Miramonte is a delightful family-owner winery that provides a great experience - outdoor wine tasting, picnic luncheon in the gardens, and a tractor ride through the vineyard.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
97 year-old Bob Porovich was our docent at the Serbian Orthodox Church. During WWII he worked as an engineer in the Pacific building airstrips for McArthur. When I asked a question about the church's religious icons he replied "enough about that, now more about me." Bob is an original and the very best person to give the history of the church.
The church's exterior.
Relaxing at the hotel before the performance.
The scenery changes from the agricultural valley to rolling oak-covered hills to the pines of the Sierra Nevada.
The Broadway Pops performance is a highlight of a wonderful and diverse festival.
The festival features a nice display of local artists, wine tasting and tables and chairs to relax in the clean mountain air.
Marge visits the 3 month old clydesdale colt. All draft horses have their tails docked so they don't get caught in the rigging.
Jim says hello to this spectacular stallion.
Several of the ranch hands were raised in Amish families where they gained lots of practice working with draft horses. Here a pair are put through their paces learning to match their gait.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Joe & Jean e-mailed us some of their Alaska pictures. More are available on in the Alaska folder on our website. Here they enjoy the train ride from Denali to Anchorage.
Joe spent time on the platform between cars to capture photos without having to shoot between the glass. The air was fresh and had that wonderful forest scent.
These newborn Husky puppies are so small their eyes have not yet opened.
Joe & Jean cuddle a larger pup, which looks like he would prefer to be running instead of interacting with visitors.
We passed the Palin home on the lake in Wasilla.
Alaska travelers Joe & Jean DiSessa e-mailed us trip photos which we have added to the Alaska album on our website.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Alaska's wildflowers were peaking in mid July. Summer comes sometime in May and leaves by September, so there is an exuberant bursting during the summer season. Our trip to Denali was so filled with wildlife because the berries were ripe.
A Native American artist at work on totem poles.
We saw 10 different grizzly bears during our day in Denali, none cuter than mama and her twins.
How close were the bears? One sauntered across the road directly in front of our bus. This mama bear was not crazy about our presence, so when we were in line for the restrooms she came up out of the riverbeds and we were all herded back onto the bus. This is her world, we just live in it.
We also saw Dall Sheep, caribou, marmots moose and a variety of other critters.
This squirrel is on the lookout in front of Alaska Fireweed. It is said that when the top of the fireweed finished blooming it is 6 weeks to winter.
We visited the kennels & traning ground for Jeff King's sled dog team. The first thing they did was let us hold some of their puppies.
Most of the pups were friendly, but some were very wiggly. You definitely had to keep you eye on them at all times.
Patricia's pup loved the velcro on her jacket.
Diana was in 7th Heaven
Andrew & I check out a variety of pelts
This recreates an Athabascan Village after contact with trappers. Befor the 1900s the Athabascan were more nomadic, following the caribou herds.
This is the smart way to fish - a fish wheel that employs the current and a basket system to automatically scoop us the fish. The salmon are then smoke cured. Now a brine of salt and sugar is used to increase the flavor - wonderful stuff.
The river cruise passed Dave Monson's kennels. We shopped fo view how sled dogs are trained in the summer, but pulling ATVs.