Sunday, May 29, 2005

Fiddletown Memorial Day Weekend

I had a great birthday weekend up in Amador County, staying at the historic Volcano Union Inn Bed and Breakfast for three nights, spending time along highway 49, up 88 and in through the Shenendoah Valley wine country. After touring 49 and getting a late dinner, the evening was spent doing naked eye astonomy from the patio of the B&B, discussing astronomy with other patrons. Actually, there were no other patrons of the B&B, but there were locals and tourists enjoying an evening drink and socializing. Saturday was spent in the wine valley - doing several tastings and enjoying the ambiance of beautiful architecture, vineyards, and sunshine - although - it did cloud up late in the afternoon - just before I was going to head to the Fiddletown observing site.

I arrived up the dirt road, clouds overhead, but with hope for clearing - there was a hard edge to the clouds, and clear behind them. When I pulled into the observing site I was surprised to see two vehicles and three people there. It was Charlie Stifflemeyer and friends. We stopped, said hello, looked at the sky, and bailed on back to the B&B for a good dinner and to watch the sky from outside. It cleared just around sunset, but the air went chill and carried the smell of moisture. Sure enough, the tops of cars parked along the main street of Volcano showed signs of dewing. I decided to stick with naked eye observing and enjoy the pleasant company of the proprietors. Nice evening.

Sunday night looked good, just some thin cloud which I expect dissipated, but dinner was late at the Saint George Hotel, and again, there was dew on the roofs of cars when we walked back to the B&B.

My 18" Obsession never made it out of the truck, but it was a fantastic weekend - that part of the state is about as scenic as you can imagine with wildflowers lining the hills, highways and gardens - old storefronts from the 1800's, and lots of people with smiles on their faces - I guess those are the things I got to observe this Memorial Day weekend.

Next weekend, weather permitting - local - up to Coe.

See you there.