Most of the time, we start a trip with a destination in mind. Usually we have an idea why we are headed that way and what to expect. We look forward to that destination, we almost rush to get there. The anticipation building as we get closer, we reach our destination and our expectations are either met, or not.
But, sometimes the best trips are the unintentional ones. Such as the one I had last week on the way back from visiting som growers in Sonoma Coast.
On my way back I was planning to stop at another vineyard in Carneros for a visit. The fastest way would have been to hop back on highway 101 and be in Carneros in 15 minutes.
Instead, I took the backroad, Old Adobe Road, east of Petaluma and headed south to Carneros.
The countryside was green with yellow fields of flowers here and there. The recent rain had allowed the outbursts of yellow and some pink.
A few minutes later, I came across a herd of goats, mowing the tall grass in a vineyard. I stopped to take a picture of that. Since I had to make a u-turn to get to the side closer to the goats, I was facing the other direction.
Then I noticed that the farm stand I passed on my way over was really just a couple of hundred yards away and it was getting close to lunch. So I headed back there.
Anything to eat? I asked, meaning any prepared food I can just grab.
The amused farm girl/cashier looked up and pointed at the abundance of greens, pickled beets and freshly laid eggs.
As if on cue, another woman came in carrying a basket of eggs she had just collected from the chickens in the back. “Come, I’ll show you the chickens,” she said. “What are you doing doing this way?” she asked as we heading back into the chicken coop. “Visiting some growers and their vineyards.” I said. I handed her my card and she busted out in Hebrew, said her name was Heela, and proceeded to tell me about her brother’s Bar Mitzva’s picture with Yitzak Rabin in Israel. Heela, was very proud of her chickens, almost as proud as she was of her daughter who works in Washington DC.
Heela is an artist, a paint maker using natural ingredients, such as egg shells. Perfect place for an artist.
I took a dozen eggs and a jar of pickled beets and left behind a bottle of wine. Hannah, the farm girl/cashier was listening to some Spanish music I hadn’t heard in 20 years when another woman came in breathless–the goats have gotten away and are on the road. Hannah would have to go get Pedro to get them back. With that, I left. Out in the parking log, the Bee keeper was showing a photographer with a big camera his bees while explaining what type goes best with what crop. On the highway, the woman’s friend was trying to keep a lone goat from getting to the pavement. Idyllic.
By the time I got to Carneros, it was way past my appointment time. I didn’t care. I was somewhere else. High on natural Sonoma county beauty.
If you want to visit some of the nicest people in Sonoma and get the freshest organic eggs straight from under a chicken, visit Green String Farms on Old Adobe Road. I highly recommend taking the backroad from Petaluma to Sonoma/Carneros. No destination, just the Old Adobe Road.