Napa Valley in the morning
We (I) made a halfhearted effort this morning, but the first tasting room we visited was closed despite its hours declaring it open, and the second had a $5 tasting fee. A shady parking spot might have been worth $5 but ours was in the sun, so we took in some sights and then packed up to leave. I intended to spend two days here but didn’t get the camper back until a day later than expected, so we didn’t arrive until around 4:00 yesterday afternoon and had reservations elsewhere for tonight. Fear not, my friends. I do have plans to taste wine in California.
We stayed near Calistoga, which is at the north end of the valley and is a hot springs resort town. Samuel Brannan, who opened the resort in 1862, meant to call the area the “Saratoga of California” but apparently he misspoke and said the “Calistoga of Sarafornia” and the name stuck.
The drive to Mendocino was beautiful and included a redwood tunnel on 128 that both Angus and I appreciated immensely: me for its impressive trees and he for its shade. My poor black boy was warm in Calistoga and we walked verrry slowly around town lastnight, earning exclamations from passersby “look how thirsty he is!” Don’t worry, dog lovers: I made sure he had plenty of water and we were walking in the shade. He just looks exhausted when it’s hot. He was awfully perky this morning before breakfast, though! Hard to keep him leashed.
Now we are at Caspar Beach RV park, which is pretty good as far as private campgrounds go. Had I known that one of the state parks nearby is first-come, first-serve I probably could have scored a site there for the weekend but I wanted to make sure we had a place to stay. I think school is out now so I expect reservations to be increasingly necessary, especially on the weekends. At the moment I am the only rv in my row, which backs up to a wooded hillside and sits next to an uninhabited house, so we have a high degree of privacy for a campground. The house has a lovely porch on it six feet from a stream and if we sit on it we can pretend there are no other campers here, because you can’t see any. The tent sites here are the best I’ve ever seen. To access them you follow tunnels through the brush lined with soft electric lights and they are super-private. I bet in the dark they are very romantic. I plan to use those paths to get in and out of the park, because otherwise Angus has to cross a mile of stones to get to the road and his three-toed foot is naked ever since I noticed the bandage rubbing hair off his knuckles. Boots have been ordered and we will have them in a couple weeks.
Hot Angus on Caspar Beach
I paid for my first shower today, $1 for 6 minutes, which seems like a pretty good rate. I bet I could do 4.5 minutes for 75 cents, though, especially since the water pressure is so good.