Archive | July 2017

Beach Dreams…

The recent beautiful weather, coupled with some long difficult days, has me dreaming of a road trip…  I long to take off down the Oregon Coast without a care in the world.  Walk on the beach, dip my toes in the water and swim, hike in the forests, explore the small towns, and curl up in front of a cozy cabin fire at night with a glass of wine and a good book.

Until then, reminiscing will have to do…

 

 

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Fâmega 2016 Vinho Verde

Vinho Verde is not a grape variety, but rather a DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) for wine – basically a quality assurance that a wine came from a specific region.  In this case, Vinho Verde is Portuguese. The name means “green wine,” but the more accurate translation is “young wine”. These wines are meant to be consumed young.  Most typically they are white, but can also come in red or rosé.  They have a slight effervescence, created by adding light carbonation during bottling.

I opened this wine expecting another hot day, but the weather cooled down this afternoon.  It was still a great wine; light and crisp with a lot of citrus and lemongrass flavor!  A wonderful summer sipper with an excellent price point (I think I spent $7.99).  Maybe it will heat up again soon so I can enjoy this out on the deck…

It would also be great for wine spritzers with citrus vodka, ice and lime juice (more on those in another post).

Fâmega Vinho Verde

 

Happy Monday Everybody!

West 2016: Yellowstone Waterfalls

Day 8, 9 & 10, August 12, 13 & 14, 2016

Yellowstone has a lot of waterfalls.  It makes sense; there are several rivers in Yellowstone, and they each have quite a few falls.  In total, 45 of the falls in Yellowstone are named, and there are hundreds more unnamed waterfalls within the park.  The tallest, Silver Cord Cascade, is 1,200 feet tall; it is a horsetail type waterfall.  The tallest plunge type waterfall is the Lower Falls of Yellowstone Falls, at 308 feet.

Lower Yellowstone Falls – 308 feet

Mom and I went to see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  It certainly isn’t as spectacular as the actual Grand Canyon, but it is quite impressive in its own right.  It was well worth a visit.  The canyon begins at Yellowstone Falls, and extends 24 miles downstream.  It ranges between 800 and 1,200 feet deep, and is between 1/4 and 3/4 mile wide.  And to be honest, the actual Grand Canyon doesn’t have waterfalls like this!

Yellowstone Canyon – view from the Brink of the Lower Falls

There are hikes on both the North and South Rims of the Canyon, which can either be done as an out and back or as a thru-hike if you use two vehicles.  I didn’t do either of them on this trip, but they are definitely something I want to do when I go back!

The first written descriptions of the canyon came in 1869, but Native Americans had surely seen the canyon, as well as fur trappers traveling through the area.  The canyon contains two impressive waterfalls, the Upper Yellowstone Falls, at 109 feet, and the Lower Yellowstone Falls, at 308 feet.  There are numerous viewpoints to get a glimpse of both falls, and several hikes nearby.

Upper Yellowstone Falls – 109 feet

 

Me with Lower Yellowstone Falls

I did the Brink of the Lower Falls hike, which takes you down several switchbacks to the point where the Lower Falls begins its fall.  The trail is 0.9 miles round trip, with a descent on the way there, so obviously you have to climb back up on the way out.  It was worth the trip!  Mom wasn’t up for it, so a nice man took my picture when I got to the viewpoint.

The Brink of the Lower Falls Trail

 

The Brink of the Lower Falls

 

The bottom of the Lower Falls, from the Brink of the Lower Falls Viewpoint

 

Me at the Brink of the Lower Falls – Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone in the distance

Next time I am there, I would love to see more of the waterfalls and do more of the hikes to get a closer view!

Jaume Serra Brut Rosé

It’s been a day…  A couple of them actually.

To make a long story short…  Jerks.  The accidental setting off of alarms.  My eardrums could use some time in a padded room.

I got this wine to try, but honestly I like their regular Brut Cava a lot better.  This one just has a little something that reminds me too much of White Zinfandel.  That said, it has flavors of light strawberry and little bubbles.  Quaffable, but it isn’t something I would get again.

Here’s to tomorrow being better.

Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Rosé

West 2016: Yellowstone Mud Pots

Day 8, 9 & 10, August 12, 13 & 14, 2016

Yellowstone’s most famous mud pots are probably the Fountain Paint Pots in the Lower Geyser Basin.  They are colored by the state of oxidation of the iron in the mud. When the weather is wetter and cooler the mud pot has a more soupy mud, which dries out over the summer as the weather gets hotter.

When I visited, the mud just seemed gray.  I don’t know that I noticed reds, browns and yellows in the mud there.  I did like watching the bubbling of the mud…

Fountain Paint Pots

 

Nearby though there is another mud pot with some red color.  Later in the summer as the water table goes down, Red Spouter becomes a fumarole, hissing steam.  In this picture, you can see that there is steam coming from it.

Red Spouter – another mud pot

When I went, Mom hung out in the car for this one, so I went to go see the mud pots by myself.  They were popular, and there were a ton of people there!