Monday, April 25, 2022

Central Coast Wine Getaway

Our wine country getaway started by picking up Robyn and Kevin at LAX then fighting LA traffic on the way to the PCH.  But the traffic had others plans as we got rear-ended on the 10.  My new jeep had damage to the bumper and exhaust system so wasn't driveable.  The other car had a lot of front end damage.  After a bizarre turn of events with tow trucks and cops, we got Rosie towed back to San Diego and we got rental Sahara to continue our vacation.

Our first stop was Santa Barbara for two nights.  We stayed at the Cheshire Cat Inn which is a place we liked when we lived in Santa Monica. 

Then we headed up to Paso Robles for three nights at the Paso Robles Inn.  I like old school  places like this one but this was a bit noisy.  But they did have hot tubs on the patios!


  • Alma Rosa - awesome hike among the vineyards
  • Ancient Peaks - good wines and even better roast beef sandwiches
  • Cass - Paso classic
  • Nicora - Great wines at a great Tin City winery
  • McPrice Myers - my favorite wines of the trip
  • Justin - good wines but very pretentious 
  • Tablas Creek - tried a new varietal, Tannat
  • Law - another hipster winery
  • L'Aventure - good reds and a fabulous location
  • Turley - wonderful wines
  • Booker - the most hipster of them all


  • Opel - probably the best food of the trip
  • Lark - the most hipster
  • Stokehouse Grill - great food with a more moderately priced wine list
  • The Hatch - best cornbread ever
  • Thomas Hill Organics - farm to table is not my favorite style


  • Cattleman's Lounge - the bar at the Inn was a nice place to play cards
  • Eleven Twenty-Two - cool speakeasy where they lock up your phones



Our post trip inventory

Blue skies over Tablas Creek

Braving the cold at McPrice Myers

Cheshire Cat Inn

Resting on our hike at Alma Rosa

Cheshire Cat Inn garden


Monday, April 18, 2022

Easter Hike on Cuyamaca Peak

After Easter service, Jo and I headed out the Cuyamaca State Park for a TMB training hike up to the peak.  The day use lot at Paso Picacho was pretty full but after finding a spot, we headed through the campground and started up the service road.  It was steep going at times and after an hour and a half we reached the top.  Great views were had!  On the way down, we decided to take the Conejos trail.  It added another mile and a half but was worth it.

Getting ready to hike

Walking up the road

Peak selfie

Azalea Spring

Sunday, April 03, 2022

S24O Rockhouse Canyon Hike

One of my goals for the jeep was to reach trailheads to use for backpacking treks.  Following a guidebook, I headed out to Rockhouse Canyon at the base of the Santa Rosas.  Starting from Christmas Circle, I drove out of town and up a dirt road.  The road was pretty easy but had a few large rocks and ruts.

From the trailhead, I headed up the canyon.  It was really hot!  About halfway up, I came across a herd of bighorn sheep.  At the head of the canyon was my first waypoint, a set of rockhouses.  A took a break there for water and food.  Then I head up a wash to reach my intended destination.  After a few miles, the wash turned north but the dry waterfall was unpassable to due a boulder blocking the way. I didn't feel like tempting fate and headed back to the rockhouses to camp for the night.

It was a great night under the stars!  I woke up at dawn, packed up and headed back down the canyon.  The morning was cooler but I still ran out of water before getting back to the car.

It was a great hike and is worth another trip in cooler temps and taking a different route to avoid the waterfall.


View from the rock houses


Boulder blocking the route

Find the bighorn sheep

Dehydrated rabbit


Staging at Christmas Circle