Posted by: theurban6 | February 24, 2011

Clear lake day trip

Well this past weekend we decided to take a day trip close to home, since our son is getting more mobile.

Heading north on 101 out of Petaluma, we continued past Santa rosa. I believe the correct mileage was 54 miles from Petaluma to the turn off for hwy 175. If you get car sick you will want to take a different route, but if you want gorgeous views take 175.

Hwy 175 is a very twisty paved road with 15 MPH turns, and 9% grades. The highway does have a length restriction also. No vehicles with a 39′ total length are allowed. This means no campers, or RV’s. If you have the aforementioned RV or camper you will need to continue north on 101 to the hwy 20 turn off. Hwy 20 extends the trip by about 20 miles, so be prepared.

Hwy 175 comes out on the banks of clear lake at the town of Lakeport. The lake is huge, and surrounded by large snow-capped mountains (at least in Feb.). Once in Lakeport we decided to start looking for a place to eat lunch. We went through Lakeport, and Kelseyville, with no luck. I think it is fair to mention here that we did go on Presidents day, and I should have brought or own lunch. The main places open were casinos, and I didn’t feel that was appropriate.

We ended up cutting the trip short because of lunch finding issues :), the kids don’t last long without food. Returning we took 175 again to Cloverdale, where we stopped at The World Famous Hamburger Ranch. My wife ordered the pulled pork sandwich, I had a cheese burger, and we shared some chili fries. Cameron had the kids fried fish sticks, and Benjamin had the kids fried chicken strips. This was all that was on the kids menu.

The meal review is as follows. My meal was nothing better than a McDonalds burger, though a slightly better quality. The patties appeared to be premade like you buy in a store, and very under cooked. The fries were wedge cut, and appeared to be fresh. The chili fries were not much better. The chili was over spiced, but the chili fries were hot. Leisha’s pulled pork sandwich as stated by her was good. Benjamin and Cameron’s meal was a lot like mine. The fish and chicken strips were of the frozen food variety just like you get in the frozen food section of your local grocery store (want an example look for the cheapest quality when you go to your local store). They had the same type of fries as us, but had more of them than us. I think that this was to make the plate look fuller, because both meals only had 2 strips. The quantity of strips is fine, because you don’t want them to eat more than that. They only ate the fries anyway. The high point was their signature bbq sauces. They were good, having a sweet, spicy, and carolina variety (vinegar based). The food was typically over priced for what it was. I guess I should have followed my experience the crappy meals need a world famous in their name to get people in to eat. (Leisha will think I was too negative in my review)

After the meal we continued home, with nothing else interesting to point out. Overall I am interested in going back to see the north and east sides of the lake. The side we saw was a little messy in places, but in others it looked as though the towns were making an effort to become more upscale. As you know upscale doesn’t mean much to me, but I do enjoy looking through towns when on “family” adventures. Best town visited on this trip award goes too Kelseyville, for its effort to make downtown a good-looking and very clean place to visit. When I say clean, I mean hospital grade clean. Though everything looked new, it was done in an older small town style. It featured nice looking restaurants, and wine tasting shops, though they were all closed :(.

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