Start: June 19, Escondido, California
Finish: June 26, Seattle, Washington!!!
Tents Skunked: 1
Overlanders Met: 14
Beer belly weight gain: Too much
From San Diego we head due north to return home to Seattle. We stop off in as many breweries as possible and do our best to survive the combat camping style of California.
We left Stone Brewery just after 2pm, full on delicious food and having soaked up most of the beer samplers. Unfortunately our next stop was 50 miles the other side of LA and little did we know, traffic in LA starts promptly at 2:30. We sat for 3 hours crawling along and stopped at the first available campsite around 7pm. They were full, and so was the next one and the next one. The 4th camp ground told us it would be $103 for a site, but they were also full.
Finally we found a spot at the very windy Gaviotas State Park, for the low price $45 a night (trust me it's low for LA). We setup our tent in the howling winds and I prepared our glamorous Mac & Cheese dinner out the back of the car. While we're attempting to keep our tent from blowing away, we notice a few black and white critters roaming the campground. Skunks.
Just before sitting down to eat, the hopefully soon-to-be-sterilized genius in the campsite next to us starts to call a skunk over. Apparently petting a skunk was on his to-do list. The skunk didn't play along, so the genius started to throw things at it. Kobus, watching this all play out about 20 feet away, heads over to the next campsite to explain what unhappy skunks do. He made it about 3 steps and the bomb went off.
We avoided a direct hit, but the wind blew the spray right into Kobus and the tent. The smell in the area was revolting, so we thought we'd try to move our tent to another site. But after a sniff test of our fly we decided there was no escaping it. We garbage bagged the tent fly, packed up the rest of camp and set the GPS for the nearest Motel 6. A few showers and a couple 40's of Stone Arrogant Bastard greatly improved the situation.
The next day we set off to drive the famous Big Sur coast. We enjoyed the scenery, and the weather was perfect, but the place was packed with tourists. We tried for several hours to find a campsite, but the cheapest option came it at $65.
A quick google search determined that we could get a hotel for $10 less. And with the skunk smell still marinading in our tent, we were happy to be indoors. We stopped off at the Monterey Coast brewing, conveniently across the street from our hotel, for another round of samplers.
Next stop, San Francisco, to visit our good friends Marcell & Tarryn. Remember when we stopped to visit them on the way down? The last time we arrived, they had just moved into an apartment, and we heard (from Marcell) that an engagement plan was in the works. Fast forward nearly 2 year later and we're hanging out with Mr. & Mrs. Puzsar! The Hungarian and South African duo, took us to a beautiful park with views of golden gate on one of those amazing San Francisco sunny days.
We didn't get to any breweries in town, but a close second was this specialty beer store just down the road. The sales guy spent a good half hour talking us through at least 30 different local brews. What an awesome job, and the beers were fantastic.
From San Fran we jet north to meet up with the Adventures of Dave & Ann on their beautiful farmlet in Petaluma. Song of the Road joins us for a few brewery visits, first up Russian River. Home of Pliny the Elder. At over 8% alcohol, you gotta watch how fast you drink it.
The afternoon was still early, so we stopped off at Lagunitas for a few more samples. The five of us were greeted by this brilliant sign. Got it, give wandering kids espresso. Check. Now for the beer.
One sampler included 4 beers, but with the huge menu at this place, that didn't seem like enough. Eight samplers later, we're regretting not having an empty growler. We could spend days here with all the amazing brews on tap. Kobus and I picked up some souvenir stickers and a butterfly blade bottle opener and then pile back in Dave's car to get the food started.
Miraculously, this amazing meal comes together. ADV-o-DNA slow cooked pork butt and teamed up with a Cuban pique sauce, we have pulled pork sandwiches to die for. (I know, I had three of them). Pasta salads, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, and other stacks of food graced the table. And lets not forget the pile of "back-up pork" tenderloins that arrived moments later. As Dave would say, "you gotta have your back up pork." So true.
A few more crazy peeps show up with more food and beer. With a Litle Moxie clan arrives and Carpe Viam (with two friends and a bottle of Jameson). Drinking starts early and we quickly amass a huge pile of empties.
Kobus skewers up some delicious maraschino cherries wrapped in bacon, soaked in the sweet cheery glaze. All is going well until some not very good cook who should never ever be listened to when giving grilling advice (yeah, that's me), said that the skewers needed a few more minutes.
They promptly burst into flames and well, most of them came out black.
No matter, Moxie and Wynne were chowin down on the remaining good ones like it was the last food on earth. Just gotta get through the burnt bits to the sweet cherry inside.
Somehow, just before sunset we all manage to look sober enough for this group photo. Thanks to ADVoDNA for all the photos from the event. Somewhere between pulled pork and Pliny the Elder we forgot about photo taking altogether.
The next day began with an epic breakfast of hyper local eggs and bacon. These ADVoDNA people are awesome :) And about 2 minutes after hitting the road, I passed out for a good hangover nap. And when I woke up we had big beautiful leftover pork sandwiches for lunch. Good to go!
We spent a night chillin' in Klamath Falls and then hit Hood River, for a few more breweries and to meet up with overlanders in intermission, Patagonia or Bust. Who we also have no photos of. Doh! They give us the low down on the best breweries in town and we waste no time heading out to the fist one, Full Sail.
Literally just up the street was another micro brew, Double Mountain. We have a sampler, then some food, more beer, then some more food. Then Patagonia or Bust shows up and orders more beer. And then more beer. Kobus wises up and starts drinking water. I reason that the more I drink the less I'll hear the train that runs 20 feet from our tent. That plan backfired. FYI, trains going buy your head after a night of heavy drinking, are decidedly louder.
Our final stop on the brewery tour, pFreim Family Brewers. Consequently the work place of Kylee from Patagonia or Bust. We order the sampler and oogle the awesomeness of the brewery area. The Belgian style brews at this place were incredible, specially the Belgian Strong Dark. We decide to fill our growler, and for a second are taken aback by the $28 price tag.
Then Kobus spots what we now believe to be one of the most essential pieces of overlanding gear, the stainless steel growler, aka, the hydroflask. An ingenious invention by the beer-loving community of Hood River. It's got a steep $50 price tag, but comes with a FREE fill of your choice of beer. With 64 ounces of 10.25% dark Belgian Kobus is clearly delighted at our purchase.
The following morning we head home. After 20 months of travel, we're back in Seattle.
Up Next: We just finished driving 36,821 miles, writing two books, 360 articles and drinking entirely too much booze. It's safe to say we plan to spend the next several months neglecting this website as much as possible, but we will be back...
It's been fun team. Life Remotely out.