Day Six


The Wine Country



The plan for today was to visit a local winery or two and then head to Point Reyes Lighthouse, which is pretty far to the west from Sonoma, where we are staying. We set out with no particular winery in mind, knowing that there are dozens of them all over the area and we would bump into one sooner or later. So we drove down Highway 12 and passed several wineries when Eric spotted the sign for Kunde Estates, which just so happens to be the very one recommended to us by his good friend, Ed. We immediately turned around and decided that this is where we will do our wine-tasting. The property was beautiful and we tried several wines, deciding on a Sauvignon Blanc. We were also given a tour of the caves where the wines are stored in barrels.





While we were at the winery we spoke with the tour guide about our plans.  He suggested that we not drive out to Point Reyes due to the high chance of fog.  Instead he recommended that we visit Bodega Bay and Jenner.  After talking it over we agreed to do so.  We were VERY happy we did!  After arriving in Bodega Bay we spoke with a young lady in the information center about where to get food for a picnic lunch and a blanket.  We got a lot more than we asked for.  She told us where the best place to get food, a blanket and where we could picnic on the beach.  You tell us, did she know what she was talking about?  The beach, that is?






There was only one SMALL problem with this beach.   Look at the signs we saw when we were leaving.




Lucky for us neither of us were dressed for swimming and that the water was too cold for our Midwestern skin.  Following the advice of a shopkeeper we met on the way back from the beach, we stopped in the Armstrong Woods preserve.  This is a natural preserve of redwood trees.  While these aren’t the “big” redwoods that can be found further north in California, there were some really HUGE trees to be found. 




Large trees weren’t the only thing we found in the forest.  There is a road up to a breath taking view that we took.  This road is TWO WAY, 10 feet wide and climbs (and descends) at a steady grade of 12%-15%!  So now you can appreciate the risks we took to get some of these next pictures for you all. 









Now, we did see more than trees and views.  There were some interesting woodland creatures to be found.  First a hare, which looked a lot larger than this picture shows.  Maybe that was due to the very narrow road we were on at the time.



Next, some woman who looked lost…. from a Dungeons and Dragons™ convention.  She was wearing tights, a velvet cloak and what looked to be suede boots.  Very absurd, to say the least.




And last, but not the least creature to be found in a redwood forest…. a pack of wild pigs!  Yes, that’s right, wild pigs!  You will have to excuse the fuzziness of some of the pictures.  We were laughing so hard we couldn’t keep the camera steady.




This may explain the pig crossing sign we saw a few days ago. 





After this we decided it was time to head on back to the hotel for some rest. One last thing, on the way out we did see another home that we had to put an offer on in case the other one fell through.  Admittedly, this one isn’t nearly as large as the first, but we couldn’t help falling in love with its quaintness.



See you in the next update, day 7, the day we reach San Francisco.



Oh BTW in case anybody is keeping count, here is the “creature count” so far:


Sea otters – 10-15

Humpback whales – 20

Sea lions – 40-50

Harbor seals – 150-250 if not more

Dolphins – 600-1500, yes there were that many on our whale watching tour

Seagulls and other sea birds – A whole lot of em!

Sand “creatures” – 2

Hares – 1

Strange woodland people – 1 in forest, many in other areas of the state

Cows – hundreds

Goats – 40-50

Wild pigs – 5 in the forest, who would have ever believed it!


As you can tell, there is a LOT of diversity in animal life in California.




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