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Tuesday, March 15, 2011


This is State Street, the main drag of UKIAH, CALIFORNIA...Mendocino County...the North border of California Wine Country (actually, I have already toured a winery much farther North - but still in Mendocino County.

Last night SPIA was bedded down at the Twin Palms Mobile Home Park. It is not really intended for overnighters, by my usual charm twisted the arm of Viettia Newcome, the lovely Senior Citizen Manager, to let SPIA have a space for the night.

In early morning, I left SPIA and walked 5 miles back North towards Willits and return...kept going through Ukiah and on to the Old River Road, which runs parallel to US 101 for 12 miles or so...then back to SPIA...after stopping for a nice Breakfast...the usual: eggs - scrambled - Home Fries well cooked, Rye Toast with butter & jellie, and a cuppa Joe.

Of course, it rained HARD all day...finding ways to keep a bit drier. Above is one of Ukiah's impressive downtown buildings.

And, this is another such building.

This is where I enjoyed them scrambled eggs.

This fellow was enjoying a CUPPA as I ate breakfast, so I just had to say Hi.

Walking along State Street (the main drag of Ukiah) was this THIA Restaurant delivery vehicle...right out of Bankok.

Did some shopping today. Primary concern was that I was running out of SAM & ME Business Cards. So, stopped in at BLUEPRINTS AND COPIES to ask possibility of printing up some more. I have the artwork in jpg on the mini...Allen Witzel (a good German name, Al said) agreed to take a shot at it.
Half hour later, Al handed me 500 Color Business Cards...My contribution to your walk, says Al...some folks know how to make puddles in my eyes.
Again, thank you, are now part of our question ! !

An interesting restaurant in Ukiah. Walked Ukiah end to end twice this morning...yes, STILL in a drenching rain.
Rain is so bad that it fogs up my Panasonic Camera. The shutter refuses to open and close all the way...and the lense fogs over.
Have tried leaving the bare camera in the pocket of my Hoodie...that seems to long as I do not hold on to it too own body heat creates condensation and goofs up my photographs...had to delete quite a few.

Could not resist taking this photograph. This young lady was trying to hook a clothes hanger over a rope WAY up there...walked past...then pivoted back and took the pic...then walked inside and asked if I could us it on tonight's blog...
The foggy lens and window glare distorted the pic a bit, but here it is for all to enjoy.

Ukia is in a valley surrounded by high Mendocino County Mountains. In the Summer, temperatures reach 100 degrees or so...i.e, Palm Trees.

Ukiah Palm Tree up close.

Another shopping item was to find a business which could/would print a message on my reflective walking vests. Tried to do this in Bellingham...was told it was not possible for under $100.00.
Today, I found SPEEDY SIGNS. Walked in. Told about SAM & ME. Don Knight told me he would do something over his lunch hour...
In a very few minutes, Don and Dan Knight had designed, created and printed on BOTH my reflective vests the message seen in the above Pic.
Don and Dan and I chatted for a very long time...I asked for the "Damages"...this is our contribution to your walk.
Makes a grown old man want to cry.

I wore the Mesh vest this during my evening walk through the Vinyards...received a couple "honk honk" from passing cars...
Thank you ever so much Don and too are now a part of our walk ! !

Yes, that is ME with my new reflective vest sign...pretty nice, Huh ?

Drove SPIA out 6 miles on Old River Road and parked. Wine Grape Vinyards surrounded us on all sides.
Parked, donned rain gear (yep...still raining) and my new Vest, and started walking Back to Ukiah.

This Vinyard is for Sale...hope anyone interested can read the click

Vinyard symmetry is quite special. These growers take obvious pride in their craft.

Reminds me of a massive knitting project...geometric precision at its finest.
Please click click...not a blade of grass out of place.

Looking NorthWest across Ukiah Valley to Mendocino Mountains...only Wine Vinyards as far as one can see.

Perfection in all directions...
Makes me appreciate much more the sip of wine I take each evening.

A number of rather large "ponds" - small lakes, really - stand ready to give the vines a drink come a dry Summer.

Some ponds just cannot hold all the rain water dropped on them in the past few weeks.
Was told that last year, the water levels were lowered during the winter to make room for the Spring Rains - which never came...
This year, reservoirs were left quite full...and now rivers of water from the incessant rain and it just flows back to the Pacific Ocean...
Seems one cannot win.

And now we come to the CCC.
CALIFORNIA CONSERVATION CORPS. an ominous name for the many "Camps" around the State of California with one mission: Conservation.
Ukiah CCC, located on Old River Road attracted my attention, so in I walked and introduced myself...What is CCC all about???
WELL...the next hour, a perky Senior Citizen, Linda (sorry, camera was fogged up and your pic did not come out...will return in the morning to get a decent photograph of you) and I chatted about the CCC and SAM & ME.
We all know about SAM & ME.
So, here is the CCC.
CCC is a California State supported organization to pursue Conservation in a multitude of ways, using "volunteers" from 18 - 24 years old. The Ukiah Camp is primarily working towards fire fighting (forest fires...particularly the mopping up phase), as well as dozens of special projects for the likes of the Corps of Engineers and other Federal and State organizations of need of specialized labor for camp grounds, trails, planting trees, stream and wildlife habitat, floods, oil spills, hurricanes and earthquakes.
Each young person - a good 50% of whom are Female - volunteer for one year. They receive minimum wage, room and board, and if they do not yet have a high school diploma, instruction and guidance to achieve that goal...for which they MUST study up to 10 hours a day AFTER putting in a full day in the field.
One craft available is Culinary...Dining Room Fare is created by the youngsters as part of their training.
Linda is herself, on a one-year contract. She oversees planning of all phases of the young folks work and studies. I witnessed Linda conversing with two (one female - one male) about specific issues she is guiding them through.
Linda was hopeful more Senior Citizens would volunteer a year of their time to help guide the CCC and it's youngsters.

Dinner in CCC Dining Hall. There are currently 60 young folks in Ukiah CCC programs.

The "dorms" in which the CCC members live for the year of the contract.
They live three to a building.

Interesting is the fact that this entire CCC compound is a "hand-me-down" of a previous Mental Hospital where inmates lived and worked. They grew all their own food. They cared for their own dairy and cattle. In short, they provided 100 % of all their needs.
Today, CCC receives only 50% of their operating costs from the State of California. The CCC must contract for and earn the remaining 50% from the labors of their young folks.
This they do by contracting with Federal, State, and Local Governments for specific projects, for which the CCC receives income.

This Handsome Young Man is KYLE RHODES. He is holding his Red Ribbon, awarded just today which entitles him to a promotion. Kyle is part of a team of a dozen or so specially trained to do highly specialized work. Nice Pic, Kyle
Tomorrow, SPIA will remain parked where she is while I walk South on Old River Road until it meets US 101 at HOPLAND, CALIFORNIA...Then back to SPIA.
Will then drive SPIA to Hopland to find our next leg to CLOVERDALE, CALIFORNIA...thence to GEYERSVILLE, CALIFORNIA, where we pick up Hwy 128 which takes us to CALISTOGA and eventually to NAPA, California.
This is ALL Wine Country. I have discussed with a number of local folks the wisdom of taking this route and without exception, am told it is the right thing to do...the scenery is exceptional with Wine Vinyards without end.

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