Friday, September 10, 2021

Back in Fashion: A Busy Summer

As our governor said mid june, "we're open...and roaring back!" Californians came out, rubbed their eyes, and started making their way back into the outside world. While we're not ready to get on a plane, yet, we're going to take Mr. Newsom at his word and go roaring back out into this post-Covid (for vaccinated people) world.

At the beginning, it didn't seem like it would be an extraordinarily active summer but let's look back on what we  did and accomplished...

In May, our hometown of Ione kicked things off by bringing back their heavily missed Homecoming festival. A three day (pared down to two days, this year) town wide party.

It was fun to dunk the mayor in the dunking booth, eat fireman cooked tri-tip, and listen to local bands while sipping something cold in the beer garden and catching up with our neighbors and friends.

When the Hampton Inn gave away our accessible room in Carson City, we pressed our case with some on-the-fly ADA knowledge to gain a suite at the Holiday Inn Express in nearby Minden...for free.

The visitor's center there provided us with a fascinating, historical walking tour of the city.

Oh yeah, we also found the Batmobile at a local casino.

Popular local band, After Dark, is calling it quits at the end of this summer so we got to catch an early show of their farewell tour in Mokelumne Hill at a local winery downtown there.

I organized a community cleanup of our city's park just before the Memorial Day crowds came.

My mom visited and we got to take her to another local concert at a winery in nextdoor El Dorado County to see the classic cover band The Rusty Rockers.

A heat wave in June inspired us to getaway to the much cooler climes of Half Moon Bay where we were able to have a nice two day getaway along the Central/Northern California coast.

Miles of oceanfront, wheelchair accessible trails greeted us there.

A couple of weeks later, we went on a more substantial trip for four nights up in secluded Quincy, California. Part of the "lost Sierra" in Plumas County, Northern California.

Another walking tour and a high-country accessible hike to a waterfall awaited us.

On the way home, we found another accessible and historic trail to one of the Donner Party's camps just north of Truckee.

Our mayor hosted a community bash at our local golf course where it was sno-cones, beer, and more live music from some good local bands, including a very good Eric Clapton tribute band.

Independence Day found us in the tiny Gold Rush town of Volcano at their annual Cannonball Run car show.

Of course, there was more live music at one of the oldest general stores in the west plus some great barbecued burgers.

We didn't even have to leave home when a local bait and tackle shop held a fishing festival, which closed off our street and happened right in front of our house.

Professional fishing champs Nick Cloutier and Mark Lassagne came up the steps to pose with Tim.

A family visit from my wife's brother and his wife led us up to Lake Tahoe where he and I jumped into that cold, clear lake.

It was very refreshing.

Later, we could be found at yet another local concert, one on the park of a jazz trio in the old town of San Andreas in Calaveras County.

After he left, my wife's other brother, his wife, and kids came for a visit. We were able to ride an old train at Railtown 1897 State Park in Jamestown where...due to TSA rules...we had to break out the Covid masks again.

On the way home, we took a couple of hours to just sit in a creek in the town of Murphys, drinking wine and eating cheese.

It was a great way to stay cool in the summer heat.

A day of wine tasting ended their trip up in Amador County's Shenandoah Valley.

Next up was the return of the Amador County Fair. It was great to get back to this little fair, check out the exhibits, and pet the animals.

My wife even entered a shawl she knitted into the crafts competition. She got a red ribbon for her efforts.

And it was another chance to catch another After Dark show on their farewell tour.

Next up was the return of live events at the Italian Picnic Grounds in Sutter Creek. First off was a Tom Petty tribute band concert.

Packing up our beach chairs, we sat on the lawn and listened to a show of Petty or Not.

A couple of weeks later, it was back to those picnic grounds to attend their Brewfest, which is an outgrowth of the previous and popular Amador Brewing Summer Picnic.

We started off this summer escaping to the coast to beat the heat, and we're finishing up the same way. It was a couple of days at Tomales Bay (near where Alfred Hitchcock filmed "The Birds").

Our stay at Point Reyes Inn will be featured in greater depth next week.

So, all in all, not a bad way to pick up a few summer activities while our state is waking up into its Covid-induced hangover.

Darryl Musick
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