Friday, November 30, 2012

Playing Tourist

Playing tourist is an alternative to a hike. Yesterday was one of those as the core group of hikers headed southeast to explore a one time gold mining operation called Kentucky Camp. Rather than pick and shovel, this operation used a water cannon to sluice open the hill sides to expose any gold. In the few years of its operation, the income was just over $3000. The initial investment exceeded $100,000 for construction of buildings and water diversion canals to power the water cannon. This photo is of the restored hotel/office and assay building.

After walking the grounds, reading the history, viewing restoration and taking photos, we went to nearby Sonoita for lunch. We ended at Cunningham's Ranch House after finding the first two restaurant choices open on weekends only for lunch. We seated ourselves at the round table in the John Wayne room. In addition to a bust of John Wayne, all the walls were covered with photos of John Wayne. (For the younger readers of this blog see John Wayne at Wikipedia.)

Soon the waitress appeared at our table and elaborated on the specials. When she was done, I commented to her that she "was not from around here." That was the beginning of jokes and good natured kidding from our stand up comedian waitress. Arriving in Sonoita early in her life, she had not lost her New York accent after 35 years living in Sonoita.

After being well fed, it was time to head next door for dessert at Dos Cabezas wine tasting room. Tasting $9 with your own glass or $15 for their souvenir wine glass. Then we proceeded to taste eleven different wines produced by the Arizona winery. Mostly reds, there were some excellent wines. There were two that I savored; the 2010 Toscano and the fortified wine 2010 Boxcar -- akin to a port.

For me, the highlight was reading the owner/winemaker's descriptions of the wines we were tasting. All of the descriptions were written by a prose poet. The description for the 2010 Trimezzo is just an example of the writing talent: "…A bit like red and blue fruits muddled on your tongue with a sandstone pestle. Sensation of baking chocolate is left to lollygag on your tongue. Some pretty elegant tannin here… Deserves some elegant Italian food."

A brief visit to an olive oil and balsamic tasting next door was followed with an even shorter visit to a newly opened Monika's Bakery. Bought nothing at either location -- including the bakery. There was a cinnamon roll in the bakery case, but I already know better to enjoy the look -- not the eating followed by indigestion.

From there it was a drive back to the RV park for a brief social hour and enjoying the sunset glow on the western horizon.

For another point of view of that day's experiences, check out Anne-Marie and Steve's blog entry or RVing Steve's blog entry.

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