Since moving to California, I have been immersed in a seemingly endless supply of local wine and craft beers to tickle my tastebuds. Having been to Napa and Sonoma several times, this trip took us up to Mendocino and Anderson Valley to explore the tastes of the coast.
Half of our group headed up to Van Damme State Park on Friday afternoon to camp at the Fern Canyon Trail camp, a short two mile hike in. These spots were nestled in a valley under the canopy of the Redwoods towering high above, and, unlike the park’n pitch sites at the entrance of the state park, were private and available!
The sun set quickly as we got a campfire going and started making dinner. It was a two-part meal, starting with some excellent chicken and bean fajitas, and finishing up with a pepperoni pizza.
I baked the pizza in my new Fry-Bake that I had brought along to start practicing with for future trips. While it took about an hour to bake my pizza to perfection, it was well worth the wait!
The next morning we left camp a little after 9am, but not before baking some cinnamon rolls. I cheated a little here in that I used some Pillsbury cinnamon rolls since we had brought along a cooler, though I’m sure they would be fine in a backpack for a day or two.
We met up with the rest of the group at Goldeneye Winery. Known for their Pinot Noir, they offered a very nice seated tasting on their back patio.
We visited a couple more wineries before heading over to the Anderson Valley Brewery. They had a great selection of beers on tap, many of which are only available at the brewery. By this time it was about 4pm, and the temperature was approaching 100°F, so sipping on some cool beer was just what we needed.
From here, we made our way back to the campground to make some dinner.
The real excitement of the trip came after dinner. The sun was down and it was pitch black under the cover of the trees. We were the only ones in the camp this night, and were trading stories around the campfire when we heard a loud crack come from the dark. It was close, and it was followed by a second, then a third. Somewhere, out in the dark abyss, there was a tree coming down, and we had no way to see where it was. So we froze, looking at each other across the campfire.
We heard the tree land and it sounded big. Relieved that it hadn’t landed on us, we began to joke about our ‘deer-in-headlights’ response and raised the question:
If a tree falls in the dark, and no one is able to see it, does it land on you?