Sierra Nevada Thanksgiving

On our journey, Thanksgiving has become one of our favorite holidays. There is zero chance of us attempting to cook a big meal in our tiny living space, and many restaurants have fabulous Thanksgiving offerings. This year Thanksgiving finds us in a remote part of California among the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

The Yuba Pass

In the past, I have driven significant portions of Highway 101 along the Pacific coast and assumed it was the windiest road in our country. I assumed wrong. California Highway 49 through these small mountains is constant curves for the better part of an hour. The drive is gorgeous, the roads in good shape, but with the danger of ice and snow almost no one takes this route in late November. Last weekend we only saw three cars in the hour through the pass as we went to the hot springs for a day of soaking. We found another route home that was a half-hour longer, but a lot less windy.

Thanksgiving day we decided that another soak before our big meal would be just the ticket. I was feeling spritely, so through the mountains we went again. We are badass travelers after all. In the darkest section of the pass, we slipped on some black ice, but good tires and all-wheel drive saw us safely through.

Sierra Hot Springs

If you have never walked through the snow to soak in hot water, you really should. Kendra describes the results as the most relaxed state she is capable of being in. I find it to be supremely peaceful. This walk was a bit longer than most but well worth it. The geodesic dome had a pool with water temps over 105F, a large swimming pool had 95F water, and the sauna was the best I have ever experienced.

After three hours of relaxing in hot water — and on soft couches by a real wood fire — we took the longer route to Grass Valley and stuffed ourselves in true holiday fashion. The selection of a restaurant is always a risk, but our choice was perfect this time. They had outdoor seating that was warmer than their indoor seating, soft music, great service, and delicious food.

We hope you had a wonderful holiday. May peace find you.

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