You would think, that being in the middle of one of the state's oldest wine producing areas, that the county fair would sell wine.
You'd be wrong.
At least when we're there, the wine bar is closed. Beer and margaritas are free flowing, however.
We're at the Amador County Fair in the heart of California's Gold Country in Plymouth. We've been wanting to come here for years. A few years ago, we had a trip planned but work got in the way. Last year was another attempt but a large forest fire in the area made it a no-go.
Finally, we're settled in to the great Shenandoah Inn and we're set to go.
It's a small fair, two hours will pretty much get you through everything.
It's got great displays of 4H raised animals like sheep, cows, and goats. Horsemanship competitions are going on in the arena throughout the day. A midway full of rides awaits the adventurous fairgoers.
After deciding we'll probably have the fried calamari as our fair food later, we head to the back of the grounds where hobbyists have restored tractors and engines on display.
A small steam engine runs a wood shop complete with lathe and drill press while other smaller engines just sit there running and popping, awaiting something to use they're power.
One gentleman has hooked his up to a hand-pump and is recycling water from a bucket on a trailer. When I ask his why he did this (it obviously has no practical purpose) he said simply, "because it's fun."
A giant boiler, with smoke that can be seen over the entire fairground, runs an historic lumber mill via steam power.
Pieces of furniture sit on the lawn nearby, products of the lumber produced here.
The sawdust is recycled and used as bedding in the animal barns while the trash wood is cut up and burned in the boiler.
We have our calimari (just so-so) and a couple of beers while we check out our haul of freebies from the exhibit halls. The shady trees of the beer garden make a nice place to watch the parade of antique tractors go by.
Afterward, we go across the street from the fair to Amador 360 to taste some wine and even buy a case. A very nice dinner at Taste, an incredibly delicious restaurant in downtown Plymouth, caps the day.
Copyright 2015 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved