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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    16

    Default Dinosaurs, a Cloudburst and Serendipity on Route 46

    The destination for this trip is Nepenthe, a special restaurant clinging to the cliffs in Big Sur, CA. I publish articles about “Whisky With a View” and am on a road trip to visit candidates for articles.

    Leaving Anaheim, CA very early on a weekday morning gets me through the tangle of Los Angeles without a single slowdown – amazing! Three hours from home, with dawn beginning to break, I turn West onto California Route 46 at Lost Hills. Almost 800 oil wells sprout from the arid grassland in the Lost Hills Oil Field, straddling both sides of the highway. I love the way non-traditional lighting conditions change the appearance of common scenes, like oil wells. In the breaking light they resemble, not a major source of light crude, but a shadowy field of dinosaurs.



    Route 46 goes due west from I-5, crossing the San Andreas Rift Zone, through lush grazing land and geologic outcroppings that eventually grow in size and become part of the Coastal Range. With angled, early morning light playing on the landscape and a sky heavy with rain, magic happens. Cloudburst, from The Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofe comes through satellite radio. For nearly ten minutes, the scenes before me change in near perfect synch to the music played by The Philadelphia Orchestra.



    The experience is a most exhilarating way to kick start a day that has already been memorable, what with dinosaurs before breakfast!

    Another 60 or 70 miles and I pass through Paso Robles and into the Templeton Gap area, home to boutique wineries. With late morning fog cutting driving speed down considerably, I experience some of the terroir of the area that makes for sensational wines. Through the mist, I get sneak peeks into the glens and valleys where quaintly-named vineyards live – Peach Canyon Winery, Windward Vineyard, and Dark Star Cellars, to name a few. The thought of terroir - that combination of geology, soil, vegetation, topography, weather and water that gives each wine its uniqueness - makes think about the selection of single malt Scotches awaiting at Nepenthe. Scotland’s vast array of terroir is what gives each distilling region its own special attributes.

    Route 46 ends at California 1. Another hour and a half, past San Simeon and Hearst Castle, and I arrive at Nepenthe, 800 feet above the surf of Big Sur. Angus Wagner, server extraordinaire, is “into” my project and offers to bring the entire selection of single malts to the panoramic deck for a photograph. With the coastline of Big Sur in the background, ten whiskies back lighted by the late morning sun, and a tray of California artisanal cheeses, the scene is the epitome of “Whisky With a View”. Talisker 10 year old, from Scotland’s Isle of Skye goes perfectly with the Monterey Jack, Point Reyes Blue, and Humboldt Fog Goat Cheeses.



    Following lunch, Nepenthe’s staff and I have a wonderful conversation about Scotch and food pairings – they are all quite expert at this.

    With my soul filled with the sensory treasures of the day, I head north for my first night on the road, with anticipation of the next adventure in my on-going quest for “Whisky With a View”.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-18-2010 at 11:23 PM. Reason: added some white space

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default

    great post; pls keep them coming!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default I see 'em

    Ray,

    You asked if I could see the photos? Yes, I see them.

    We'd prefer that you use the PhotoShare -- but using the Forum photo display options are fine as well.

    Mark

  4. #4

    Default ... but I don't

    There are no photos displaying on my view ... but a lovely description of this part of the world nonetheless.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default no joy

    me neither. a 'view source' shows this HTML:

    <img src="http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=2516" border="0" alt="" /> <br />

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Thanks, everyone, for comments re photos. Can you see them now? I'll eventually get the hang of this!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    I originally didn't see the pictures when I was browsing as a guest, but once I logged into my account, the pictures appeared.

    If I remember, this has happened before to me once - perhaps there is a privacy setting that needs to be unchecked?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I didn't see them 3 hours ago logged in, but I see them now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Forum attachments for photos are way too buggy

    I think I might know what is causing the problems with the display issues -- but the simplest solution would be to use the RTA PhotoShare application that we purchased and installed for this very reason. I don't want to disable the RTA forum photo albums because so many of the photos posted in this forum use them -- but it would sure be wonderful if everyone would shift to the RTA PhotoShare application! The photo display options on the current software version used by the Great American RoadTrip Forum is simply loaded with bugs and it's unlikely we solve the problems in the near future.

    Thanks,

    Mark

  10. #10

    Default

    Great photos and really good prose! I like the way you write about your road trip, and the scenes bring back fond memories of my times in Monterey and southern California. Keep it up.

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