Big Sur VanSlam

“Well my bags are packed, I’m ready to go”…. Or so the song lyrics go. Of course I’d been packed and ready to go for days.

So here is the basic idea: Suzie and I link up with Leane, Richie and the dudes, for a couple of weeks of traveling in our VW camper vans down the Pacific Coast, with a turn around point at Big Sur California.

Note: The video highlight reel is at the end.  So if you just can’t wait, scroll down there and give it a click.

Last winter we’d planned out an itinerary, and made reservations for a string of state park campgrounds along the way down. We shared that info with Lexy, Charlie (and Nalu) so they could drive north from Venice Beach in their VW camper, and rendezvous with us in Big Sur.  Launch time was set for the very minute that the dudes got out of school for summer vacation.

Our first bit of fun came with the crossing of the Columbia River into Oregon. We escaped from the I-5 slab and followed WA Hwy 4 to the town of Cathlamet. A short bridge took us onto Puget Island where we boarded the last remaining small ferry, still working the lower Columbia.

Crossing the Columbia River

Crossing the Columbia River

On the south side of the river we continued west to Astoria and made a quick stop at the Goonies’ house. A few miles father west we came to rest in our first camp at Fort Stevens State Park.  Our evenings entertainment was punctuated by a bike ride to visit the wreck of the Peter Iredale, and a ranger’s presentation about the Graveyard of the Pacific.

The Peter Iredale

The Peter Iredale

This is very disturbing...

This is very disturbing…

 

Sand Carving

Sand Carving

The next morning we were up and out, and rolling south. We stumbled into Cannon Beach where the sand carving contest was getting set up.

 

 

 

This is where I need to take a moment and tell you about this wonderful little dude:

Cadence

Cadence

So I have loved this beautiful little dude, with all my heart, since the very first moment I laid my eyes on him almost 8 years earlier. He never ceases to amaze me with his humor, intelligence, kindness… But on this day, as we were walking along the beach, I see Cadence just reach down and pick up a bunch of nasty trash, and then he carried that with him for 15-20 minutes until he found a trash bin to throw it away properly. Now nobody asked him to do that and he didn’t say a word to anyone about it. He just took it upon himself to be a good ocean shepherd. I was so choked up I almost couldn’t speak. A new word came to my mind to describe this marvelous little guy: RESPECT!  Cade, you’re my hero. I love you pal.

 

The Three Capes Route

The Three Capes Route

We followed the three capes scenic route and were rewarded with stunning ocean views the whole day.  Camp for the night was at South Beach State Park.  We all hiked out to the beach where the dudes went crazy rolling down the sand dunes.  Life on the road was pretty good… Even the over officious park ranger-electric plug nazi lady couldn’t harsh my mellow when she pulled up and told me we couldn’t have two vans plugged into the same power station. I kid you not, this old bat bails out of her ranger truck with her ticket book in hand, to march up and lecture me on the park rules.  Forget about the fact that all through the camp there were giant RV’s sucking down 20 times the amps we were. Ridiculous!

Bullards Beach near Bandon OR was our next camp. We arrived early in the day and made a fairly long hike out to a beautiful deserted beach. The waves were pounding, the wind was screaming, and the dudes looked like sugar cookies in about two minutes.

In the sand dunes

In the sand dunes

 

Sugar cookie face

Sugar cookie face

Of course no trip down the Oregon coast would be complete for me without a stop at the massive sea stacks in Bandon, OR.  The rest of the crew humored me with a few minutes of uninterrupted bird glassing time.  I truly could sit on those cliffs all day and watch sea birds.

Bandon, OR

Bandon, OR

We crossed into California and rolled through the redwoods.  Our next camp was Elk Prairie Redwoods State Park, and as the name implies we had a whole herd of elk visit us around dinner.

Elk arrived for dinner

Elk arrived for dinner

The next day included more elk, lots more giant redwood trees, and corkscrewing our way along CA Hwy 1, down the lost coast to MacKerricher State Park, just north of Fort Bragg.  Our now routine hike to the beach took us across beautiful patches of ice plant, and out to a point where dozens of seals were hauled out on the rocks.  Truth be told, our campsite was just a dirt pit under some trees, and the restroom gave a new definition to the term “sh!thole”, but we met some really nice people in the next campsite with two adorable little kids, and the dudes played in the dirt till well after dark.

