I was reluctant to leave Big Sur but it was time. I was sleeping peacefully beneath my redwood grove, bundled up in my sleeping bag when it started to rain. A real rain; not the drizzle I had been getting on and off the last few days but a downpour. I knew it was coming, but I still wasn’t prepared. “Ping!” The drops started to fall one by one. Ringing off the top of my truck and stirring me awake. “Ping! Ping! Ping!”…the downpour began. It was like a wave crashed over the top of my truck as the noise of the drops became deafening. Worse though, was my planning. The corners of my camper were beginning to leak horribly as water flooded in. I scrambled to move my things as the downpour continued. I managed to minimize the damage but by that time, sleep would not find me. I was cold, slightly wet and the rain was unbelievably loud against my camper shell. Despite all that, it really was a beautiful morning. The rain finally stopped and the world I stepped out into was wet and shiny and seemed brand new. The ground was spongy as I packed up my camp, ready to hit my next destination: Paso Robles….
Four glasses of wine, two nitro beers, and four little tasters of flavored brandy was the tally. Somehow I came to that count laying in Andrew’s guest room, drunk trying to sleep. – October 21, 2017, 4:57pm, Avila Hot Springs
The drive to Paso Robles took about two and a half hours from my campsite in Big Sur. I had to go back up north on the 1 because of a rock slide in Big Sur that closed the road. From Carmel, I made my way back to the 101 and it was a straight shot to Paso. Andrew was working when I rolled up as the evening was just beginning. He showed me around Nicora and even gave me my own little wine tasting. He poured me a small amount in a wine glass and I dropped the whole thing like a shot with a big smile on my face. Andrew walked me around the area which I found out was packed with wineries. We visited a couple of them, tasted some brandy at a distillery, then made our way to the brewery.
Once we got to Tucker Family Farms, I was beat. It was a long day of driving and the wine had made me drowsy. Andrew took me on a tour of the house and I got to see the entirety of his spot while the sun was setting. The expanse of his family’s land and crops was stunning. The house was perched on a little hill that looked down at the farm and also had a view of the surrounding farms.
I thought I knew quiet being out in the woods, but out here in the middle of nowhere, the quiet was different. It was a thicker feeling, more a feeling of dread but I wasn’t uncomfortable. Andrew had given me a whole guest room to myself so if anything I was perfectly at ease. There were few noises out here in the farmland but I did manage to hear a couple owls hooting…
Andrew’s dog Zoe, gave me a tour of the grounds early in the morning and seeing the whole farm in it’s morning light was stunning. It was cold but the sun rising over the hill and warming up the land in the early hours of the day was a site I will never forget. – October 21, 2017, 4:57pm, Avila Hot Springs