Monday, April 6, 2009

Russian River Bliss and Harbor Seal Maternity Ward

Since last we wrote, we've travelled from Pt. Reyes to Mendocino. Not all that far as the crow flies, but then we don't fly like the crows. Sunday we stayed in Jenner and drove up the Russian River to the Blue Heron for a beer and burger at Duncans Mills. Last time there was 26 years ago with Katherine! Just as wonderful as I remembered.

Russian River wineries - Gary Farrell with exquisite views atop the hill. Merry Edwards with a tasting directed by her 23 year old adorable son. Then a detour and frolic to look for Cobb Winery (tasted at Post Ranch). Off the beaten track, one lane road to remote vineyard. Phenomenal wines were tasted in gorgeous surroundings.

Next morning in Jenner on the shore we saw harbor seals having babies! Big mamas going into the sea to deliver, swimming back with baby seals swimming beside them. Very cool - like a seal maternity ward. A definite highlight. Picture doesn't really do it justice - the little one was just born and came out after swimming in with his mom.

Drove north to spend the night at Sea Ranch - think "Same Time Next Year," the movie. Amazing ocean views, huge seas, with dangerous riptides and "sleeper" waves - don't go body surfing! "Sleeper" waves come with cool warning signs, complete with stick figure guy spinning out of control in middle of wave (that's me). How many signs can say "This is one of California's most dangerous beaches!"

Morning at Sea Ranch - hike along the bluffs. Surprised by: deer grazing and delicately trotting near by; wild irises all around, looking a lot like regular irises, but littler and scrappier; and the big ones - turkey vultures! A whole flock of them hanging out on the cliff while their scout went looking for food. Apparently they are often on the verge of starvation. They seemed friendly.

Drove to Mendocino, staying at Stanford Inn. Got a "couples massage" in the forest room, trees all around. Met a local in the coffee shop who recommended staying here, along with the local pub. Tomorrow's lunch! Dinner at the Stanford Inn is vegan/vegetarian and good. Outside lots of noisy frogs. 

Other big event of the day on Tuesday - we finished listening to "Dreams From My Father" on audiobooks - read by Barack himself. It is amazing! Don't miss it - and it's wonderful hearing him read his own words. What a treat to have a literate President!

Miles Sunday: 93
Miles Monday: 63
Miles Tuesday: 70

(note to Claire: Knees Up was in our room at the Jenner Inn.)

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