Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Off-Day Dump

Off work and an off day in cycling leads to a collection of recent goings on here in Wineland. Wine tastings are a regular feature in our local entertainment. There must be over a hundred wineries in Sonoma County, so that is a big job. We also added an olive oil tasting as well as a chocolate tasting recently. If you like dining out, holy smoke there are lots of resturants too. We are also a coastal county, oysters are farmed, if thats the correct description. They are fantastic, a little more briney and less sweet than the NC oysters I've grown up on. You can usually find them raw, in supermarkets at .75-$1.00 a piece and they are big.

Oyster Roast

Then there are Dungeness Crabs harvested in winter. These are smaller than Alaska Kings but similar in flavor. I made some fantastic Crab Cakes with them, but they are fine plain with a glass or more of Sauvignon Blanc Back in January we stopped in Armstrong Redwoods State Park I suppose you can call this a typical Pacific Maritime forest. Lots of mosses, ferns and some big trees. I guess over the past hundred years a gillion board feet of lumber came out of these forests. Its like western NC, that was the source of employment.Now a lot of these small norcal towns are very depressed, those that have embraced viticulture have developed a whole new economy, of course its not the same people. Anyway, one tree is named Colonel Armstrong in honor of the guy who settled in the area and worked to preserve the area in the late 1800's. The tree is estimated to be 1400 years old, it's nearly 15' in diameter and 308' tall. It makes a person feel kind of small in more than just size, but that is a good reason to visit the place and preserve such places.

Speaking of trees, how about this mash-up of arboreal styles

then here is a nice normal looking orchard on one of my rides near home.

This week also had me leading my first group ride. One person showed up.It makes me think back to starting group rides in Hickory many years ago. Lots of faces over the years, many people came and went and now I an one of the "went". Anyway, 45 miles in winecountry, it was a nice morning. Oh, the guy rode a hundred miles the day before, largely alone. I think he said he's ridden six century length rides this winter. Sheesh! I also have my own spin class at the Y now,after several months of being a sub. I think that will do it for today. Thanks for reading, if you are following from NC, cheer up, warmer weather will come. HH

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