Round and Round and Up and Down, Sunday, July 25, 2010

July 25, 2010 - 7:34 pm No Comments

We left the Benbow RV Park around 9:00 a.m. this morning. The weather is mild, no humidity, and around 66 degrees. We decided to wear shorts, thinking it would warm up during the morning.

Before I start today, let me tell you about our dinner last night. The Benbow RV Park had a dinner for the RV guests. They held it in the “Village Hall”, a recreation hall in the campground. They advertised “tri-tips” and all the trimmings. We went over to the Village Hall and there must have been at least 50 people in line for dinner. We were impressed with the entire evening. The dinner consisted of “tri-tips”, which seemed to be grilled beef, which was very tasty and tender. Also we had salad, baked potatoes, and baked beans. All the condiments necessary were there too. We sat at a table with two other couples who were very nice. They are from California and enjoyed hearing our tales about our trip to Alaska. They asked where we were going and we said “Calistoga”, and the daughter of one of the couples happens to live in Calistoga and owns a winery. They graciously gave us her name and cell phone number and asked that we call her for a tasting of their wine. After dinner, we were served ice cream with fresh berries on top. They had a drawing for a few door prizes. But the entire evening was lots of fun, and it was a good meal as well.

We only drove 190 miles today, but it was a long day because the roads were winding and steep. We left Hwy 101 and turned back over to the coast to drive down Hwy 1. This is the California coastal road. We’ve driven the Big Sur part of this road so we wanted to experience the northern end of it. It is very curvy and up and down. So you can’t drive fast, on the contrary, you drive about 20 miles an hour. But the scenery is spectacular. I just can’t get enough of the ocean. It’s such a mysterious thing. We saw lots of houses hanging off dramatic cliffs along this road. Can you imagine living in a house looking out over the Pacific Ocean? During this time of year there is lots of fog until mid-day but we lucked out today and although there was plenty of fog further out in the ocean, along the coast we could see the water very well. We stopped for lunch at a wayside which had a wonderful view of the water.

Driving through Mendocino Ridge gave us our first look at the vineyards of the valley. Actually the Mendocino Ridge has a lot of wineries so we decided to stop in and visit one. We really wanted to experience a “tasting” before we get to Napa where the big boys are. We stopped in at the Greenwood Ridge Vineyards tasting room. A very nice lady talked with us about tasting and she gave us a taste of 2 or 3 reislings. We chose to purchase one of those. We stopped at another winery along the route but they only had red wine, which is not our favorite so we didn’t purchase anything there.

We finally arrived in Calistoga around 5:00 p.m. Calistoga is a very pretty small town right in the middle of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. We will probably stay around town tomorrow since we had such a long driving day today. I’m looking forward to visiting all the local shops, and we’ve been told there are some excellent restaurants in this town. We will take it easy tomorrow and then, using Calistoga as home base, drive around the Napa and Sonoma Valleys on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Stay tuned. Bonnie

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