Jelly Beans and Beer
We set out from Silverton yesterday at 6:30 A.M. for what will hopefully be the longest day (11 hours) of our trip. Although there was snow on the sides of the road as we climbed into Mt. Shasta National Reserve, the highway itself was bare and dry:
The drive itself is very pretty, and with a clear blue sky, Mt. Shasta was impressive:
We arrived at the Delta Shores RV Park at around 6:00, and got hooked up by flashlight, as the sun had set.
This morning we started some laundry, then spent some time with some fellow travellers in the lodge. As always, we were greeted warmly and exchanged stories of life on the road. Around 1:00, we went into Fairfield, and made our planned pilgrimage to the Jelly Belly Factory, where, like last year, we did the wine-tasting/chocolate-pairing ritual, then joined the factory tour. (We did this last year, and enjoyed it so much that we couldn’t help doing it again). This time however, there was no production run going, but it was fun anyway. The guy who served us the wine and chocolate was kind enough to phone the Budweiser Factory and get us on the 4::00 tour, which we had planned to do last year, but found them closed. After the Jelly Belly Tour, we made the requisite visit to the store and bought a case (yes, a case) of Belly Flops (Jelly Bellies which were imperfect). Go high or go home, we say. We grabbed a bite to eat in their cafeteria and barely made it over to the Budweiser factory in time to make the tour, which included a glass of one of four kinds of beer. The factory itself was not in full production, but it proved to be an interesting experience nonetheless.
We visited one part of the factory and stood in an aisle between rows of huge stainless steel tanks, where the beer was fermenting on a bed of 800 pounds of beechwood chips. to give you some idea of the size of these tanks, there is enough beer in each tank that if you drank one 12-ounce can every hour (24 per day), it would take 68 years to drink all the beer in one tank. There are 80 tanks going all the time. The factory operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We returned to the park at about 6:30, just in time for a potluck dinner with about a dozen people.
Up early tomorrow and headed for Pasadena. As I mentioned earlier, we will not have access to Wifi for the next 5 days, so will pick this up again on January 2nd or 3rd. In the meantime, Happy New Year to all, and see you in 2015!