Sierra City- A Weekend Getaway

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All Photos taken by the beautiful Miss Erica

 

Growing up I would spend a lot of time with my family at our cabin in Leadville, Colorado. When I was young I hated going to it. To me the cabin felt old, small, and minimal. There was no cable TV, taxidermy was the decoration of choice, and time spent there was being active during the day and relaxing at night. Two things I hated in adolescence.  My grandfather had built the cabin, so it was just that a true “cabin.” Friends parents had condo’s in fancy places like Aspen or Breckenridge. I would find myself being resentful at how rustic our cabin was, embarrassed to bring friends to it. I always wished it was fancier and in a popular mountain city.

However as I got older I realized how special our cabin really was. The features I hated about it as a teenager are now the reasons I love it the most. I learned to not only like our cabin, but I fell madly in love with it. I am not able to make it back to our cabin as much as I would want, so now any chance an opportunity arises to  get away somewhere remote I am all in. Even thought I might still be local it is comforting. Like going home without being at home.

This past weekend I had just the chance to experience a piece of home in California. One of our friends has a family cabin in Sierra City and invited Dustin and I along with another one of our close couple friends to come up and enjoy a weekend getaway.

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All photos taken by the beautiful Miss Erica

The drive was long, about 4.5 hours to be exact. However we caravaned up there  early afternoon. We stopped ion Sacramento for dinner at a little whole in the wall Mexican restaurant. I had double downed on exercise earlier that day (spinning and barre) as I knew I would be sitting for a long period of time and wanted to be able to enjoy myself full over the weekend without worry. I ordered the chicken fajita’s, which had to be some of the best Mexican food I have ever had.  Of course I had to indulge in the tortilla chips, a guilty pleasure of mine I have too hard a time ever saying no to. After dinner we did a driver swap so the girls and boys could each ride up together.  We arrived at the cabin around 10:00pm and settled in quickly with a fire and some drinks. The cabin was just as cozy as I could have hoped for!

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All Photos taken by the beautiful Miss Erica

The next morning I woke up cozy, relaxed, and excited for our day! We had made plans to go on a 10 mile hike. After a week of hard workouts I was looking forward to moving my body in a less intense way. In typical fashion the girls made breakfast for the group, which was enjoyed with freshly brewed coffee. Next we packed up and proceeded to the starting point.  The hike was absolutely beautiful! It was just warm enough outside to not be sweating, but wasnt so cold that it was unbearable.

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All Photos taken by the beautiful Miss Erica

The first 2.5 miles took us up to a beautiful lake. Upon arriving we stopped in our tracks just marveling at the beauty of it. We were surrounded by everything that is amazing in nature. Just the 6 of us, Cooper, and nature. Of course this was just the start, we had another 2.5 miles to explore.

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All Photos taken by the beautiful Miss Erica

We continued to march upward, passing along amazing rock formations and just looking at the bright blue sky ahead. As we started to approach the last leg of our hike and what would be our summit spot for the day, we had one last large push up. Only a steep hill was between us and the summit. By the time we made our way up the hill the group was huffing and puffing, ready to relax and enjoy the view. Although we had hiked 5 miles at this point the group still had enough energy to throw a few snowballs and have a photo shoot. Yoga poses on top of a mountain, yes please!

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All Photos taken by the beautiful Miss Erica

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All Photos taken by the beautiful Miss Erica

 

Next we hiked back down the 5 miles and made our way back to the cabin.  I made some chips and guacamole, an easy snack, but always a crowd favorite.  It was all devoured quite quickly as none of us had eaten lunch and had only had snacks on the trail. After sitting for a moment we decided our next stop would be into town to grab a beer at the local watering hole.

I loved the small town of Sierra City. It was just a road with a handful of places to go. We made our way into the local bar and proceeded to have a few drinks, play the jukebox way too loud, and shoot some pool. Oh did I mention this was one of the places Cheryl Strayed, the author of Wild, stayed on her hike of the Pacific Coast Trail! It felt like being where a celebrity had been. Nerdy yes, but true.

After what had been a couple of hours and as it started to get dark outside we realized we had not had a full meal yet. Of course when you realize this you then become immediately hungry! We all quickly rushed home to prepare what we would later call the meat fest. In just one hour the group was able to grill ribs, chicken breasts, sausage, veggies, make a green salad with fruit, mashed sweet potatoes, and a bean/corn salad. For 30 minutes no one talked as we cleaned every last plate of food. By the time we were done we all were beat and ready for bed.

