Roger here.... This is a flashback post. The day before our tense times at Palo Duro State Park near Amarillo, we enjoyed a relaxing, peaceful time at the Caprock Winery, just south of Lubbock.
We are members of a winery/travel club, Harvest Hosts. For $25 a year we have access to hundreds of wineries across the country that allow RVers to dry camp (no hookups) in their parking lots overnight for free. It is a great deal for the travelers and the wineries. The travelers get a free night to stay (until they buy wine). The wineries get to entertain new customers and offer purchases of their wines and gift shop items.
When I checked our route, I discovered that one of the wineries on the extensive list was within a mile of the road we would be on. So..... Welcome to the Caprock Winery!
The short drive from Odessa to Lubbock was filled with more oil derricks than one could ever imagine. If not scenic, a very interesting drive.
Is that another oil rig? Another cotton field? Ah, no! That is the winery. What a peaceful place past the oil rigs and in the middle of the cotton fields.
Upon arrival, I parked at the end of the drive and walked inside to see where we should park. Charles greeted me and told me we could park anywhere behind the building. We found a flat spot in the grass. Not as attractive as the landscaped entry or the comfortable tasting room, but home, nonetheless -- and free -- and just a few steps from the tranquil setting.
We walked the dogs and then headed for the tasting room. We were the only ones there! As many of you know, wine tasting can be enjoyable, but frenetic when there is a crowd. If there are too many people, the pourers, talented as they are, move at a rapid pace. We had Charles all to ourselves! So pleasant!
We sampled a couple whites, a blush, and several reds. They were all good. (Sorry for the flashes in the mirror -- too dark for a photo without a flash).
Dianne checked out the gift shop. We bought a cool cheese tray made from a melted wine bottle.
And.... Dianne found a great t-shirt with the logo of one of the Caprock wines on the back. She really liked the logo. Me, too.
While we were finishing the tasting experience, a young couple came in to talk with Charles about renting the facility for their wedding. We told Charles to take his time. Charles then poured each of us a complimentary glass of our choice to enjoy while he met with the couple. (Nice guy, good salesman.)
We adjourned to the shady, outdoor patio to lounge around and enjoy the wine. As you can see, I was probably a little too comfortable. (A blessing that I didn't know what the next day would bring.)
Eventually, we moseyed back to the tasting room to pay for the t-shirt and the cheese tray.... OH, and a case of the delicious and reasonably priced wines -- nine merlots (Dianne's favorite), and three Sauvignon Blancs (for me - I usually prefer reds, but this chilled white wine was great as you can tell from the picture, above).
It was a wonderful afternoon and evening, AND it was free. It was free until the credit card bill arrives.
We are slowly headed north, determined not to drive more than 200 miles a day, and preferring less. Right now we are at the Lamar Sportsman's RV Park and Horse Motel in the plains of southeastern Colorado. It is a well-run and comfortable place. The doggies are enjoying a return to real grass as a place to lounge at the end of the travel day. It is a special plus for Chaplin, because he is loathe to pee in anything except lush grass. AND.... it must have rained here in the recent past because the landscape is green. Refreshing. (Temps in the 70s and low 80s instead of the high 90s for a change -- D.)
The pet picture of the day shows Bandido and Charlie in travel mode. We always put Charlie in a carrier because we fear him getting behind the slide mechanism in the bedroom -- he has done this before. If we deployed it without knowing he was back there --"Good-bye Charlie."
When free to roam the motor home, Bandido and Charlie offer spirited play (or fighting, depending on one's perspective). When traveling, however, Bandido offers empathy (or indifference; probably indifference) for Charlie's imprisonment.