Monthly Archives: September 2014

Wandering in the Wilderness

A couple of weeks ago I decided to take the long way home on a Friday and go for a drive through the wilderness.

Many people do not realize that the sprawling Bay Area of California has many wilderness areas.

It only takes a few minutes to go from sprawl to wilderness where you are driving along narrow curvy roads.

Livermore, Mines Road, California, Wilderness, Country Road, Curvy RoadsI drove through Livermore to Mines Road and headed south into the Livermore Hills. The road here is near the top of a canyon and you have great vistas of the canyon and the surrounding forest.

Here the road has not narrowed too much, but you still have to be careful of cars coming from the other direction. Luckily, there was very little traffic. In my drive through the wilderness area I saw less then 20 vehicles.

Cattle Guard, Cattle Country, Ranch, Del Puerto Canyon, Twisty RoadI took Mines road down to Del Puerto Canyon Road, which is about 30 miles south of Livermore.

Del Puerto Canyon Road goes through the hills to Patterson which is in the Central Valley about 20 miles away.

On Del Puerto Canyon Road you see many cattle guards. This means that you are entering a free range area and that you have to be careful and watch out for cattle while you are driving.

Del Puerto Canyon, Wilderness Area, Patterson, California, Free Range CattleThe sun was dropping low in the west, so there were many areas where the road would be in shadow. I had to be real careful going through the curves as I would go from shade to sunlight and have limited visibility.

This picture is a perfect example of the curves along the route. There were very few areas where you would go straight for more than a few hundred meters.

Patterson Hills, Del Puerto Canyon, California, Wilderness AreaI really like this picture as the foreground is all in the shade and the hills ahead are highlighted by the setting sun. I really like the golden color of the hills.

Patterson Hills, Del Puerto Canyon, Ranch Buildings, Barn, Golden HillsAs I got closer to the Central Valley and into the Patterson Hills, the landscape changed. The hills had a lot less trees on them and they had a nice golden color.

You also started to see more signs of civilization like these ranch buildings and corrals.

The drive from Livermore down to Patterson took almost 2 hours and for most of journey I didn’t have any cell coverage.

Luckily I knew where I was going and didn’t need to access a map. I didn’t have a print map with me :-).

I remember when I always had a map with me in the car. Something we don’t think about today when we live in an urban area.

Do you enjoy driving through remote areas?


Pumpkin Spice Yogurt

Yesterday I wrote a post about Orange S’Cream Twinkies and mentioned that you are starting to see Halloween themed food products in the stores.

I should have also mentioned that Fall themed food products are also appearing.

Because of the shifting yogurt market I have been trying to find an alternative to my regular breakfast yogurt.

In the process I have found that you can even find seasonal yogurt flavors.

Pumpkin Spice Yogurt, Chobani Yogurt, Greek Yogurt, Pumpkin, Fall Food ItemsI have been looking at different Greek yogurt varieties as the regular yogurt I have enjoyed for years is slowly being phased out. The flavor options have slowly diminished and it can only be bought in six packs. No variety of flavors for me.

The Greek yogurt culture is taking over. You can even buy Greek Yogurt Cakes.

One of the Greek yogurts that I selected was Pumpkin Spice Blended Greek Yogurt by Chobani. This flavor is from a limited batch, so it will probably only be available until just after Thanksgiving.

Chobani Pumpkin Spice, Greek Yogurt, Yogurt Flavors, YogurtThe Pumpkin Spice yogurt is not the best looking yogurt, but it did have a nice flavor.

I am still getting used to the taste of Greek yogurt. I am used to the more mild flavors of the yogurt that I have been buying.

Chobani Greek Yogurt, Peach Yogurt, Peach Greek Yogurt, Fruit on the bottomI also tried the Peach yogurt from Chobani. I really like the fruit pieces in the yogurt and plan on trying a few more flavors.

Greek Yogurt, Noosa Yogurt, Tart Cherry Yogurt, Colorado YogurtI also picked up a couple varieties of Noosa Yoghurt. The recipes for this yoghurt come from Australia, but it is hand crafted in Colorado with all natural ingredients.

I look forward to trying this tart cherry flavor. I failed to find a tart Cherry Juice that I liked, but maybe I will like the tart cherry flavor of this yoghurt.

You may notice that the spelling of yogurt/yoghurt is different between Chobani and Noosa. The British spelling is used by Noosa and the American spelling is used by Chobani. There is big debate going on in the food world as to which spelling is the proper one to use.

Oh, back to Noosa. I also picked up a container of strawberry rhubarb yoghurt. This is one of my favorite flavor combinations, so I am also looking forward to tasting it. Perhaps I will have it for breakfast tomorrow, or maybe the tart cherry.

Which one should I try first?