Hot Weather Coming

Whew, starting to warm up out here. I’ve made it so far without kicking on the A/C, but I have a feeling today that streak ends. It’s 77 already upstairs, yeah that’s getting a big too toasty. Still cools off at night, but last night only got down to the mid-sixties so that’s not enough to use the house fan. And, that’s it for the Placerville weather forecast.

Not a bad weekend overall. Little cooking, got out of the house a few times, and watched a few movies. Saturday I was doing a few things around the yard, and noticed lunch time had come and gone. I had a few pieces of chicken I’d thrown on the smoker the day before, but that didn’t sound too good, so we loaded up the dogs and headed to the recently opened Moonraker Brewing in Cameron Park. They have a location in Auburn also, but we rarely go there because 1) it’s about an hour drive and 2) they don’t have any food. This new spot has been in the works a long time, and it’s really nice. Huge building, and a nice large outdoor area for the dogs with picnic tables. We’ve been there once since they opened, then I got a gift certificate for my birthday so we decided to try it again. Everything was very good and we had a great time sitting outside with the dogs, but wow was it slow. They were pretty much completely overwhelmed, and I have a feeling that happens most days. We had to stand in line 40 minutes just to order food, and I didn’t even keep track of how long it took to actually show up. Hopefully they get it ironed out soon because it would be a great spot to enjoy the weekends.

While we waited for our food Saturday, (and waited… and waited…) we chatted with a few guys who had ridden up on their motorcycles for the afternoon. We talked bikes, weather, blah blah blah, and at any rate they told us about a place up near Georgetown that was a popular destination for a day trip. It’s called Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and it sounded like something between a bar and a historical landmark. We didn’t have any plans Sunday, so we decided to fire up the motorcycle and check it out. The ride out was fantastic, as advertised. Well, with the exception of about a 15 mile stretch of highway 193, which was just WAY above my riding level. Sheesh, it was sketchy. The slow curves don’t bother me much, but it had a lot of nasty 180 degree switchbacks that pretty much terrified me. I think I averaged about six mph over that stretch. Donette actually got off and jogged, and beat me by about five minutes. Everything stayed upright though, so I guess that was a victory. We got to the cabin in about an hour and half, and it was very cool. I mean yeah, indoor plumbing would have been nice, but the place is 150 years old so I guess that’s understandable. It’s very near the Rubicon Trail, so there were a lot of Jeep groups in there hanging out, as well as some more bikes. I imagine we’ll go back sometime! Going home we took a different route, and it worked out a little better. One thing I failed to look at was how high we were going though; There was still quite a bit of snow and it was cold! We even ran into a little rain, but not too bad. Overall a great ride, hopefully we do that a little more often. I need the practice, for sure.

BottleRock ’23

We took the motorhome down to Napa this past weekend for the annual BottleRock music festival. Our seventh time going, and I’ve sworn each one is my last time. We keep going though, against my better judgement. We have a great time every year, but I am getting too old for three days of music! It takes a toll for sure. There are five different stages, and invariably the next group I want to see is at the one furthest from the one I’m at. Lot of walking involved. We got our full eleven hours in all three days too! Well Donette and I cut it about 20 minutes short the last night. We were just out of gas, or at least I was. Plus the second night we stayed a little too long and it took us an hour to get through the line for the bus back to camp, so I didn’t want to chance that happening again. The weather was very cooperative this year, so that was nice. Cloudy and around 70 degrees each day; Can’t beat that! If I was going to gripe about anything, and I will, there were just some crazy schedule overlaps this year. There are usually a few, which I suppose cannot be avoided, but there were WAY too many this year. Can’t be two places at the same time! I had to miss a few shows I really wanted to go see, and I wasn’t too happy about it. Hope they get that figured out a little better next year. **If I go next year.

Camping, Birthday Fun, and Chores

Yeah, dropped off the earth for a few weeks. Been busy! Or maybe lazy. Maybe a mix of both. I had another birthday come and go last week. Ain’t getting younger, that’s for sure. Had a nice dinner out with friends, got lots of birthday wishes, and some excellent gifts. So happy birthday to me and all that.

