Pilgrimage to Hog Canyon

On my first Thanksgiving Day in SLO north county, among the many things I give thanks for are Carol & Steve Fleury from Best Bike Zone setting up group rides like what we did today. From la villa pequeña of San Miguel at a semi-chilly 9am, we started by heading east across the still dry Salinas River into the rolling vineyards along River, Wellsona, Airport, Tower and Jardine roads.

At the start in San Miguel:


On the way to Hog Canyon:

Our intermediate destination was Hog Canyon Road where it intersects Von Dollen Road at the Castoro Cellars “Hog Heaven” vineyard. The riders doing the shorter route then headed west on Von Dollen and wound their way back to San Miguel, while the riders doing the longer route headed northeast on Hog Canyon up into Monterey County, then returned south on Ranchita Canyon Road. On Ranchita we found a brown tarantula risking life and limbs crossing the pavement, so I stopped to get a closeup and shield it from oncoming riders.

Once the longer riders came back south on Ranchita, we started smelling the cranberries and headed west on Cross Canyons back to San Miguel. The boss was there, waiting for all the riders to make it back, then we all headed home for tequila-basted turkey and pumpkin pie under a thick layer of whipped cream. Paraphrasing actor John Houseman, who parlayed his gravitas into being a spokesman for the Smith Barney investment firm, “I earned it.”

Back home I gave additional thanks for

  • Sunny, 70 degree weather in late November.
  • Indoor plumbing, especially hot showers.
  • Being able to afford a nice house with a well-equipped kitchen, including an automatic dishwasher which, as a single guy, I seem to fill up and run more often than one would think probable.
  • Electronic texting technology which allows me to send nearly instantaneous Tday greetings to friends and relatives.
  • Having friends and relatives.
  • Meals sourced at Trader Joes.
  • George Foreman grills.

Foreman grills? If you don’t know George Foreman, he is a former heavyweight boxing champion who made piles of cash lending his name and advertising finesse to a series of electric kitchen appliances for convenient grilling of foods. I use mine mainly to make pressed panini sandwiches, which was the main course of my Thanksgiving dinner. Sourdough bread spread with mayo and spicy mustard, thinly sliced onion and tomato, spinach, dill havarti cheese, and smoked turkey breast slices (antibiotic-free, humanely raised, nitrite/nitrate free, gluten & casein free!!!). Here is the prep and the result:


Happy Thanksgiving!

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