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  • Donna

Trip Report: Vineyard RV Park

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

June 3 – 8, 2017 Site #58

Vineyard RV Park in Vacaville, CA

We’re getting spoiled. We haven’t dragged the solar panels from the Thule in a couple of weeks, our electronic devices are fully charged, we’re washing our dishes in the sink, and we’re clean. We’re also three miles from a Target. Hello civilization!

We booked five nights at this park because there are three farms nearby that use sustainable practices and offer tours: Feenagh (where agriculture co-exists with nature), Royal Fibers (which focuses on biodiversity and wildlife habitat), and Soul Food Farm (which offers organic pasture-raised chickens and eggs). I sent a note to all three but only Soul Food Farm responded; unfortunately they were too busy for a tour. The owner referred me to a farm down the road with similar practices, but they focused more on farm events than informative tours.

So we’re just chilling here instead. There’s a laundry room and yesterday I took a real shower for the first time in a month. My iPhone has been acting weird—“ghost typing”—so I suggested to Wendy that we head over to the local Target to pick up a new screen protector, in case trapped debris was causing apps to open and e-mails to send prematurely.

“I’m not sure about leaving Odie alone,” she told me. He had gone “number three” earlier in the day.

“What are the chances he’s gonna have diarrhea in the one hour we’re gone?” I replied rhetorically.

One hundred percent, as it turns out.

Terrier mix dog lying on a rug sunning himself

Opening the trailer door upon our return, I was greeted with that pungent smell every dog owner recognizes. Clark and CeCe couldn’t wait to get out of there, and as they took their familiar places around the base of the picnic table, Clark inhaled deeply, nose buried in the grass. You think it smells bad to you, I imagined him saying, think about what that was like for us.

Miraculously, Odie had managed to contain his entire accident on CeCe’s side of the bed, as if someone had neatly poured half a bucket of mud onto the middle of the mattress. I imagined CeCe shaking her head, saying “Odie! Really?! Shit on your own side!”

Wendy made quick work of the mess, scooping up the sheets, grateful for our waterproof mattress protector. There’s an “outdoor shower” attached to the Pod designed to let you do things like squirt sand off of your feet; turns out it works well for squirting other stuff off of other stuff, too. Odie is still under the weather, so we’re making sure someone is always with him and he dined on white rice with a little diced ham this morning.

As Wendy delved into Operation Diarrhea, I attempted to fix my phone. I removed the protector, cleaned the screen, and applied the new protector. Completely incorrectly. I tried again. Ultimately I messed it up so badly I had to throw it away. As a bonus, my now-unprotected phone continued ghost typing, so the trip to Target and subsequent superfund site were completely unnecessary.

We’re driving to Petaluma next, where we’ll get the car serviced—including a brake check—before heading into the mountains again. We have several farm tours lined up, mostly to talk to farmers about raising animals on rotational pasture while employing permaculture practices. I’ve read a lot about it, but expect I’ll learn a lot more from talking to people who are actively engaged in what we’d like to do. I’m also looking forward to seeing how they’ve designed their farms; they’ve undoubtedly already dealt with issues we’re likely to encounter and I think it’ll be invaluable to learn how they’ve addressed problems and what they would’ve done differently if they could start over.

I actually applied for a job with the USDA in Petaluma a couple of years ago, but after a long, awkward telephone interview, I wasn’t selected. I was disappointed but Wendy has since pointed out that if I’d gotten that job, we wouldn’t have our kids since we adopted them through the County of Los Angeles. I’m really looking forward to seeing where we may have lived if I’d interviewed better, and I expect it’ll sting if it seems like the perfect place. But I’m not concerned; Darwin and Emerson are the perfect salve to soothe any thoughts of what might have been.

Read the next trip report: Petaluma, CA and the Lassen National Forest


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