An Oregon Long Haul
Sep27

An Oregon Long Haul

One of the hallmarks of my roadtrips is just driving. Especially driving on roads less traveled. So the plan from Pendleton on the Lost Coast Then Just Lost Tour was to make a long haul down the full length of Oregon. Oregon makes it easy. Since there are no major interstates out in the Eastern part, I didn’t have to work hard to find an alternative route. It was Route 395 all the way. While it plays a distinct second fiddle to...

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The Cowboy Town Where Indians Rule
Sep26

The Cowboy Town Where Indians Rule

Yesterday, when my Prius was slammed into, I was already running late. I was rushing to beat an impending rainstorm and get to my next stop before dark. So I finished up a full day as if nothing had happened. However, this morning it all hit home. Add to that Lucy, who sometimes gets the seasonal itchies, had a flair up. So all three of us — me, Prius and terrier — needed to regroup. We opted to stay an extra day in...

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Gorgeous Gorge, Ghastly Crash & Cowboy Heaven
Sep25

Gorgeous Gorge, Ghastly Crash & Cowboy Heaven

Having powered our way up the Lost Coast of California and the entire coast of Oregon, the next phase of our roadtrip was to do a reverse Lewis & Clark for a bit. That meant following the Columbia River to the east. We caught our first glimpse of the mouth of the Columbia from Astoria and, wow, is it big. It’s also very very industrial. Besides the ubiquitous piles of logs, there are huge cranes, ships, and rail cars...

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Coasting Up Oregon
Sep23

Coasting Up Oregon

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know I’m on another themed road trip with Lucy the terrier. This one we’re calling The Lost Coast Then Just Lost. Yesterday was mostly about Redwoods as we traversed California’s Lost Coast and headed into Oregon. Meandering along and braking for every Redwood grove, we made it about halfway up the Oregon coast to Yachats. Today, there would be no meandering. The weather report was warning of a...

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Up the Lost Coast to Oregon
Sep23

Up the Lost Coast to Oregon

Having officially gotten myself further up the California coast than I’ve ever been, Lucy the Terrier and I continued our trek along the coastal highways. We’re calling it The Lost Coast Then Just Lost Tour. Today was Day Two. One thing we learned yesterday is that the northern coast of California is beautiful in a somewhat frightening sort of way. But not as frightening as the people. I don’t necessarily mean the people who live...

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On the Road Again
Sep22

On the Road Again

Cue the Willie Nelson. As we do every year or so, Lucy and I are on one of our themed roadtrips. In the past, I undertook The Mission Mission where I attempted, in one long haul, to hit most of California’s Missions. It was a great trip, but would have been more fun to share it with a companion. Poor Andy works so hard, that when he has a vacation, the last thing he wants to do is go meandering backroads on some vaguely themed...

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Project Lawn Be Gone
Sep21

Project Lawn Be Gone

Those of you who have been following along here at Left Coast Cowboys have heard me warning about our historic drought. I’ve even condemned the ubiquitous Ice Bucket Challenge. Despite its noble goals, it still perpetuates the completely irresponsible assumption that we have plenty of potable water to throw around. I could go on for days on the pitifully inadequate response of our state government to this ecological catastrophe....

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Varmint Wars
Sep12

Varmint Wars

What with all the real estate madness going on in my life since Spring, I’ve only been up to Sonoma a fraction of the time I used to spend here. Luckily, this was all during the season where things kind of take care of themselves — where “things take care of themselves” means Ranch Manager Louis and the guys do prodigious amounts of work keeping everything running. Well, here it is on the cusp of harvest and I...

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Scirpus Fail
Sep08

Scirpus Fail

Habitat restoration is tough. It’s basically playing at being Mother Nature. Except it’s very hard to do it as well as Mother Nature. Plantings made with the best intentions can have unintended consequences. Take our pond, the one we named after our late lamented founding terrier, Charlie. Lake Charles is a man-made pond with a recirculating waterfall that we built into a natural depression on the barn side of the...

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Every Glass Helps!
Aug25

Every Glass Helps!

Like most winemakers in the southern parts of Napa and Sonoma counties, we’re still trying to get a handle on the damage done by yesterday’s 6.0 magnitude quake. In fact, especially for wineries, it may be to the end of this week before the damage to wine stocks can be assessed. That’s because small wineries often have their wine resting in large shared storage facilities where barrels are stacked six high or higher....

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