Ice Plant

Ice Plant

Seals

Seals

Point Arena Lighthouse

Point Arena Lighthouse

We awoke to that customary pacific coast summer sea fog, and thick damp air.  Our whole day was spent twisting and turning down CA Hwy 1.  The fog gave a couple of fleeting glimpses of the sky, but it was really just a tease.  Along with the fog came the wind… Lots of wind in some places.

The Point Arena Lighthouse provided a welcome diversion for the day.

 

 

 

View from the lighthouse

View from the lighthouse

We pressed on down the coast toward our intended campsite at Wrights Beach on the Sonoma Coast.  But just when I was contemplating how epically brutal our beachside campsites were gonna be in this 20 knots of windy, wet fog… Richie’s van decided to have a flat tire.

We found a little sliver of shoulder on the side of the road and Richie went into full-on NASCAR mode with a tire change. Ok, admittedly I don’t know JACK about NASCAR, but he had the tire swapped out before I had a chance to take a leak… That seemed pretty fast.

Now the plan was to drive past Wrights Beach into the tiny town of Bodega Bay and see about getting the flat tire fixed.  Nobody wanted to be stuck on the lost coast without a spare tire.  Towns are few and far between, and there was zero cell phone coverage.

No tire shop in Bodega Bay so it was time to call an audible play.  We headed inland to Petaluma… Land of Big O Tire, Best Western Inn (with a pool) Pizza, Laundry, and a perfect staging point for our next day’s exploration of San Francisco.

Pool Time

Pool Time

Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf

Initially my plan was to ride my bicycle across the Golden Gate Bridge, but as we approached it was absolutely blanketed in a thick cold fog.  As the saying goes, “The coldest winter I ever spent, was the summer I spent in San Francisco”.  Scrapping that plan, we pressed on to Fisherman’s Wharf.  Remarkably, we found some on street parking and bailed out for some touristy sightseeing.  And as luck would have it, the fog pretty much stayed clinging to the bridge… The sun was shinning on our part of the SF bay, affording us peak-a-boo views of Alcatraz.  The Rock!

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

Bloody Mary Time

Bloody Mary Time

We had a really fun lunch of sourdough bread bowls filled with clam chowder at Boudin Bakery Cafe.  Apparently this was the place where that whole idea of cutting your loaf of bread into a bowl was “thunked up”.  We even wandered through the sourdough museum and watched the process in the big kitchen viewing windows. Then on to conquer Ghirardelli Square where just about everybody in the VanSlam crew ended up with ice cream dripping off their faces and hands.  Hum?

 

 

 

Suzie

Suzie

Our home for the night was our only pre-planned hotel stay on the trip. Nick’s Sea Breeze motel and restaurant at Rockaway Beach was like being in a time machine, and landing back in the 1930’s.

With the ocean right out our doorstep it didn’t take long before all 3 dudes were soggy and sandy.  We ate our dinner while watching brown pelicans plunging into the surf for their dinner.  Oh, and a note about the tiny little double bed in our room… It too was from the 1930′s. I woke up thankful that the next few nights I would be back up in the top rack of our VW camper van.

We rolled south from Rockaway Beach on CA Hwy 1, in a blanket of heavy fog. Our first stop was the tiny harbor town of Pillar Point, where we drove out to the point hoping to catch a glimpse of the world famous Mavericks’ surf break.  But alas, the fog did not cooperate, the entire ocean was just a big mass of grey.  You couldn’t even see where the sky stopped and the water began.

Big Sur Coast

Big Sur Coast

Eventually we did catch some blue ocean views.  All along the Big Sur coast the views were breathtaking.  Naturally we (well, really just me) had to stop and shoot some video and photos at the historic Bixby Creek bridge.  They say it is the most photographed site along CA Hwy. 1.

Bixby Bridge

Bixby Bridge

 

Rockhopper on Hwy. 1

Rockhopper on Hwy. 1

Fernwood Resort was the bottom end of our route.  So don’t let the name “resort” take your mind’s eye to some vision of a fancy spa on the cliffs high above the Big Sur crashing surf… This was just camping in the dirt again, but with a few little conveniences like a power hookup, and a nifty little creek behind our camp.

 

Fernwood was where we rendezvoused with Lexy, Charlie, Nalu, and as a bonus, they brought along Charlie’s best pal Dan (all the way from Chicago).  The Chexy crew (as they are affectionately know around the world) drove up from Venice Beach in their VW Westfalia camper van after picking Dan up at LAX.

