10/29/05 to 11/6/05
On Saturday, 10-29, we went to the Farmer's Market in Healdsburg.  The
coolest thing there was a woman spinning angora rabbit hair on a spinning
wheel.  She was selling angora scarves, but she got most of the attention
because of her spinning wheel and her rabbit, which she had brought along to
do a shearing demonstration.
Hard to
believe, but
that big ball of
fluff is a
rabbit.  Their
hair grows an
inch a month,
and she
shears them
every 4
months to use
the hair, but
when she is
showing a
rabbit, she
lets the hair
grow for 12
months!
This of course brought up how every time I say I want a cow down in Texas,
Richard says I really want a goat instead.  Now he is even more adamant.  He
thinks I need an angora goat and a spinning wheel.  That way we can have scarves
AND cheese.  Right, with all that time I will have after he sends me back to work?
After the Farmer's Market we hit the hardware store for ANOTHER 5 gallon
container, then headed over to Ellen's to punch down the Petite Sirah that we had
started a week ago.

Sunday, 10-30, we spend the day cleaning the trailer and moving in the 14 cases
of wine bottles that Ellen gave us.  So, with 20+ gallons of wine in the shower and
14 boxes of bottles lined up along both sides of the bed, we were ready to move
again on Tuesday.  (Richard just wants to know what they would do if we tried to go
into Mexico with all this stuff, or worse yet, Canada!  Eh?)  Then Sunday night we
went to Ellen's to celebrate her dogs' victories at the dog show.  She raises
bassets.  She has seven of them, and three had gone to and won at the show that
weekend.

Monday, 10-31, we headed back to Ellen's for the long day of pressing the Petite
Sirah and racking it into barrels.  We had started this adventure by crushing the
freshly picked grapes 10 days prior, so it was fun to see them get to the next
stage.  (But a lot of hard, sticky, work.  We had to bucket the grapes and juice out
of the big bin into the press.  The press has to be completely full, so we had to
pack the grapes in with our hands.  We had to go slowly so the juice didn't overflow
(or overshoot if you pushed down to hard) the catch basin.)
We still hadn't finished, in fact we were only half done, with the slow, sticky job of
pressing grapes, when dark rolled around.  We would have continued working
into the night, but it was Halloween, and Ellen's dogs had some trick-or-treating to
do.  Eddie, aka Elvis, was nuthin' but a hound dog.
Tuesday, 11-01, we headed out for our next park, North of Sacramento, just north
of the Hwy 70/99 split.  If you look at your map, you will see that there is no easy
way to get from Cloverdale to Sacramento.  We decided to go North, figuring
there would be less traffic.  We got to Hopland and went East on Hwy 175.  As we
turned, we saw a big sign advising us that vehicles over 39 feet are prohibited.  
We were thinking we couldn't be much over that, and besides, we bend in the
middle, so that doesn't really apply to us anyway, right?  Further on we went and
found another warning sign.  This one was next to a big turnaround for those 40+
foot vehicles, and painted on the road were two lines.  If we didn't fit between
them, we were prohibited.  Here your fearless picture-taker let you down again.  I
was so stressed about getting pulled over for being prohibited that it didn't occur
to me to take our picture trying to bend just right to fit between the lines, just to say
we could.  What's 8 (or 28) inches anyway? On we went, up the most windy
mountain road we've ever been on with the trailer.  Richard managed to get us up
and back down the other side with no problems, while I sat in the passenger seat
white-knuckled and with knots in my stomach.  Half way up to the summit we
passed a sheriff going the other way.  Either he didn't notice our extra 8 (or 28)
inches, or he couldn't find a place to turn around to come back and arrest us, we
still aren't sure which.  Of course this meant that not only was I worried about falling
off the mountain, but I kept checking the mirror for the return of our friendly officer
of the law.  We finally made if off the prohibited stretch of road, and proceeded on
to the park.  On the way we saw groves of trees which Richard says are olives, but
we don't know for sure, and wheat.  The tree groves were so neat because all the
trees are grafted, so they have a fat trunk, then a line, and then a skinnier trunk
with different colored bark.  The landscape is flat and reminds us of Kansas.  
Nearer to the park are rice fields, which we didn't expect to find in California, (I
guess we thought they only grew rice in China) and more grafted tree groves.  
These Richard claimed were Pecans, but I found out later they are Walnuts (which
is why I am still not sure they were olives we were seeing in the other groves.)

Ever since we arrived on Tuesday, we've been taking it easy.  Having lost our
winery job, we haven't had much to do.  Wednesday, 11-02, we drove to Yuba city
and looked around.  Thursday we went to some friends' house in Roseville for
dinner.  Friday we went back to Roseville so Richard could go to the Chiropractor
and we could get groceries.  Saturday I went to the manager's meeting at the park
to complain about stuff.  Today we will walk up to the Walnut groves so that I can
take a picture for the website.  I know you want to see the grafted trees.  They do
have a lake here, well its just a small pond really, but we have talked about blowing
up one of the boats and going out on the lake, but the weather hasn't been that
warm.  It has been sunny at least half of the day every day, but the wind blows and
keeps it just a little too cold to go play on the lake.
Here's one
of the few
large grafted
trees (I don't
know what
the blue dot
is for.) and
below is one
of the many
newer
groves
around here.
Just as we had walked up to the groves to get these pictures, we finally got a
chance for some adventure.  Our friends Al and Tina, whom we had met on the
cruise, called and invited us down to their "clothing optional" resort, just south of
Sacramento.  Although we didn't think the weather was quite warm enough for any
such adventure, I packed up what I thought we would need to go to a nudist resort:  
beach towels, flip-flops, and a jumbo size bottle of courage (aka Margaritas), and
away we went.  We'll leave it up to your imagination which option we chose.  
(
www.lagunadelsol.com)