A Scooter Drive Down the California Coast to Pie Ranch

Monday, January 17th, 2011

On Saturday, J and I rode the Vespa 56 miles down the coast to Pie Ranch.

Along the 1 Coastal Highway, the weather couldn’t have been better—clear sunny skies and brisk ocean views the entire way. The drive took us an hour and a half, with another half hour lunch break and fuel stop in Pescadero. Average speed: 55MPH.

Nestled on the California coast, 14-acre Pie Ranch has operated as a working farm, hosting youth from and working with educators and community collaborators in diverse urban, suburban and rural settings. In addition, the place mentors aspiring farmers as resident apprentices who spend a full year immersed in all aspects of farm operations and marketing.

We arrived around 2 and drove up the muddy dirt road. No one was there except a man sleeping on the ground. We off roaded some more before circling back and seeing a lot full of cars where there had been none before.

Old barn and farmhouse, but no one to be seen.

Farmhouse door.

J and I were there for both work and fun. A friendly man got us started on laying weed-smothering plastic over already planted strawberry beds. We ran a length of black plastic across the field, then attached it tightly to the ground with manually inserted staples. Normally, the plastic would go down before the berries were planted. But this time, we had to poke holes in the plastic and pull the already growing plants to the light. It was a time consuming process.


Cow.

This cow is full of gas.

Abalone shell and edible flowers.

Let me ax you something?

Strawberry fields forever.

Thirsty cock.

The farming gang greets J-DAWG.

Afterward we went to the upper half of the farm to weed apple trees for a mulch application.

Pathway to the upper farm.

Dirt road.

Push.

Blooming oxalis. This kind is a weed, but also beautiful.

Farming is chard work. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Sorry. Here are some more adult strawberries.

Tools.

Chickens all over a ladder.

The sunset drifted in from the west with the sounds of barking elephant seals. It was time to head back down the the bar for a potluck dinner and barn dancing.

I hadn’t danced this way since third grade, but it was much like I remembered it. As the live band played, the caller told the 70 attendees what to do. Everyone was full of laughter and smiles, do-si-do-ing, promenading, mixing partners, and trying not to bump into each other. We danced for a while then headed home.

The clear skies were gone. In their place was cold, thick fog and a long ride ahead. It took a zen like focus and an open visor to make it back, but it felt like an epic adventure.

Yurt at sunset.

A single beehive sitting on a stump.

Walking down to the barn for dinner.

Not this barn though. This one only was home to a cow and some goats.

Sunday was a day of rest and wandering for geocaches. I also placed one at La Playa Park near the ocean.

I can haz windoze?

Luxury crash.

The remains of our neighborhood supermarket.

Horse cops expose young horse to noise by walking close to a bagpipe band in Golden Gate Park.

A foggy hill in the Sunset.

Three shades of blue.

Decorative entry. They don’t make them like this anymore.

Goodbye weekend. You were one of the better ones.

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