 

Lexy & Leane

Lexy & Leane

I guess if one was going to try to trace back and find the roots or the birthplace of this whole VanSlam idea, you wouldn’t have to look too far past the fact that as little cousins growing up Leane and Lexy logged thousands of miles with Susan and me in our van on road trip adventures all over North America.  Bringing everybody and their extended families back together once or twice a year is a marvelous way to keep the tradition alive.

 

We spent a few days at Frenwood enjoying the Big Sur River.  The dudes all got floaty tubes, so after using every last puff of air from my lungs helping Richie blow the tubes up, I jumped on the Rockhopper and headed further down the coast.  Now the term “down” the coast is a bit of a misnomer because the granny-gear-grind up out of the Big Sur river canyon was as long and hard as those 3 years I spent in the 8th grade.  But the views, once I did get back over to the actual coast were spectacular.  I was on high alert for California condors, but after a dozen or more miles it was all turkey vultures… No condors, so I turned around and headed back to camp.  Some type of shift in the Teutonic plates, or a seismic anomaly caused the road surface to shift and it turned out to be uphill both ways.  And here is a “Pro Tip” for northbound cyclist on CA Hwy 1 – That almost imperceptible shoulder on the southbound side of the road, is totally non-existent as you head north.  But if you spray chain lube all over your left shoulder to help the RV’s slide by you’ll be fine.

Ukulele time

Ukulele time

The dudes were still in the river when I returned and in fact stayed in the river all day.  Kingston had to be physically extracted for dinner, kicking and screaming all the way. We had a great night of campfire tales, story discs, and music with the Chexy crew, and what may have been the highlight of my trip… I had the dudes, one-two-three, in order, fall asleep in my arms.  Duke was actually conked out before the s’mores were done… But he got his second wind and worked through about half a s’more before he nodded off in mid-bite.  Kingston was next up for snuggle time.  We got him in his PJ’s and I tucked him into my coat.  He laid across my lap, watching the stars until he couldn’t hold his eyes open any longer.  Then, just before he was out for the night, in a quiet moment he said…”Grandpa, I love you”.  (I’ll give you a minute to go get a tissue.)

Cadence was up next and wasted no time in snuggling into my coat.  We talked about our trip so far, and made a plan for the next day.  So Cade didn’t actually fall asleep in my arms but we sure went to cozy level 5 before I passed him off to Richie for the transfer to his bunk.

The VanSlam crew

The VanSlam crew

The next morning, Sunday, I think, team Chexy was up early and fixin’ to roll out. They hung out at camp with us for a while, and Richie made all the “real” grown-ups Bloody Mary’s.  The elaborate process involved several different steps and a picnic table full of ingredients.  The dudes and I broke out our bushcraft skills and made hand carved skewers for every one’s olives, bacon, and cheese.

Our entire days’ entertainment was only a few steps away in the river.

The Lazy River

The Lazy River

Monday it was time to pull up stakes (metaphorically speaking) and head north, up into the Napa wine country for a couple of days.  As soon as we cut inland from the coast it started to get pretty hot.

We looped around the east side of the Bay Area through the San Jose megatropolis.  I think we did pretty good passing through during mid day and missing most of the traffic, and I think I can speak for everyone when I say it was pretty “yucky”. Brown grass, brown road surface, brown water, brown sky, and I’m sure lots of brown air came into my lungs.

Poison oak

Poison oak

We rolled into Bothe-Napa State Park in mid afternoon.  The heat was kind of crushing, but there were lovely shade trees everywhere and with a whisper of a breeze, it was kind of manageable.  But CAUTION was the word of the day.  The woods were absolutely blanketed with poison oak.  I mean every place a little dude would walk and explore was thick with poison oak.

The decision was made on the spot that this camp site was going be a “one night stand”.  Suzie booked us hotel rooms (with a pool) for the next night, 134 miles up the road in Corning.

So here’s another Pro Tip: Bothe-Napa, although beautiful for a grandpa dude to sit in his favorite camp chair reading a book, was not a great place for 3 adventuresome children.

Author’s Note: the temperature as I typed this paragraph at Bothe-Napa was 82 degrees F. at 1754 hours. Just for fun I also checked the temp at Shasta – 106!

Ouch!

Ouch!

So this was where the trip took an interesting twist.  About 2000 hours Suzie reached up to close the roof vent on our van, slipped and gashed her finger in the hinge.  I was standing right there saying, “hey, I’ll get that”…. I’m gonna stop with any of the gory details of the cut right here because it traumatizes me just thinking about it.

