Balloons flying over camp this morning!
Today was the rest day for most of the tribe. A few chose to ride the optional ride through Pope Valley: 48.2 miles with one pretty intense climb of about 1100 feet over just a couple of miles. Many tribe members chose to explore the shops and restaurants in Calistoga; a venturous couple headed off to the mud baths; ten of the rowdies headed off for four hours of winery exploration with Joe as their chauffeur. Jack and I chose to ride for a couple of hours before preparing the nights feast.
Dinner tonight: fish taco night. Tossed green salad in a raspberry vinaigrette, grilled rock cod and corn tortillas with all the trimmings, cilantro lime coleslaw, shrimp quesadillas with mango salsa, basmati rice, grilled peppers and onions with tofu, and a beautiful cheese tray featuring two fabulous French style cheeses from the Marin County Cheese Company complete with dates and fruit! This tribe is in love with cheese and wine! I saw quite a few cases of wine come back from town as well as some lovely olive oils.
Tomorrow is a 52.8 (give or take depending on your choice of measuring devices)mile day. Lunch stop is in the Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve; one of the few Redwood groves left. The alternate loop of is a pretty intense ten miles with a big climb and a HUGE downhill! The next two days have more of the same for alternates: we'll see how many dare to climb!
We stay tomorrow night at Casini Ranch on the Russian River. It's an eclectic campground in a pretty eclectic area! Hopefully the kitchen we have tonight will be in working order! New menu tonight: Jamaican theme! I'll let you know how it goes!