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Friday, March 18, 2011


It rained HARD all night...a new leak developed in one of SPIA's skylights...

Just had to put this animal in # 1 position today. As I walked by the pasture of about 100 cattle, this one ran to the fence and stared at me like I was an apparition from outer space. It was soon followed by nearly every cow in the pasture and just like in Oklahoma, the entire herd followed me along the fence - about 15 feet from the roadway - all the way to the end of the pasture.

If she could only drive a Motor Home ! !

Breakfast was at the HOFFMAN HOUSE. A delightful INN serving breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as providing suites said to rank well with 4-Star Resort Hotels.

Breakfast was excellent - an accordingly expensive.

Have included a number of individual Grape Vines today. There are many ways in which the Ranchers train and tie the plants...don't know if it has to do with type of Grapes, or just the preference of the Rancher...always present is the water pipe.
This vineyard is are many of the vineyards I walked by today.
All the streams and rivers are near overflowing. Much of the road is covered with water running an inch or so deep. Never have I seen so much rain as this Winter.

A partially flooded vineyard next to Hwy 128.

Many Vineyards have Wine Tastings - usually from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm...
I was told in upper Mendocino County Wineries that Sonoma and Napa Valley Wineries charged for their "tasting" - up to $25.00. So far, I have tried 6 or 7 Tastings...all are at no charge.

Many families have been on the same land 100 years or more. Therefore, many of the homes are about as old...

Another flooded vineyard...but what a setting. The nearby hills provide breath-taking backdrop.

Talk about being flooded...

Another style of training Wine Grape Vines...notice the water pipe.

Most barns are of this design...and most are RED.

One Farmer's attempt to keep his vineyard from flooding...sand bags.

Another home design in the Sonoma Valley Wine District.

An old plow...a person had to ride on it to manipulate the handle to raise and lower the plows and cutting discs.

This is an honest to goodness PRAIRIE SCHOONER...Just like used on the Oregon Trail.

A not-too-vintage 4 cow-power camper.

Please meet Michael Monahan, Tasting Room Manager for SIGNATURES VINTNERS. I purchased a special (the one pictured) Chardonnay - perhaps I will save to share with Sandra and Al.
Their Yacht is named CHARDONNAY. SIGNATURES VINTNERS Tasting Room...this building also has the wine making tanks and casks inside.

Another manner of preparing Wine Grape Vines.

Alexander Valley is a small valley within Sonoma Valley.

Most everyone has seen photographs or in person the BUDWEISER Clydesdale Beer Wagon.
Here is White Oak Winery answer to Budweiser...look pretty much the same to me.

A home entrance - not a Winery or Vineyard...just a nice home near Geyserville, California.

A home with vineyard in the front yard...also on all sides.

A recently planted vineyard...the white pipes protect the young vines.
Note the exactness of the Geometry. Most vineyards are perfect mathematical projections.

At the top of this entrance is a beautiful home set on top of the hill...vineyards covering the gentle slopes below.

Highway 128 near Calistoga, California.
I walked this road all day beginning at 8:00am finally reaching Calistoga at 4:30 pm...
Even so, must want BACK for 4 miles in the was raining so very hard when I stopped walking, decided to call it a day.
Walked 17 many more doubling back to SPIA. We DID receive four (4) rides today, which allowed us to walk more miles than I expected.

More vineyards covering the gentle rolling hills of Sonoma Valley, California.

This tree branch caught my eye...nicely framing the vineyard and home on the hill in the distance.

School Buss waiting shed for the kids.

This is a raging stream...many times it's normal size. Note the trees in the middle of the roaring waters...they are normally NEVER submerged like this.
Everything is flooded...rain rain rain

A horse in a muddy field...No place to get under protection...No place to lie down.
Sometimes I wonder about some folks priorities.

Followers of our lead-photograph above. These critters came running from the entire pasture to get a close-up of me. I chatted with them for a few minutes and as I walked along the road, the entire herd kept next to me along the fence until the pasture ended...just like in Oklahoma.

An interesting tree standing isolated in the cow pasture.

BERINGER is one of my preferred Wines...nice to find one of their vineyards.

Highway 128...turned out to be a very nice road to walk on.
Tomorrow, will walk BACK North for 4 miles or so, then take a new road, SILVERADO TRAIL from Calistoga to NAPA, California...will take 2 days to reach NAPA.

Another stately home from another era...but still very much in use today.

And another

DAILY REPORT: Walked 25 miles today; count 17 miles
SEE YOUR IMPACT.ORG: Credit 17 miles @ $0.02 per mile = $0.34 for the day.

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