Carlsbad, NM

Carlsbad, NM

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 6

After the 2nd day in a row of Fruit Loops at the Old West Inn we travelled due west through extremely curvy and mountainous roads until we ended up at Fort Bragg on the Pacific coast. We lucked out there big time ... today was the day of the Fort Bragg Salmon Festival, which is the world's largest salmon barbecue. We arrived a little before the 11:00 start time and most of the expected 10,000 salmon enthusiasts, so we were almost the first in line for the best meal we've had on the trip. BBQ salmon, corn on the cob, garlic bread, etc. There were live bands and exhibits of all kinds about salmon and how they need to be protected. One lady spoke about how some of the river areas and surrounding land are being destroyed by drug cartels. It's legal in California to grow 25 pot plants, but there are huge amounts of illegal growing going on which is endangering a lot of the land because of potent herbicides, pesticides, as well as illegal siphoning of water from rivers. I could go into a discussion of illegal immigrants but we'll stay away from politics. But it was a great time there; Pee Wee was somewhat of a hit because he was the only one singing and shouting approval for the first group on stage. He used to embarrass me when he does things like that but I'm used to it now.

Then we travelled about an hour south on the Pacific Coast Highway - it really is a magnificent drive. The thing that surprised both of us is how much the mist and the clouds envelope you as the water filled air streams in from the ocean. We had driven a long time when we both had to go to the bathroom, but there was nowhere to stop. All of a sudden Pee Wee pulled off the road and lo and behold we were in a very old and very secluded cemetery looking out over the ocean. We were careful to be respectful of those in the graves as we did our business out of site of all of the graves ... except for a man who died in the 1880s, may he rest in peace.

Then back over the mountains again on a long and windy steep drive to wine country. On one of the roads we ran over a snake, but as you can see from the picture I took it didn't die. How does that happen? We stopped in Calistoga which is at the north end of Napa Valley. We don't drink wine, we don't like wine, heck, between the two of us we might consume a total of 6 alcoholic drinks per year, but we're trying to experience America and Napa Valley is part of America so we went to a winery and tasted some wine. The elegant and attractive lady behind the counter seemed to pick up right away that we were novices, but she was very helpful. She asked what type of wine we would like to try and we had no idea - so we told her to pick for us. She smiled but was very patient. By the time we were done we had told her about our trip and the good deeds and she had given up on even trying to sell us any wine. In fact she even good deeded us by not charging the $5 sampling fee.

The wine lady suggested the local museum for an interesting place to see, but when we got there it had just closed. We met a man who had just toured the place - he told us how Calistoga got its name. It seems that the founder of the area was talking one night with his drinking buddies and he said that the area was the Saratoga of California, except it didn't come out that way. Since he was sloshed he announced that it was the "Calistoga of Salifornia." And so the town is and will always be Calistoga.
We did no more wine tasting which prevented us from saying we were heading to Fran Sancisco. We're staying in Concord which is just north of San Francisco. We think we're going to try a tour of Alcatraz first thing in the morning, but we're going to have to do some sweet talking because reservations have to be made weeks in advance.

Two good deeds today - actually tonight. After dropping our bags off in the Best Western where we're staying we walked across the street to a grocery store. We saw a young employee walking to all parts of the parking lot in order to collect grocery carts. Pee Wee took off in one direction and I went in another. We ran around and collected many carts - more than the guy did, and we pushed them all in the line he was making to get them to the front of the store. We didn't even explain anything - just handed him a card and told him to have a good night. That was a fun one.

Then on the way back we walked past a woman who asked for money so she could get a cab to San Francisco. We helped her out, and yes, we know the money may have gone to something other than her transportation, but we couldn't pass her up. Even if she didn't use the money wisely, she at least read our card and the verse from Collossians, so it's our hope that we helped her in some way.

Also, we want to say thanks to Ross and others who are supporting us by supporting the Co-op!

That's it for today. Wish us luck for getting into Alcatraz, and if we do, getting out too.


Taylor Ramos said...

I laughed at the picture of Coach West by the salmon. He looks like a kid in elementary school waiting patiently in the lunch line.

Jeff Harsh said...

Love to try some of that BBQ salmon!

Original Ross Sauce said...