But let me tell you this part: I did a quick assessment and some first aid on the spot.  We folded up the camp and shot off to the St. Helena ER.  They got Suzie in the exam room and cleaned the wound (the cut went all the way to her tendon). She got 10 stitches and some shots, and a splint on her finger… Dude, this was her trigger finger too.  And them bam!  Right back to camp.

Wholly crap, grandma Suzie is a tough as nails total bad ass.  You know in my past life I had seen a lot of trauma, heck, I’d inflected a lot of trauma… But Susan was as hard core as any SWAT operator I’d ever worked with in my 25 years as a SWAT guy.

Even before the the finger incident we’d made the decision to escape the poison oak forest and skip our last day at Bothe-Napa and head north a ways for a hotel (spelled pool) for a day.  Corning, CA filled the bill perfectly.

Another day, another camp.  We motored up to the top of Lake Shasta to the Lakeshore RV park and campground, in Lakehead, CA.  It was hot, for sure.  But really (I can’t believe I’m saying this) only 90 degrees.  The camp was pretty kid friendly.  They had a pool, so the dudes were set for the next 3 days.  As far as the lake was concerned it was in typical “July” mode… A little river, hiding 300-400 feet down steep red dirt embankments.  But up on the bank where we were camped we had Western scrub jays and acorn woodpeckers to entertain us.

Regarding the people camped next to us:  all I can say is “Stella”!  Suffice to say that some people are just not cut out to be campers… Or parents, for that matter.

So what do you think would happen if you gave 3 water happy little dudes unlimited access to a swimming pool (in 100 degree heat) for a few days.  Well, their swimming skills would skyrocket!  Both Cadence and Kingston started actually working on technique… And Duke, holy cow, he turned into a swimmer.  Of course the downside to that was he now needed a dedicated water assistant full time, because he was already absolutely fearless around the water.

More pool fun

More pool fun

We spent a scorching Independence Day (day) and a rockus Independence Day (evening) at Lakeshore Park and then, the next day…”Like a band of gypsies, we go down the highway”.

Happy Birthday Cade

Happy Birthday Cade

We motored up to Salem, OR for the evening.  The Red Lion hotel (with a pool) was a welcome refuge from the heat.  The next day was Cadence’s 8th birthday so a big day was planned around stopping in Vancouver, WA to see the new Transformers movie.

 

 

 

 

Headed home

Headed home

As promised, here is our video:

 

Quality time

Quality time

That’s about it for this one.  We’re already making plans for the next VanSlam.

Thanks for following along.

Posted in Bicycle, Birding, Camping, Dudes, Photography, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trout Lake

Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area

Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area

Just 60 short miles from my back door.  That’s where I was as I stepped into the wilderness today.  A little over an hour on the motorbike, and about 1/2 mile of hiking trail had me immersed in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, headed up to Trout Lake.

There are actually several access points to designated wilderness areas much closer to my door, Boulder River Wilderness Area is probably more like 30 miles away. It feels a lot closer because I’m looking at it as I type this story.

But today the plan was to hike up to Trout Lake.  I strapped my trekking poles to the Strike Force Moto and headed for the hills.

Trout Lake

Trout Lake

I think my first hike to this picturesque little mountain jewel was back in about 1970.  Since then I’ve returned many times.  It has been interesting to see the way mother nature has rearranged the river valley over the years.  Back in 2006 a massive flood wiped out the trail and smashed the sketchy log bridge that crossed the Foss River.  Some adventurous souls (Travis and me among them) found a route across the river in 2007 by “poodle scooching” along a fallen tree.  Today I’m pleased to report that the trail was in great shape and there is a new bridge.

West Fork Foss River

West Fork Foss River

Bunchberry

Bunchberry

Red-brested sapsucker

Red-brested sapsucker

I had a bunch of red-brested sapsuckers buzzing around my lunch spot at the north end of the lake.  I initially thought they were yellow-bellied sapsuckers… but after further checking I realized my error.  But not before I titled them incorrectly in this cool little movie.

Have a look:

 

 

 

Thanks to Van Morrison for lending me his 1979 tune “Bright Side Of The Road”

One of these guys...

