Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Twain Harte Road Trip - Day 05

Another wonderful day on our road trip. Whee! It is really nice to be in an area where you can stay in the same bed every night and just take day trips every day from a hub.

The buzzards were up by 6am and rarin' to go. Well, as rarin' as any 65 plus seniors with achy joints can be. Right away Linda noticed that there was a deer in the room. Remember that tree she noticed yesterday with the duck on it? Well, today she looked down at the floor at the bottom of the tree and there was a deer. Stuffed? Yes, but cute, nevertheless. No trip to The Sugar Shack today. Linda attempted to craft mocha at The Hideaway. John's comment "It's hot".

At 10 to 10 it was off to the WIFI connection at the Twain Harte Library to dry run for a meeting via SKYPE. It was just for a test. No connection occurred as no party showed at the other end, so it was off to a walk for Linda. She was able to place the first letterbox to be listed for Twain Harte. The name of the letterbox is Spin Some Time in Twain Harte. It is a tribute to the Rotary Club of Twain Harte and is placed near their 2005 Centennial Project for Twain Harte.

At 11:45 it was off to Ironstone Winery for the 2 old buzzards. Believe it or not, they were more interested in the 1927 Robert Morton pipe organ at Ironstone than the wine.

We made it to Ironstone by 12:37 pm which was right on the mark for the 53 minutes that Google Maps said it would take to get there from Twain Harte. We had time to go to the museum and see the largest crystalline gold specimen in captivity and some other interesting things in the museum. It is a beautiful place - lots of plants in bloom and everything in pristine condition. The tour started at 1:30 and our guide was quite knowledgeable about the family who owns Ironstone and about all the many features of the winery. We toured the 65 degree caverns where many thousands of gallons of wine is processed - some in barrels and some in 15,000 gallon stainless steel vats (party on, dudes!). We saw the amphitheater where they have fireworks and attractions like Faith Hill, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Sugarland and Chicago. Each tour ends in the music room, so we got to have a demonstration of the pipe organ that was rescued from the Alhambra theater in Sacramento when Safeway was tearing it down to make a parking lot. Eventually, we will post a video link to this day and you can get a taste of the pipe organ on that video. Even though the organ has a beautiful console it is played by computer except for special events (like silent movies) in the fall and winter. The winery owner reminded us a little of both Irv Perlitch and of Randolph Hearst. He bought up many things that are now in use at the winery many years before he ever had a place to use them. Things like armored knights, chandeliers, marble slabs, pottery, statues, paving stones, special wooden slats, etc.

Before leaving Murphys we got gas for $2.97 which is the best we had seen it for in these parts.

Then it was off to Angels' Camp. We took Hwy 4 to Angels' Camp where we picked up Hwy 49. We wanted to get ice cream in Angels' Camp but struck out. Next we went to Mark Twain's cabin in Tuttletown atop Jackass Hill. The cabin was still there but there was no mule to feed carrots to. And Linda was prepared with clues to find 2 letterboxes near the cabin. She struck out on both of them. At least there's a photo or two to remind her of the quest. Oh, well...

After leaving Mark's cabin we were stuck in road repair traffic for awhile. The truck in front of us had a license plate holder we had not seen before. It said (on top) HORN IS BROKEN and (on bottom) WATCH FOR FINGER. Some folks are always thinking of others. Isn't that sweet of them to let you know why the finger?

Back to our hideaway and Maggie at Twain Harte. She was happy to see us (as usual) and we all went for pizza at the Pizza Factory (motto "We Toss 'em, They're Awesome") and it was. We ate outside under the pines at the hideaway and for dessert had some more famous Cover's apple pie.

Back in Morgan Hill, John's Cousin Jerry reports that all is OK on the home front. Weather is a pleasant 68 degrees and The Mushroom Festival was a huge success with crowds of 80 thousand plus.

Linda is thankful for Wilma's GPS, pinot grigio and mushrooms. John is thankful for cousin Jerry, for Gentleman Jack and the beautiful redwoods.

You can reach today's photo gallery by clicking here.

Here is a link to the video for Day 05. View it by clicking here.

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