Burning Breaks and Napa Valley

I thought this whole day would be just a wash with nothing to blog about since we were in the car for 7 hours.

But, once again, it’s not just the destination that is noteworthy, it is the JOURNEY!

This was my first time ever seeing Napa Valley. We drove through the southernmost part of it and ONE day, I will drive through the whole thing and stop a hundred times! It is beautiful. I’ll share a few pictures I was able to get on our drive after I share about our scare.


We are descending from Big Bear (7000 feet)

Hair pin curves and 10 mph in spots

I had to stop twice in 10 miles to rest and once for NIna to go pee per. Aren’t the views pretty?

Anyway, Mimi made fun of me for needing to rest due to my driving anxiety and fear of heights.

Well, we started smelling really strong burning breaks and just assumed it was a truck in front of us.

Nope, it was us. Both front brakes smoking strong!

I pulled off the road again.

I had everyone following our trip praying. Here were stuck 5000 feet up in the middle of the San Bernardino National Forest, with no water, and not sure of how to get down safely.

So thankful there was a cell signal and I could call the mechanic who installed the breaks 3 days ago. And he answered!

Also thankful we happened to stop at a pull off with a tree for shade.

Per the mechanic, we let the brakes cool off for 30 minutes and we’re back on the road. Back to our 5 hour drive north.

Whew. That was so scary. But, I am easily scared so, just saying.

After we descended the mountain, drive a cross the desert valley, snd began ascending into the hills, the view became breathtakingly beautiful!

Everything got green! There were rolling green hills on both sides of the road. My heart was in awe.

I couldn’t even take pictures of the beauty while driving so these are not even representations of how pretty it is.

We stopped for a rest at the most epic pit stop ever! Murray Family Farms.

Farm fresh food and fruit right off the tree.

We also passed through our first oil field! There were hundreds of oil rigs pumping!!! So cool to see for the first time.

I’m not sure where Napa valley begins, but my guess it is where we began seeing miles and miles of citrus groves.

And thousands of acres of vineyards

And these trees as far as the eye can see, in perfect rows. Anybody know what they are?

And olive trees!

And BEE farms! Lots of bee farms! Duh, Orange Blossom honey! Ding ding, it all makes sense now.

We couldn’t pass up the big Antique store on the side of the road so we explored it.

And there were fresh fruit farm stands with fresh honey we had to check out too. They let you taste all the things. Even fresh squeezed orange juice.

And the drive into three rivers on the way to Sequoia is spectacular.

We checked into our hotel on the river, went for a quick swim in the very cold pool…

The girls are staying in their first vintage motel and Nina is getting the biggest kick out of the tiny bathtub that none but her can fit in.

Mimi flat ironed my hair without burning it off and we went to the Pizza Factory for dinner .

What a day. What I thought would be a day of nothing but driving, was a fat filled with surprises and blessings.

Published by gradybunchmom

Mother of seven. Living the adventure on our own terms and loving every step of the journey. Beginning this blog to chronicle our trip across the country and take our family and friends “with” us.

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