Saturday, February 26, 2011

A New Friend in Castaic

Along the way to Los Angeles, I got a call from my good buddy Janna.  She had told me about her friend Henry, who is in the process of creating a new vineyard in the town of Castaic.  (Cas-TAY-ic)

As she was passing through, she remembered that she was going to connect with him and introduce us, because she thought he had property and a horse set up.  They had been river raft guides together and she was pretty sure that he would welcome me to stay for a night or two.  When she called, I just happened to be nearing Castaic myself - coming from the other direction.  When she learned this, she quickly called a friend that had his number and then called Henry, who invited us to drop by.  When she called me back, I happened to be exactly at the Castaic exit on Highway 5 after driving most of the day.  It would be the perfect time to stop and let the horses have a break.  I pulled off the freeway and stopped in town, and within a few minutes Henry called with directions to his house, just a few minutes away.

Janna decided to turn around and come back to join us, and we enjoyed a few minutes together.

Janna and Henry in Castaic, CA

Good friends for a long time.

Henry's beautiful vineyard home.  My bedroom upstairs on the left...
Henry's dog, Jackson.  He's an Akbash herding dog, bred in Turkey to guard sheep.
Jackson is about 3 yo and already weighs 130 pounds!
Gentle and sweet, he guards the property with regal grace.
Here's a link if you want to know more about the breed:
Gives you a sense of how big he is doesn't it?  I am in love with this dog.
Janna likes to play with the heavy equipment.  She's a farm girl at heart.
In Henry's wine room.  Cabernet, Merlot, and Sirah in the oak casks.
Henry and I shared some of this bounty later - delicious!
Henry's other canine companion.  "Jilly".  So sweet.
Yup, Henry's in love with his little lap dog.  I think the feeling is mutual....
Janna and I share a hug prior to her departure.
It was a wonderful introduction, and Henry and I hit it off.  We cooked and drank wine, and I baked some of my favorite whole wheat walnut bread.  I stayed a second day, and took advantage of the sunshine to bathe the horses and trim their feet.  Henry and I managed to get a ride on the 80 acres before I loaded up and headed south again.  Thanks Henry for the great hospitality and the restful stay!  What a nice break for the horses, and I just loved meeting Jackson and Jilly!
There's my truck and trailer parked by Henry's house...
Horses get a much needed rest in Henry's corral.
I'm in love with Jackson.

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