 73 miles. And another hot one though. High 90s in downtown Chico and pretty darn hot at the Lazy J, too.


I'm up at 9am and feeling guilty. I realized I forgot to wish my sweet sister HAPPY BIRTHDAY on the 9/29 and also DesNoyers HAPPY ANNIVERSARY on 9/30. They have been married a couple of months longer than us (so 36 years this year). And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our nephew Danny today, too.

This morning the talkity-talkity flourished on, along with some great coffee at V's. Slow moving for all, but we finally headed to lunch at the Sierra Nevada Brewery about noon. It was like going to Disneyland. Just didn't know where to look first. Had been here about 11 years ago and it had expanded almost into infinitum. There were 100s of solar panels over the parking lot that work double duty as shade for the cars. There were also at least four electric recharge stations. Really eco-ing up at Sierra Nevada.

Inside there was bright polished copper everywhere--huge exposed ceiling air ducts (maybe 15" in diameter), wash basins in the bathroom, planters, handrails, many decorations, and HUGE copper brewing kettles. The food (and drink) was delish. Mike drinks S.N. all the time at home and it was fun to be "at the source" again. The gift store made a few bucks off of us, too.

Then we all went to downtown Chico to do a little window shopping. Many of our favorite stores and bars are still there. Bought a few items and had a drink for the road at Duffy's with Jon and Lora. Hard to leave these folks and Chico, as this has been one of our favorite towns to visit for years when we lived in CA. HMB was always on the cool side--average year-round temps ranging from 40-65 degrees. So we would visit here a few days each summer to bake and sweat out the "impurities." Although in those days we probably drank more than we sweated out in this fun, college/hippy town.

After lunch headed out to DesNoyer's Lazy J (for Joe) ranch. Unfortunately we missed Cheryl, as she is on a St. Lawrence Seaway cruise with friends. Dylan their ol' poodle has passed on, but cutsie little Rosie is keeping Joe company while he is bachelor-ing it and entertained all of us for the evening. She is a peachy color and weighs only 5 lbs. Very smart and just L-O-V-E-S Joe.

Discovered we left the i5 phone charger and the charger to Mike's camera at V's. Called and they will Fed-Ex to Yuma for us to pick up there. Bummer, a new smart phone with all the gadgets not available for a few days. At least we have the Coolpix camera as a back-up.

Joe gave us a casual walking tour of the house, barns, and grounds. It was good to stretch our legs on this mini-plantation. They had been tending a small herd of beef cattle until recently. Now the barns are mostly playrooms for Joe's tools and tinkering. They also have a few golf carts to get around this spread.

The only other time we had been here to the ranch was in 2003. On our move East from Half Moon Bay CA to Kalamazoo MI we stopped by. Joe and Cheryl had been in the house only a few months and it looked like a completely different place now. Everything all cleaned-up, spit-shined, and spruced-up to the max. Lovely green and manicured fields and yard, lots of colorful flowers and shrubs, barns and out-buildings ship-shape, and a picture perfect home. It was evident a lot of hard work had been done here and the results are impressive.

As we were still stuffed from lunch and ready to settle in, Joe had dinner-in-a-box and we relaxed and talked of old times. It's interesting that at all our stops, the chit-chat is mostly new because we are with different folks. Joe has been Mike's friend for over 40 years. Cheryl and I were add-ins as time went by, so on occasion we don't know the stories. But I DO know the stories get ever bigger and bolder as time goes on. 

We turned in early tonight as the peacefulness and quiet of this home on the range location overtook our activity.

Sunset from the Lazy J Ranch front porch

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If you have visited any of these places, we would love to hear your comments. Or send us recommendations of places we should not miss.