10 August 2006

Wu's Pigs

Vacation Day 3

We drove up to Boonville to visit the Other Place. The Other Place is a 550 acre ranch up in the hills in the Anderson Valley that some SF folks bought, built 3 adorable tiny rental houses on it, furnished them up all chi chi and dog proof, and rent out to city folk with dogs that rarely get to run free on 550 acres. There's a pond, oak tree hills and roads they've cut into the property to drive to the 3 little houses. 550 acres is really big. If you want you can drive down to Boonville where restaurants are open sometimes, the market closes at 5pm, and there are wineries. Otherwise you just bring your food, cook in their Crate and Barrel cookware, and hang out in the Adirondak chairs. The walls have plaster finishes, there are distressed Ikea cabinets and Swedish leather chairs. The architecture is ranch shed meets modernist corrugated. It's rustic yet urban. OK, so not exactly my taste but the dogs were in heaven. You can sort of pretend you live on the ranch, but instead of working non stop to maintain it, you get to sit around on the patio furniture or hammock and imagine that your serfs are out there doing all the work.

Vacation Day 4

We tried sort of wine tasting but we realized we are so not wine tasting people. We got to one winery and panicked, bought some wine and took off. That was the end of wine tasting. You are supposed to spit into a big cup and chat about wine. Too weird. We went to the taco truck instead and got tacos. That I get. There are a million wineries down there but this just isn't our thing. We went back up the hill and just walked around some more with the dogs. They liked walking to the pond to drink pond water. Gary rode his bike around. I layed in the hammock and read another book. The dogs were happy just being let out the door and to not have to deal with traffic or neighbors or the other things that they have in tightly wound suburbia.

Vacastion Day 5

When we were out walking around, of course I had to meet the resident crazy horse lady from down the road. This is just who I attract. Her and her husband came running up a hill on 2 of their horses when we were out with the dogs, near the pond. I had noticed her barn though from the road, and she invited me to come and see it. After she showed me every single one of her horses's feet, since she had learned to do her own shoeing, not liking any of the local shoers. And her barn was cute, so I went down to visit her. I learned a lot about Boonville, about doing your own shoeing, and building a 6 stall barn. Her husband was quiet and a retired highway patrolman. He had much taxidermy in the house. She had detailed notebooks about all the hoof diseases she had gone through. I stayed down there talking to her for much of the morning. She was actually a super nice lady and took amazing care of her horses. Just talked a lot.

Later that day when we walked the dogs, we came upon the pigs again. That we had glimpsed from far away before. You could see a lot of pig rooting evidence out walking. Ruby took it upon herself to go after them. I guess they are actually referred to as wild boars, not pigs. Otterpop is a good dog in matters like this and seems to use common sense, as in, can this animal potentially kill me? Timmy was too tired and seemed to have learned from the llama debacle not to go after unknown animals. Ruby is of course fearless in things like this and was gone a long time after them. This is after scaring off deer, birds, jackrabbits and llamas. She came back before it got dark and before I went into a complete panic that she was gone, miles away and near death from pigs turning on her.

Late that night, we were woken up by growling. The moon was up and it was so bright outside it looked like baseball stadium lights were on. The dogs had a perfectly lit up outdoor scene out the giant picture windows and were growling and wanting to attack all night animals. The only one I actually saw was a giant jackrabbit that was definitely scared off when they lunged off the bed to the glass french doors. I had to get the dog crate out of the car and make them sleep in there in the hall where they couldn't see out into the bright night all the animal intruders that came up to the house.

Vacation Day 6

This was the end of vacation. Time to give up the fantasy that we lived on this ranch and hung out walking around all day doing nothing. Or that we lived in a remote ridgetop cabin. Had to drive home. We stopped in Healdsburg, which I've always heard of but never knew exactly what it was. It was like Carmel but hotter and with many wine shops. I think I get wine country now. It's a good place to be a land owner. The dogs were not happy to come back to a tiny yard and many neighbors and no wild animals. But they'll get over it.

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