Showing posts from July, 2011

The View from the Passenger Seat 4

Sonoma and Mendocino have the most spectacular coastline, add to that vineyards, fresh produce, breweries, flowers, art laid back attitude  and easy access to major cities and to me it is heaven.   Mind you the roads are potholed and parks closed but that is the human failures. Here is the fab bakery in Sonoma.
This is a bicycle rack in the town of Sonoma.  gorgeous little square.  lots of B&Bs and vineyards.   In Santa Rosa are first winery was D'Argenzio.  It was in the town and we were there a long time and had a case shipped!!  (We brought two bottles home and tried one this die for smooth, exquisite taste)  next  on to the only one open and way off the beaten track.  The gardens were better than the wine.

Next morning it was overcast, raining   and cold.  We headed to hog island for oysters.  Brianna at D'Agenzio recommended it.   She failed to mention you have to shuck your own!  Chris only broke one knife. 
it was really a river estuary.

Then it was to Petu…

The View from the Passenger Seat 3

Sears Point, Infineon Race tract is located in Sonoma County CA.  It is a road tract, and unlike an oval you don't see all of the race.   Sonoma is one of the finest wine regions in the world.  it is the first tract where we saw bottles of wine out on tables everywhere!  They did not sell wine at the tract. Here is our Phoenix Cruiser (PC) in our place at the RV camp called 50 acres.  We were soon surrounded by hard drinking party goers.
like most parks at a racing weekend they came to party.  At Sonoma the crowd was quite younger than other race traks and very friendly.  They stop and chat whenever they see you sitting outside.  The weather was perfect but dry so no fires and no open pit barbecuing.  Also like other tracks they had come for years and had the same spot.  This guy even had couches and had set up a bar.

 our friendly neighbors quickly told us the grand stand was not the best seats but Turn 7.  Chris bought grandstand so i would be out of the sun.  he is so thoughtful. …

The view from the passengers seat 2

The distant mountain is Cloudcroft NM.  below the  camp at Mayhill at dawn.

We set off up the mountain, from about 8,000 to  10,000 feet it was 14 miles of forest
through the tunnel, far easier than in a big Alfa
 And a quick descent to the valley, Quite different

 then a ride across the valley and onto some terrible side roads to Williams AZ

The next day we headed across the Mojave.  Since the water is harvested the mountains are quite barren and the grass is dried up and golden.  when you descend into Bakersfield you suddenly are confronted by a patchwork of green and some earth tones.  Bakersfield is in the central valley where  citrus fruit, vegetables, and nuts  are grown year round.  that day it was 104 degrees.
We were happy to leave and head for Sears Point and NASCAR.  Travelling along 101 the scenery is  incredible as the central valley run N to S with  mountain chains lined up on each side.  one citrus frmer even put up signs showing what fruit tree you were flying by, orange…

The view from the passengers seat.

With the AC fixed we set out for Sears Point and northern California changing the original plans to avoid the  burning heat of the stopover cities along I10.   We set out at 7 am crossing over parched miles of a landscape that seems to never end on I 10 to Fort Stockton, making the phrase from the 19th century "go to hell or Texas" no idle threat.  

A back road led us through Pecos where oil rigs nodded, reminding us that black gold is in some really hot spots. We headed west through  Artesia, an isolated town in the Sonoran dessert that has an interesting sculpture celebrating drilling and drillers,then for 80 miles climbing up into the Sacramento mountains to Mayhill.  The landscape from Artesia to Mayhill changes from arid scrub to tall trees, scared by forest fires, meadows and a cool swift flowing mountain stream.  The temperature was a cool 89 and the next morning we had to switch on the heat.  It works! Ready to leave.
Now where have all the photos gone and the cable to…