During the last week I visited a few wineries. I’m not much of a wine drinker but will indulge now and then in a glass. But with that being said, being in wine country I had a check a few wineries out.” It’s like the old saying when in Rome.” Sonoma County has hundreds of wineries and vineyards of all different sizes and a good share of them are open to the public, with tasting rooms. The way it works is you pay a nominal fee for a winetasting of several of their select wines. Typically if you buy some wine they waved the tasting fee. Usually they’ll have a series of wine that they’ll feature in their tastings that they are promoting. But I found most of the wineries will customize the tasting to your desires. Which is nice, seeing I typically only like the white and sweet wines. Also there were several of these wineries that make their own olive oil. I did end up spending about $80 on different olive oils from a couple different places. The most famous vineyard I visited was the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. It’s a beautiful piece of property located just off Highway 101, between the towns of Healdsburg and Geyserville, just north of Santa Rosa California.This is a quite fancy winery consisting of a large vineyard, a high-end restaurant, tasting room and day spa.
There is an elegant pool as part of the day spa.Beautiful landscape property.And lovely views of the vineyards.The main building and restaurant are loaded with tons of movie trivia for many of his movies. Many of his Oscars and other awards.The car from the movie Tucker.Movie props, clothing and memorabilia of all types, from the years of fame. And hundreds of behind-the-scenes photos along with many personal ones.
It was a great place to visit, and if you’re in the area I suggest you should stop by. One of the other great places I visited this week was the famous Glass Beach, in the town of Fort Bragg, California. If you do a search on the “Internet” of Glass Beach, you will find information and hundreds of photos of this place. You see until the early 1960s the town use three different location along its coastline, as the city’s dump. Since the stopping of the dumping nature along with cleanup by the citizens has turned this into a beautiful coastline again.
Looking at it now you would never realize that this was an ugly dump at one point.There’s beautiful rocky shores, along with the pristine views of the Pacific Ocean crashing in along the coast.
You can find some arched rocks where the waves come roaring through at high tide.But if you look close at the rocky beach you’ll see the remains of millions of little pieces of glass. From a distance it doesn’t look like much. But when you zoom in close, and when the sun hits it just right, it’s spectacular.Here’s a couple handfuls that I together to give you an idea of how much there is.
The brown and green pieces are the most abundant and the largest. The blue are much smaller and harder to find. And if you’re lucky enough to see some bright red ones the remains of old taillights, “which I did not find any “, are truly a rare find. There is a city ordinance passed in 2015, preventing the removal of glass. You see with all the visitors every year and everyone taking some pieces home. Plus Mother Nature doing her job, of making the pieces get smaller and smaller. There is considerably less left on the beach now, what there was back in the early 1980s, when this area started becoming a tourist destination. Anytime you walk along any rocky beach, you typically can find beach glass. When our kids were younger we used to take them two different beaches on the Great Lakes, and taught them how to find these hidden treasures. My oldest daughter Crystal remembers this fondly, she is the one that had come across this beach on the Internet. She then sent me the information and seeing I was in the area, I just had a check it out. It was about a two hour drive from where I’m staying at in Sonoma County. It was a fun day trip, driving through the hills and some more redwood groves, along with driving along the beautiful coast. I’m so glad she alerted me to this find. Also what would a Coastal Drive be without another lighthouse? Mendocino County the county just north of Sonoma County. Has a couple lighthouses open to the public. Point Arena Lighthouse the one I talked about in my last posting. And Point Cabrillo Lighthouse Station.The property that the lighthouse sits on is now a California State Historical Park. It consists of 296 acres located 4 miles north town of Mendocino. This open space consists of impressive variety of wildlife and hiking trails.There are 11’s structures remaining of this station, consisting of three lightkeepers’ homes, the original lighthouse and other smaller structures. Two of the keepers homes, have now been converted into vacation property, which can be rented by the week. There are also two smaller buildings that have been converted into cottages that can be rented.The third keepers’ home has been renovated and is a little Museum open to the public.Unlike most of the lighthouses on the West Coast (being built in the mid-1800s), this station is relatively new, being completed in 1909. After the famous 1906 earthquake in the bay area, this became a busy destination for the lumber industry, to get lumber for the rebuilding of the San Francisco area. So with the additional sea traffic there was a need to mark this rough coastline. As you see from these photos the design and layout of this keepers house, is more moderate them the ones built in the 1800s.It is a beautiful but rugged coastline with many large rock obstructions.This would be a beautiful place to stay and enjoy the tranquility of the coast and picturesque coastline.The lens of this lighthouse is rather unique. It is a third order Fresnel (fray-nel) lens. The most advanced example of lens technology at the time. What makes this one unique is it was a British-built lens, “most of the lighthouse lenses were made in France”. But this lens one of only twelve in the US was British-built. It was first lit on June 10, 1909 by Wilhelm Baumgartner the first head lighthouse keeper. It consists of 90 glass prison pieces that are now illuminated by 1,000-watt lamp, the lens rotates sending out a bright beam that can be seen up to 14 miles out to sea on a clear night. And it operates around the clock.I’m approaching my stay here in Sonoma County and will be working my way north in a couple days. This has been a beautiful peaceful stay, in the rolling hills and valleys of Sonoma County. The only downside of this stay has been my limited cell coverage. As matter of a fact, I’m working on this post as I am doing my laundry chores and able to get a strong connection here in town. Best wishes to all take care, Rick.