The next morning was an early departure as everyone wanted to get back to the city before the day got away from us. We picked up, packed the cars, and at 9:30 am were on our way back to reality. All in all it was truly an amazing weekend with great friends and nature!

A Sonoma Morning with Dogs, Hiking, and Wine

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Saturday Dustin, Cooper, and myself got ourselves up bright and early, packed the car, and headed out for an adventure in Sonoma County. The plan which, was a surprise to all in the car but me, was to go up to the beautiful Kunde Family Estate Winery and join in a dog hike through the vineyards. The hike started at 9:00 am at which meant we had to leave the city by 7:30 am in order to get there on time.  I  have to say getting up when it is still slightly dark out on a Saturday morning is not my usual cup of tea, but once we made it to the Estate I was glad we had made the trek.

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 Once we parked our car and walked up to the meeting point it was fun to see how many people would be joining in on the morning festivities. There were about 50 people in total along with all various types of dog breeds.  As Dustin and I scoped out the group it was interesting to see how many of our fellow hikers dogs resembled them. This of course made me wonder if Cooper looks like myself or Dustin? There were labs, golden retrievers, a very macho french bulldog, a wise looking bloodhound, and my favorite an adventurous bichon frise named Biscuit  just to name a few.

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 The hike was conducted by Jeff Kunde himself a 4th generation owner of the vineyard and his two yellow labs.   The slightly strenuous hike covered 1,850 acres across the breathtaking and may I even say magical estate. As we started the hike I was overwhelmed by the beauty all around. The morning air was cold and brisk, however this did not stop the dogs from flying, jumping, and running all around us.

 

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 We made our first pit stop alongside a large lake where the dogs jumped into immediately. I have never seen so many grinning labs paddling as fast as they could. At this point in the walk we were in the valley where the white grapes are grown and harvested. Glasses were handed out and at 10:00 am I was able to start my day with a tasting of their Sauvignon Blanc. Thank goodness I had eaten a banana before we started, I was not anticipating drinking while on the hike. However those are what I consider the good kind of surprises. The Sauvignon Blanc was light, crisp, and refreshing and I might even say a great spring morning wine.

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 As we continued to the next valley the sun started to peak out and the cool morning air was quickly rushed away. We had made it into the red grape valley and there we were able to taste the Reserve Zinfandel. Zinfandel’s are my absolute favorite wine varietal in red’s. They are typically robust and full bodied. This Zinfandel was delicious, although not as rich as I would prefer. However at 11:00am I was still very happy.

 

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The last stop in the Valley was in a beautiful little area nestled in between a meadow of trees. It also happened to be at the part of the property where Jeff Kunde himself grew up. His family home was standing 500 feet away from where we were all stood and enjoyed the last wine tasting of the morning. Here we indulged in the Dunfillan Cuvee which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. This wine was a little dry for my liking, but was Dustin’s favorite of the morning.

 

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We made our way back to the tasting room where we were served with a delicious picnic style lunch. There were salad greens with ranch dressing on the side, potato salad, various wraps, and of course cookies. In my typical fashion I loaded my plate with a ton of the green salad and skipped the dressing since 1 tablespoon of ranch can sometimes be upwards of 75 calories! This means 2 tablespoons of dressing would be the equivalent of 1 glass of wine.  I don’t know about you, but I would rather have a glass of wine. I then grabbed a smaller portion of the potato salad and one half of the veggie wrap as it seemed to be filled with the most delicious stuff. I skipped the cookies, but did manage to steal a small bite of Dustin’s.

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As for the puppies they also had a nice lunch treat waiting for them. Along with the Paw Bar filled with various kinds of dog treats they also had a water tasting for the dogs. Chicken Water, Bacon Water, Mojito Water, and Beef Water. Cooper tried all 4, but ended up just going for the plain water. Boring choice, but I guess the dog knows what he likes.  Overall the hike was fantastic and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to take a day trip out of the city and enjoy time drinking with their pooch. Their next eco-dog hike will be June 7th, so if you want to go I say make a reservation soon as they book up fast!