One of these guys…

... is the author

… is the author

 

 

 

Till next time.  Kat

 

 

 

 

Posted in Birding, Hiking, Motorbike, Photography, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Troublesome Creek

Troublesome Creek

Troublesome Creek

In the fall of 2006 massive flooding along the north fork of the Skykomish River wiped out the Index-Galena Road in about 8 different places.  Ever since that day the road has been closed to motor vehicles, and a couple of really cool little NF campgrounds have laid neglected, inaccessible, on the upper stretches of the road.

There was a “work-around”.  Forest Service Road 65, the Beckler River Road could be used as a backdoor to the camps, adding another 40 miles or so, but there was another gate at the top end, and I’d never seen it open in all my recent travels, and hiking trips to the area.

Until today!

North Fork Skykomish River

North Fork Skykomish River

Today the gate was open, and a more perfect road for the WR250R has never been carved into the earth.

Index-Galena Rd.

Index-Galena Rd.

I was delighted to see the tiny campground at Troublesome Creek was open, and in tip top shape.  Man that is exactly the kind of stuff I want my tax dollars to be spent on.

Blue Pools

Blue Pools

I parked the moto and took a little hike up the creek.  There are several places where one can stare down into the beautiful clear blue pools of water.

The trail was in great shape and there was a new foot bridge since my last hike here a decade before.

Enjoy the images, Kat

 

Foot bridge

Foot bridge

 

Posted in Motorbike, Photography | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Return To Bear Lake

Sunrise Over Mt. Pilchuck

Sunrise Over Mt. Pilchuck

I woke up at 5′something to see this beautiful sunrise peaking over the snowy edge of Mt. Pilchuck.  Perfect weather to take another crack at riding the Strike Force Moto up to the Bear Lake trailhead.

If you have been following along for a bit you may remember that last November I tried to ride up there and got turned away by the early winter snowfall.  You can find that story and video by clicking November in the list on the right >>>>>

An early start had me motoring along the Stillaguamish River by 0930, and by the looks of things, on this Monday morning I was the only person headed into the Mt. Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest.

IMS 3.1 Gallon Fuel Tank

IMS 3.1 Gallon Fuel Tank

My cool little moto got even cooler with the addition of this 3.1 gallon tank.  It fits the bike like a glove and provides half again as much fuel as the stock tank.  Yikes, why did I ever think I would just “strap on” an extra tank on the rear rack… This tank was the perfect solution.

Ok, it’s movie time:

Happy to report nothing damaged in the snowy tip over.

Three Fingers

Three Fingers

FS Road 4021

FS Road 4021

That’s a wrap.  Another beautiful day of goofing off in the mountains.

All systems are go for a July adventure following the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route (WABDR).  A mostly dirt route leaving Stevenson WA on the Columbia River and winding north, through the Cascade Mountains, all the way to Canada.

Of course you can hear all about right here.

Till next time.  Kat

Posted in Hiking, Motorbike, Photography, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jammin’ – The Spring Break Sessions

Duke on the Uke

Duke on the Uke

Susan and I hit the road for a few days to join Leane and her Donovan Dudes for some spring break fun at Ocean Shores. Anyone familiar with the springtime weather in that little southwestern Washington oceanside resort town, would not be surprised to hear that it lashed down rain for most of the time we were there. But, remarkably there were a few periods of settled weather, punctuated by a moment or two of blue sky.

Our cozy digs

Our cozy digs

Most of our time was spent hanging out with the dudes in this beautiful little cottage.  The view from the windows, looking out over Grays Harbor and across the water to Westport, was punctuated with the almost comical antics of brown pelicans diving for their dinner. A small family of deer roamed fearlessly among the houses, unconcerned with the rain and wind.

Grays Harbor

Grays Harbor

Ship Finder App

Ship Finder App

The dudes and I used the Ship Finder App to track the vessels headed out to sea.  Of course high tide meant “rush hour” at the harbor entrance. We did manage to find a small break in the weather so we all loaded into the Westy and headed to the beach for a kite flying session.

Kites

Kites

The rest of the time was spent playing music and goofing around.  Here is the first of two videos we made – Jimi Hendrix’ “Little Wing” -

As you can see we made quite a production out of this.  Leane was running the second video camera for the B roll, and we were using the Zoom H1 for the audio. And now for some Goofing off photos:

Night Ops

Night Ops

Olives

Olives

Cozy time with Suzie

Cozy time with Suzie

Good Morning!

Good Morning!

Shaving

Shaving

Story Time

Story Time

Here is our cover of the 1967 Bob Dylan classic “I Shall Be Released” -

I’ll take a moment here to say thanks again to Leane for the great camera work, and Richie I’ll say, “Wow, you’re an amazingly talented musician, and an inspiration to us all”.  Thanks for Jammin’.

