Beat the Heat

20180525_204119Yulia and I have lamented for years that we never plan ahead to take advantage of 3 day weekends. Hell, half the time I just show up to work on a day off and wonder where the hell everyone is. Fortunately, our daughter is in College now, so she’s smart and stuff. She thought ahead far enough that we actually had a plan for the weekend. Two years ago Yulia took Sasha and her friends out to the Sasquatch Music festival. This year’s festival didn’t look that great, but the little resort at Crescent Bar that they stayed at sounded like a great getaway. We made reservations and Sasha took a friend along as well. There were enough decent acts on Saturday to make it worth getting tickets for that day. It was a plan.

Crescent Bar is about 30 minutes north of the Gorge Amphitheater, but the distance is misleading since it is a set of windy roads to get down to the river from the main road. You can actually see the Amphitheater on the way down, there just isn’t a connecting road that directly gets you there. The whole town is really just a couple of resorts, a golf course, and a few RV parks that sound like a continuous low-rent Coachella wannabe. And garages, there were garages everywhere. Since lots of the people coming out to this area are there for River activities, there are ads for Condo garages all over the place. There was probably 5 garages for every house, not counting that each house had 2 garages itself. Any empty lot was also boat storage. This place must be a madhouse once the season kicks in.

We arrived on Friday. The drive was easy, only about two hours, and we also brought our dog, Oscar. He did OK on the drive, but as a 12 year old Daschund he was not terribly excited about the drive in general. He did like running around and sniffing all the places we stopped. And Farting. That seemed to be top on his list. We really had nothing planned, with the exception of Saturday evening. I was going to drop off everyone at the festival, then run them back later once the good acts were done. The rest of my time I planned for reading.

The resort we were at had a funky little neighborhood of vacation houses, but we were in the Condo section at the front. It was all really new, the condo being the oldest part. We had a pool, a cool walk path down the river, and a café. There were three restaurants in Crescent Bar; our café, the golf course, and a pizza joint. At least we weren’t going to kill ourselves trying to handle too many choices. We skipped these the first night anyway, and headed back into Quincy to hit the local Mexican supermarket. Yulia found this place on her first trip, and it’s fantastic. We got Oaxacan cheese (Sasha’s favorite. It’s the only cheese that doesn’t upset her stomach), some marinated Carne Asada, fresh salsa, marinated cactus, tortillas, and took it all back to BBQ on our porch. It was around 85 degrees out at this point, and just right.

After eating, the girls started planning out their concert for tomorrow and Yulia and I drove up the hill to check out a winery we saw advertised locally. From a distance, it looked like an amazing vineyard climbing up the hill, with a Tuscan-style house in the center. The website said they were open and had food and music as well. We love to visit local wineries like this. There’s always something interesting to find.

Interesting was the right word.

The sign advertising the winery was on the wrong road. We had to loop around a bit until the GPS got us on the correct road, and the closer we got, the more we could see. The grape rows were healthy, but unkept. The sign pointing to the tasting room was broken in half, so we weren’t sure which half pointed the right way. The house looked unfinished and worn, with cinder block instead of brick. Everything was overgrown. We pulled over to the house, only to be pointed back to the garage down the hill.

It was like the Scooby Doo gang going for a wine tasting.

We ignored the cobwebs around the entrance and went inside the tasting room. It was just as worn out as the rest of the place. A guy behind the bar who was the spitting image of Shaggy said hi. If this was Universal Studios we’d be paying an arm and a leg for this. We got a tasting to share, and the Wine Ghost poured us a glass of white wine.

I looked at the glass, “And this is?” Normally they can’t stop telling you about the wine.

He looked over with dead eyes, “White”

Jesus. I looked at the list on the table. I recognized none of these grapes. This white was nothing special, and nothing on the menu said “Rat Poison” so we kept going. None of these wines were great, but the Reds…

The smell of Paint Thinner with a fruity character of sour – something. It was absolutely the worst wine we ever had. And it wasn’t turned or corked, I know those flavors. This was just genuinely bad wine. Amazing. We smiled, paid for our tasting and got the hell out of there. Sometimes things are just good for a laugh. That wine sure wasn’t good for anything else – except perhaps cleaning machine parts.

We finished the evening with a walk along the trail and an amazing sunset. The wind was getting strong, but it was still hot out. It really is nice to get out and just rest for a change.

Then Oscar woke up in the middle of the night and threw up and pooped all over the room. Daschunds travel so well. Thank God the floor was tile.