When we left Oregon, we had planned to spend a few days exploring the Napa and Sonoma valleys and drinking wine. However, the terrible wildfires foiled our plans. So, with typical meticulous planning, Tarjei asked, "Remember that Kate and Anna McGarrigle song about Mendocino?" And I said, "I love that song! Let's go there instead!" So we did.
Mendocino is a tiny town and it was Saturday. Hotels and BnB's were expensive and already full. Mendocino Grove Aging Hippie Campground was the solution. You could pitch your own tent but we chose to rent the "Safari Tent" (the "Retrofitted Airstream" seemed TOO decadent). It had a queen sized bed with beautiful duvet, hot water bottles available for those chilly nights (it did drop down to 4 degrees C). There was a view of the ocean and a morning campfire in the meadow with two kinds of hot porridge, lots of toppings (fresh fruit, real maple syrup, nuts, raisins, goji berries, chia seeds and brewers yeast). The only downside was that Jabba scratched a large hole in the screen door while Tarjei and I went to the central bathroom to brush our teeth. I spent a couple of hours sewing on a new piece of screen, which we brought with us on the trip in case of having to sleep in the car. The dogs slept curled up outside after that.
We stayed two nights in our comfortable tent. We walked around the pretty little town of Mendocino, which is perched on a little spit of land overlooking the Pacific. I window shopped but bought nothing -- it seems to me that we all have too much "stuff" and no room for more. We ate some great food. We drank local wine and beer. We looked at paintings and crafts and home-made toys.
Yesterday we packed up and drove along the Anderson Valley which is the wine production area of Mendocino County. It looked a lot like the Okanagan with the arid sandy hills interspersed with beautiful green irrigated rows of vines. We tasted --and bought -- some really good Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel, and even a sparkling Pinot Gris. We bypassed the wildfires -- although we could see the smoke. So sad to think that people were killed because the fire spread so quickly in the winds.
Now we are at Lake Tahoe and tarjei is itching to get going for the day.Read more