Richard's North American Odyssey 2003

17 March 2003 - San Francisco, CA

Wet Road
The trip down to S.F. was a little longer than I thought it would be but was uneventful, and actually quite a nice drive through the mountains.  Quite a bit nicer than the drive through the Crowsnest pass.

Once I got out of Oragon the rain stoped, but this is what driving through the mountains looked like in Oragon.

On this trip there was one section where all vehicles were required to carry tire chanes, but the roads were dry the whole way and other than having to labour up some steep grades, and gear down, and ride the breaks for some long steep declines the trip was easy.

There was a rather circuitous routing to get to my destination, but the good old GPS and electonic charts got me there with only one wrong turn (actually a missed turn).
These three shots are in California.  It is amazing how fast the mountains change from lush green sloopes to this arid terain.
Marine Museum
Well I'm sitting at a dock by the bay, watching the tide roll away.  Well actually I think the tide is flooding, but it just doesn't have the same ring to it.

I spend the morning today (actually the 18th) looking through the S.F. Maritime museum and wondering around seeing the city.

The Museum had a very nice little display on steam powered vessles.  There were several ship building industries and dry and graving docks in the Bay area during WWII.  Predominatly they built Victory Ships, which were armed merchantmen used in convoys to transport goods to the front lines, and Britan.  Although tiny by today's standards the four classes ranged from 326 ft to 358 ft.  One of the local ship yards held the record for production of the T2 class; 33 days from keel laying to delivery.  Of course some of the componets were prefabicated prior to the keel laying so this does not represent the entire time it took to build the ship, but that is still very fast.
Of course what would a pictorial of San Fransico be without a picture of a trolly car.  This is at the end of the line at Fisherman's Warf.
I picked up a salade, some brie cheese (yes it is French brie) and some fresh souredough rolls and am spending a couple of hours enjoying the sun and 20 C weather watching the activity on the San Fransisco bay.

This is a sample of one of the apartment/condo buidlings over looking the marina were I ate lunch looking out at the panarama you see above.
19 March 2003 - Today I was escorted on a great wine tasting tour of Sonoma Country.  We started at Dry Creek Vineyard which had a very nice selection of which I tasted a 2001 Dry Chenin Blanc, 2001 Fume Blanc, 2000 Reserve Fume Blanc, 1999 Merlot, 2000 Old Vines Zinfandel, and a 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon.  All were nice, and the best part is that they have a distributor in Ontario so I will be able to get some of these wines when I get home.

The next winery was Quivira where I tasted a 2000 Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley (blended with 12% Petite Sirah), a 2000 Syrah, and I think the best wine I tasted that day a 2000 Petite Sirah (only 246 cases produced).  Unfortunatly, they do not have a distributor in Canada but are willing to ship.  I really am tempted with the 2000 Petite Sirah

Finnaly we stopped at the Hop Kilne winery.  By this time I wasn't taking notes as well as at the start, but I did very much like the 2000 Alicante Bouschet.

I did get a chance to develop my palet, and will now be able to make some more educated choices when it comes to wines for conference dinners.

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