The Spring Break Sessions

The Spring Break Sessions

And thanks to all of you readers, listeners, viewers, for following along on our travels. Kat

Posted in Dudes, Music, Photography, Ukulele, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Riding The Hanford Reach

Sunrise Chorus

Sunrise Chorus

As the sun was rising above the Saddle Mountain foothills I was enjoying a morning chorus of red-winged blackbirds.

I was headed out for a mountain bike ride along the Hanford Reach section of the Columbia River.  Of course, I was on the east side of the river.  Unauthorized visits to the other side of the ‘creek’ usually result in an all expenses paid vacation to a federal prison.  But, one can certainly get a nice view of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, and a new appreciation for just how expansive that giant land mass is, from my side of the river.

My route followed a crumbling abandoned narrow roadway that used to run up river to the tiny hamlet to White Bluffs (now-a-days, the town is also crumbling and abandoned).

Springtime in the desert

Springtime in the desert

U.S. Fish and Wildlife sign

U.S. Fish and Wildlife sign

The area is now under the control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is closed to motorized traffic… Perfect for Rockhoppers!

The beautiful bright blue sky and the rising morning sun did little to warm up the day.  A chilly breeze and temperatures on the bottom end of 40 degrees kept me pedaling along whenever I wasn’t stopped for photos or filming.  Speaking of filming, how about a little video:

Jimi Hendrix – Angel.  Man what a great tune.

The Hanford Reach

The Hanford Reach

This marvelous view high on a hill was my turn around point.  From here it was mostly down hill and totally down wind.  Nice!

A drive-by geology lesson

A drive-by geology lesson

Hey one last thing.  Here is a link to a cool little video explaining some of the interesting geology associated with the White Bluffs area.  Ok, that’s it for now.  I got another week to spend here in the desert, then it’s back to the coast.

Thanks for following along, Kat

 

 

Posted in Bicycle, Birding, Photography, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Cowiche Canyon

Canyon Overlook

Canyon Overlook

That’s Cowiche Canyon down there.  I spent the day riding along the canyon trail and enjoying a day in the relative warmth (68 degrees).  I thought I’d share a few photos with you all.

Rolling down the canyon

Rolling down the canyon

I parked at the east end of the trail, a few miles east of Yakima.

The sunny Sunday weather meant that I’d be sharing the trail with a few of the locals, but in reflection, every one I passed offered me a nice wave and a smile.

 

 

In the canyon

In the canyon

One of the newer bridges

One of the newer bridges

Easter Island Man

Easter Island Man

My pre-ride research had me looking for this guy.  He is one of the most photographed rock formations along the trail.

I was thinking Easter Island statues, what do you think?

I pedaled down stream for about an hour, including a few dozen stops to take photos.

I was really impressed with the work of the local beaver population… those guys were really working hard all along the creek.

Beaver's Work

Beaver’s Work

More Beaver's Work

More Beaver’s Work

The Vineyard Trailhead

The Vineyard Trailhead

On my route downstream I noted a side trail that climbed up out of the canyon to a vineyard up on the ridge.  Of course the sign advising “wine tasting room” didn’t have much draw to me, but I thought maybe I’ll just scramble up there and buy a bottle of wine for Susan.

Well, a scramble is exactly what it turned out to be.  I pedaled a bit of the trail but most of it was just way to steep, rocky, and loose to get much traction.

Pano from high up on the ridge

Pano from high up on the ridge

Hike-a-bike

Hike-a-bike

Still Climbing

Still Climbing

Eventually the switchbacks ended and the trail was a little more rideable.  I continued up, and over a couple more rocky hills and popped out on the back side of the vineyard.

 

 

 

 

The Vineyard

The Vineyard

I rode through the rows of grape vines and pulled up to the wine tasting room, where the conversation when something like this, “I’m looking for a red, a cabernet, that will fit into my bike jersey back pocket”.  After a few giggles, the girls in the shop suggested their favorite vintage and we tried the pocket fit.  Prefect!

The pocket carry

The pocket carry

I took it a little easier going back down the hill just to insure that there wasn’t a big crash that left me covered in broken glass and red wine.

Cabernet Carry

Cabernet Carry

Well, I’m happy to report that the wine   (and I) both made it back to the van without incident.

That’s it for now.  Thanks for riding along.

Kat

Posted in Bicycle, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments