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Monday, March 31, 2014

The One-Log House South of Garberville, California

The One-Log House is made
from a 2,100 year old
redwood tree in 1946.

The inside is seven feet tall and it's 32 feet long.  It's creator, Art Schmock, planned to take the One-Log on a tour of the country.  It's size and weight made Art's dream impractical.

The space efficient

Across from the kitchen
are shelves with a
table & stool.

Shelves act as room dividers
for the bedroom.

The last room has a

Across from the
dining area.

There is no bathroom in the One-Log House.  If it were to travel, this "mobile home" would probably move from campground to campground.

Driving North to Rio Dell, California

On the road again...

Past fields

This is the first sign we've
seen for a 16% grade.

It was a short hill... ending
in a T intersection.

After a few turns, we
arrive on US Route 101
heading north.


Everyone grows grapes here.


We are on the

Watching traffic
go by.

It's super hard to miss
this curve in the road.

Our next curve

There are no services
in Piercy.

We must stop at the

We're drive past
redwood trees.

Old Route 101 is the

We cross the
Eel River.

We are staying at a
Vista Point off the
southbound lanes.

We found this spot using the

Thanks Jim!

Another Rainy Day in Duncans Mills, California

We arrived at Duncans Mills, California on Sunday, March 23.

The rains started on Tuesday,
March 25.

Since then, it's rained
every day.

We leave tomorrow, March 30.

There's a 20% chance of rain

California is experiencing a drought, even along the northern coast.  The rain is welcomed
by all who live here.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Watching Seals on the Beach Near Jenner, California

We are staying five miles from the Pacific Ocean.  Today, we went in search of local sea life.  A staff member at Sonoma Coast State Park Visitor Center gives us directions to a nearby spot to watch seals.

We park a mile down the road to watch
 the seals laying along a sandbar.

From a distance, it looks like they're all napping.  Sea gulls sit close by.

A closer look reveals that some in the group
are awake & alert.

This is obviously a safe place for seals to stop and rest.  We keep our distance and quietly watch them resting along this sheltered sand bar.

Sampling Champagnes at Korbel Champagne Cellars in Gurerneville, California

The champagnes we

This Tasting Room
is beautiful.

Korbel stocks an
interesting assortment
of gifts.

A display of

I like the Snake
Bite Kit.

Eric and I bought two bottles of champagne... Brut and Sweet Rose.  I sipped some while writing this blog post.

Touring the Korbel Wine Cellars in Guerneville, California


Just eleven miles from 

We are excited about touring
the Cellar & learning about
champagne making.

Following his escape from prison in Prague in 1850, Francis Korbel made his way to America.  Brothers Anton, Joseph and Winsel joined him.  They traveled west to California.  They eventually settled in the Russian River Valley and logged redwoods to fill supply needs in San Francisco.  As the demand for lumber diminished, the Korbels farmed the bottom lands of their property, producing prunes, beets, corn, alfalfa and wheat.  Soil sample testing revealed the land is great for grape growing.  Pinor Noir grape vines were planted and in 1882, the Korbel brothers started a small winery.

Korbel also produces brandies.

The Brandy Tower is a replica
of the tower Francis was
held in in Prague.

The bolts in the redwood
beam shore up damage
from the 1906 Earthquake.

Korbel Champagne Cellars uses the champenoise method to make their champagnes.  This multi-step process includes barrel fermentation and bottle fermentation.

These oak barrels were 
built in place in 1882.

Following barrel fermentation, the
champagne-to-be is bottled with
yeast to eat the sugars in the wine.

The wine rests for about two years,
until the yeas has eaten all the
sugar in the bottle.

After resting for two years the
wine bottles are turned, 
or riddled.

This labor intensive process
has been automated.

This display shows how
champagnes were readied
for sale in the late 1800s.

The metal cage that covers the cork is opened by twisting it six times, counter clockwise.  This is true for every champagne bottle in the world.

Korbel Champagne to the 
White House for his second 
inauguration in 1985.

Every presidential inauguration since has been toasted with Korbel Champagne.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Lunch at Sabella and La Torre on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco

It starts to rain as we walk
toward Fisherman's Wharf.

The sprinkles turn into a steady rain.  We don't have an umbrella and are getting wet, fast.  Let's stop for lunch.  Hopefully, the rain will let up by the time we're done.

The man in the blue shirt
 invites passersby in
 for lunch.

It's early & there's plenty of
seating at Sabella & La Torre.

Today's Specials

A mural of San Francisco's
skyline graces the wall.

We're chilled from the rain.

Bread Bowl will warm us up.

The Cable Car Museum in San Francisco, California

The Cable Car Museum is located
in the Cable Car Barn & Powerhouse
at Washington & Mason.

There's no fee for the museum.  The Gift Shop is run by the Friends of the Cable 
Car Museum.

The first cable cars
 were open.

The grip is like a giant pair
of pliers that reaches into
the channel & clamps
onto the table.

Later, they were

Andrew Smith Hallidie used his experience in suspension bridge construction to create the San Francisco's cable car system.  He tested the first cable car system on August 2, 1873 at Clay and Jones Streets.  On September 1 the Clay Street Line started.  More cable car lines were built.  The Cable Car Barn and Powerhouse was built in 1887,

Engines power the winding 
wheels that pull the cables.

The workshop where workmen
make new parts for the
cable cars.

The door to the Cable Car
Barn is open.

On the wall is a