Also had a camping trip in that quiet stretch, on the weekend of the 13th. We took the motorhome out to a nearby campsite for a quick weekend “boy’s trip.” Had a great time, and the campground was quite nice. Unfortunately it cost a bit more than our “regular” spot, but that one got flooded out this winter and still isn’t fully open. For the most part we just hung out at the site and ate, and swatted mosquitos. Pretty much checks the boxes of a good trip for me.

As for this past weekend, we had a good time also. Got a lot of things checked off the “home tasks” list. Yeah, those don’t fall under the “good time” category, but it’s nice to actually get a few done. I got a big section of the yard weed-eated. (Weed-ate? Weeded? Mowed? Not sure the right word there.) That’s a nasty, dirty chore to be sure, but it sure looks better. Never got it done last year and it looked pretty sketchy all summer. Didn’t get any complaints from the neighbors, because there aren’t any, but hey, we have to look at it. We also got a good start on the garden. We tilled it up a few weeks ago, and made a few rows of mounds to plant in. Last year we had a few raised beds in there, but they were kind of falling apart so we just tore them down. Then on Saturday, we ran some drip lines for watering and got the majority of the plants in. The drip lines seems to be working out great. The last few years we’ve just thrown a sprinkler in there. It works, but it also waters a lot outside the garden. That makes the grass/weeds grow and then I have to mow them. Ohhhhh, the agony. Anyway, it seems to be coming along nicely. Just have to get a few more things planted and then start picking all our delicious produce.

After we got all that done, we rewarded ourselves with a trip to one of our favorite lunch spots, Solid Ground in Diamond Springs. (It might not qualify as our favorite if there were more than a few options nearby, but lets just overlook that part. It’s not bad, to be sure.) I have two standard orders there; The chicken sandwich, or the chicken nuggets. (Yeah those sounds like kids meals, but they’re really very good.) This particular day, I guess I was feeling a little outrageous, and actually scanned the rest of the menu. Suddenly the word “Rueben” jumped off the page at me, and I immediately went with it. Yep, I’ll have the Rueben please. Shortly afterwards, my sandwich shows up, and the confusion set it. While certainly a sandwich, and certainly on nicely grilled marbled rye, there was a thick pile of what appeared to be pickled beets in the middle. And no meat. Well that ain’t right. By the time my shock subsided and I looked up to voice my displeasure, the waitress was gone. Luckily before I had the chance to stand on the table and cause what surely would have been an unpleasant scene, Donette informed me “Yeah you ordered the Root Vegetable Rueben. Thought that was odd but whatever.” Aw geez. Guess I should have read that a little bit closer. OK, the menu item literally says “Root Vegetable Rueben.” But seriously, who even came up with that idea? Native Californian, to be sure. It really wasn’t bad, or maybe I just tried to convince myself of that. It’ll be back to chicken next time, I know that much.

Spring Has Sprung

We have been enjoying the first stretch of continuous tolerable weather since last year. We have been enjoying it by sitting on patio chairs doing absolutely nothing. While relaxing, this does not leave a whole lot of fun, exciting things to recount from the weekend. If we ever do things meeting those qualifiers, they definitely didn’t happen in the last few weeks. I did fire up the smoker one day, which I always enjoy. I threw on six racks of ribs and a small corned beef brisket, which sounds like a lot o’ meat but it was in preparation for my big party. Unfortunately nobody came, so we have a lot of ribs in the freezer. Attendance likely would have improved had I actually invited anyone, but that detail didn’t occur to me. I’ve been cruising recipes sites ever since, looking for ideas to use up leftover ribs. The options are precious few, it would seem. I’ve got a rib hash on the menu for a soon-to-happen brunch, and that’s about it. (Not gonna lie, I’m pretty excited about that one though.) Other than that day on the smoker… Well… Let’s see: Did some mowing and weed-eating. Re-seasoned the Blackstone griddle, to great success. Got the garden cleaned up and ready for planting. Power-washed the deck and patio furniture. Washed the cars. Played fetch with Quinny. That’s all I can recall at the moment, and I can’t think that any of those items bear further detail.