October 3, 2010

Crescent City to Slide Ranch. A tale of Wow!

To Steve. Here you go. I’m glad we can help. And yes, the conversation we had about the derailer was right on, and with some good old fashion anglo engineering were up and runnin as smooth as a tandem could be. Knock on wood.

To anonymous y. Yea.

Hello café Dawn. Glad your enjoying the season. If you guys need an overnight escape. Our place is yours.

9/18-10/3/10 Terri and Gregs grooviness factor is a 5! Top mph on the Mule was 46! 1500 miles logged!


Today we are writing to you from Slide Ranch. Slide Ranch is located on the Marin Headlands about 15 miles north of San Francisco’s Golden gate Bridge. The ranch overlooks the pacific ocean and is right underneath Hiway one. The section that is cut right out of the cliffs and any wrong move could send you into the drink. It is called Slide ranch because like most of Northern California it is measurably sliding into the Ocean. This place once belonged to the Greatful Dead back in the 60’s and not much has changed as far as the buildings are concerned. Now and for the past 40 years this place functions as an educational retreat for youth and family’s focusing on farming goats and making milk. Yum.

We are here visiting Ashley, a friend from Salida who is working as an intern here.

This place is serene and very peaceful and has been an excellent stop over to rest our travel weary bones.

Thanks Slide Ranch for all the Hospitality!! It’s been more than Generous.

We left Crescent City after the Rains. It was a beautiful day and as we rode up into the Crescent hills the fog lifted and what was exposed was, well, …. To ride and walk and be amongst the old growth Red Woods was, for me, like goin to church. The Church.! It felt like to be amongst them was an honor but more importantly a privelidge! And not to be taken for granted, although they have been. Of what I’ve seen of the North Coast Red Woods I would say that the Crescent Hills grove was the most,….well, the most. And if you ever went to visit those woods I would highly recommend staying a few days at Elk Prarie Campground.!-----Spectacular!!

Leaving Elk Prarie , riding down the 101 we came across an elk herd. Probably 30 head of which half might have been young spike bulls. Another 3 or 4 were 3 to 4 point bulls. But, amongst them was “The Man” Obviously it is the season, and the Man was culling out the lesser bulls and trying to chase them out of the herd. Wow! What a sight. Totally Wild Kingdom. But then we realized that he might want to cull us out. So we waited till he was occupied and then quickly exited.

That day brought us into the “Triangle”, Humboldt County, The firewood Capitol of the world….Sic. Starting with the college town of Arcata, then Eureka, and ending about 60 miles south in the town of Garberville the prominent smell and vibe was “Skunk Weed” and it felt very Wild West and it seemed that the people in this region were “Tweaked” to say the least. Despite the very cool ride through the avenue of the giants we were quite relieved to be out of that part of the country and back on the coast. And finally on the 1. Highway 1 that is.

Highway 1 is of course nothing but beautiful!! Winding road that hugs the cliffs all along that big pacific coast!! SWEETNESS!!we wind our way first to Ft Bragg where we stop for a meal/beer at the North Coast Brewing Co…(a pretty big operation…..we’ve rated this place our favorite brewery so far!! Greg partook in the “Pranqster” and I the “Merle”….both Belgian brewed…and so yummy!!!very much a treat! From here we ride just past Mendocino (2 miles) to Van Damm Campground. We get here late in the nite after about 60 miles of riding! We decide the next morning to do a layover here and go into Mendocino….a quaint, small town (1000 pop) but in a gorgeous spot! WOW!! The Mendocino Headlands are amazing to say the least…these rocky heads jet out into the ocean along with big volcanic rocks that stick up with huge surf coming in crashing into the rocks!!! Quite the sight to behold!! Lots going on….sort of like watching a huge washing machine doing its thing! We eat fettucine w/clams at the Mendocino Café & enjoy visiting a very cool music store (which includes the envy of some jug bands I’m sure!!….a hollowed out guitar replaced with believe it or not a real “bed pan” for resonation AND a toilet plunger as part of the bridge….Greg happily plays and gets some good sound to come out of this homemade job! We also get to hear stories from some abalone fisherman back at the campground who are camped out right next to us!! This cute 75 year old guy tells of some interesting tales diving for these delectable treats!! And how an abalone fisherman can only dive with snorkles ….no diving equipment and they can only score 24 abalones in one season….he gives us 2 of his shells (they are beautiful!! ) we share one with Ashley our host at Slide Ranch and get to take the other one home…

Van damm Campground is where we meet up with a longtime friend of Gregs from Lake Tahoe…Roger….who comes to camp and ride with us for a few days!! He also cooks up some fancy breakfasts in the mornings…what a treat!….our visit with Roger is fun and fast…it was really good to see him!!! Thanks for the breakfasts, Rog and for sharing a few days of riding with us….these days of camping and riding from Van Damm to Gualala to Bodega Dunes…. takes us thru what looks like everything from wine country (different sort of vegetation) to big dry bluffs/cliffs that fall into the ocean with windy narrow fast descents thru switchbacks and then climbs up again! Wowser!

WE say good bye to Roger and hello to Ashley in Tomales, CA about 35 miles north of Slide Ranch (right near Muir Beach)…..we are trying to make it to the ranch by 9/30 to volunteer at a fundraising music festival there!! The music consists of David Grisman and his band!! And a few musician/singers that live at the ranch!! A small venue with about 200 people! What a fun time…great food….great music AND Greg actually gets to talk to David Grisman who he has been a fan of for about 30 years!!! Pretty special….

This weekend is actually the 10th anniversary of the Hardly, Strictly Bluegrass festival in San Francisco!! it’s a free 3 day event that we also got to go to all day on Saturday!! Geez….can it get any better than this!! Heehee!! Our first time to San Francisco ….and we’re hanging out at a music festival in Golden Gate Park…some of the music we got to listen to included Joan Baez, Steve Earle, Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, the Carolina Chocolate Drops (a very unique African/american string band!!…very cool sound) and the Magnolia Sisters!! A sweet cajun band from Louisiana! Hope you got our message Mark!!…those were just a few that were part of the happening!…Hanging out with Jim and Ashley has been great fun!….good to see them both again and in such a special place! Spending a few more days here (we must!) and heading into the city of San Francisco to see the sights….

Also I want to send out a BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! To my BeAuTiFuL SISTER AIMEE (oct 4th) yeeeeeaaahhhh!!!! Wish I was there to blow out those candles and help you eat that CAKE!!! Mmmmmmm……grosses bises, sis

crescent city

dont mess with the man

tunin the mule

california coast

mendocino headlands. wow.

our feelings exactly!
couldnt say it any better

our man 'roge'

the david grisman quintet
very intimate.

those are whale bones!
Jim and Ashley.
nice to see ya.

1 comment:

  1. nice to see so many smiles and hear so many wows...we at the fine cafe are apprciative of all the good vibes...we are glad to see hills and ashley as we discussed them over wine tastin' at the new winery...and yes, the wine was fine...still fellin' it today...keep on wowing, smiling, amd rollin' down the miles...peace p and d