Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I'm back from vacation!

My wife and I had the vacation planned for months, and for once, the well planned vacation was really excellent. We left Sunday, June 25, got back this afternoon, and capped it all off with the usual excellent fireworks display that Ukiah has done a marvelous job producing.

We went to a little town in the Sierra Nevada mountains called Downieville. The town holds only about 300 people, but is a serious summertime destination for campers, backpackers and mountain bikers. The cabin we stayed at was a "resort" called The Lure, a place where families came to show their kids "the woods", and fisherman have real cabins on the other side of the "resort". Our cabin was rather plush, and it should have been for the amount that we paid for it.

The Good:
-The reading. I must have sat on the deck of my cabin for hours and did nothing but read. I read mostly pleasure books, but I did do a little homework and school work reading. Still, it was nice to focus on reading that was easy and fun!

-The beauty of the Sierra Buttes. Located on the northern most end of the "High Sierra", the Sierra Buttes are a wonderful sight to behold. They are majestic amongst such small mountains. On the east end of the Buttes is Lake's Basin, a haven for glacier-made lakes that will fill you with images of Yosemite and Mammoth Mountain.

-More books. We got stir crazy one day and ventured into the used book stores in Grass Valley. Not bad at all, but the gem was Hospice Thrift Stores of Grass Valley, which was a book bonanza. Really good, and recent, books were available at the Hospice for .10 to $1 a book. It was a serious score.

-Bryant's Rare Books and Documents. If you are a history buff at all, then you must stop by this magical store that is located in Old Town Truckee. It is a shop that is filled with old maps and first edition printings of classics. My wife and I had a favorite map from a Spanish explorer in 1557 that showed a huge Florida, and Baja California as a large island in the Pacific. I highly recommend stopping there.

-49 Wines. 49 Wines is a small wine shop owned by a retired man and his wife in downtown Downieville. The wine selection is exclusively "Mother Lode Wines" (Sierra County south to Calavaras), some of which (zins, sav blancs) are very, very good. But the store is like a wine shop is supposed to be. The owner is very friendly and will talk at length about wine and the world at large. We spent a good hour in there enjoying his company, and bought a little vino of course.

The Bad:
-What the hell is the new fad of bringing your dog everywhere. We could not go on one hiking trail, or visit one lake, without a half dozen people letting their dogs run loose all over the area. Leave the damn mutts at home and let people enjoy the backcountry without having to listen to barking all afternoon.

-Mountain Bikers are rude and think they own the town of Downieville. You can't hardly walk anywhere without someone screaming down the street or some wannabe Yuppie scum glaring at you because you walk instead of riding.

-Skeeters are crazy right now. With the late rain and the snow run off, mosquito's are everywhere. The first three days were humid and we had to take shelter in the cabin to not get eaten alive.

-I lost my favorite pair of Nike sandals while fishing the Yuba. Dammit!

Overall, it was an excellent vacation. Yes, I did think about school on occasion, but in that good way that gets you pumped for the next school year. My mind is clear, my body is rested, and I still have over a month left!
blog comments powered by Disqus