recently, eunice and i had the rare occurrence of simultaneous weekend days off, and on a rapture weekend no less! in discussion with our friend matt, we headed in search of open spaces, good beers, and fine wine and soon found ourselves in Hendy Woods State Park
in the Anderson Valley, 160 miles from Sacramento and just a few east of the Mendocino coast.
so sad these great parks are closing soon
i worked late and we weren’t off until 9pm, resulting in a dark and windy drive and late arrival into camp. not to worry, only a bit of dog vomit in the back and minimally shredded sleeping bag. that’s ok, nothing was going to faze our mini-break.
that hat is 100% alpaca
waking underneath a redwood grove was a pleasant escape. morning french press coffee in the campsite was a great way to spending the morning of our last day on earth. after multiple cups and little exploring, we motored up highway 128 to Navarro vineyards and winery. eunice and i had by chance come across this winery during our trip to mendocino last october. not only are they awesome: dog park on the premises, dogs welcome in the tasting room, complimentary tastings, llamas, but there wines are a great representation of the diversity in climates along the anderson valley appellation. needless to say, we walked away with several bottles. (i’ll let you decide for yourself, but their pinot noir is what caught my attention in the first place, not to mention the sauvignon blanc and late-harvest muscat, and even check out their second label “indian creek” for great wines affected by the 2008 wildfires).
navarro winery.......go there now
the dogs love navarro too
as rapture rapidly approached, we all felt the need to get in a few good beers during our final afternoon. back on 128, we headed to anderson valley brewing in the town of boonville. the brewery isn’t much, but they have a tasting room, with pleasant prices and pleasant outdoor seating that we took full advantage of. again, the cream ale seemed to really peak my interest. i have had it many times in the past, and have been overwhelmed and underwhelmed on varying instances. maybe it was the heat or coming straight from the source, but it tasted really good this afternoon. pretty stoked about my next homebrew being a cream ale.
bear plus deer equals beer
oatmeal stout, ipa, cream ale, belgian, weis beer
legumes not nuts!
after the libations we motored back into town and for lunch at lauren’s, a local spot that i had read about in numerous magazines, touted for there local fare and simple delicious recipes. i had the egg salad sandwich, eunice a grilled avocado sandwich with asparagus soup, and matt the tuna melt. it was all great, highly recommend it, pickle agrees.
pickle loves lunch
posting this has made me hungry
on the way home we stopped at breggo cellars for some tasting. had a great visit and discussion concerning wine making in the anderson valley and surrounding hills. we tasted our way through all of their whites and reds, and even got into the cellar and some barrel tastings. good wine, good people, and a great experience for me to learn more about wine making and the anderson valley appellation.
all camping trips should end with this kind of bounty
tired from wine, beer, and sun, we headed back to camp. dinner was simple. i had some left over pork loins that i had been brining the day before. those went on the grill with some corn we had bought from town. great flavors for a camp dinner. more beer was consumed, including some of my american wheat homebrew of which there is only a single 12oz bottle left.
one of the my final homebrews
it's official, we're camping
we awoke next morning unsure if the rapture had occurred or not, had we been left behind? if hell was a redwood grove, coffee in hand, no worries or plans for the afternoon, then we were content to settle into our fiery eternities. we packed the gear and headed to a local apple farm, explored the gardens and sampled the apple juice. then to drew cellars for some final tasting. we may have been slightly out of place in our smoke stained clothes that wore the dirt from several days, but that’s whats so great about the anderson valley, we weren’t! made it out with another purchase, and a few hours later (after a stop in yountville for pretzel brioche and macarons, not macaroons, at buchon bakery) we were back to the grind in sacramento. i am already looking at property on the ridgeline above anderson valley, i think our garden could do well there.
tiny little apples
why we call dwight the firefox
pickle embraces the camping lifestyle