Wednesday, March 7, 2007


Arrived at Chateau Vallejo just in time for dinner! I even got to have some left over birthday cake after. Mmmm..Princess cake with marzipan frosting for Keda whose new teeth are coming in and turned seven on March fourth.

The next day I was invited for lunch at Bob and Sosi’s house in Santa Rosa where we had a lovely carrot ginger soup and fresh greens. Bob told me that the local brew pub, Russian River Brewing made a beer for his other band, Huge Large called Huge Large pils. I went there after lunch but they didn’t have any so I asked for their grease, which they don’t even use.

The next five restaurants I asked had either already promised their grease to someone or couldn’t let me access the underground grease trap. It seems that a lot of the grease is being collected by a local co-op. There was a Japanese place on Fourth that showed me to the barrel in the back of the restaurant. I used my hand pump to take about 9 gallons away. It looked really nasty and I wasn’t sure if it was clean enough but I had nothing to compare it to so I took it.

I was finally able to get going filtering the grease so I left it out in the back yard in 5 gallon containers. It was foggy when I arrived but the sun came out the next day. I needed to take a trip out to the beach so on Friday I went North to Healdsburg for a trip to the world’s largest Sally Ann. Five separate buildings of Thrift on a big acreage with a men’s rehab center and boats and cars for sale and everything.

Found a few things and then took Westside road and Skaggs Spring Road to my former home town of Guerneville. A quick stop at the health food store for 2 eggs and some baby bok choy then La Casita for beans, rice and tortillas. La Casita has new owners since I lived there and they put up a new sign on the counter and took away the self serve salsa bar.

Took the bohemian highway to Monte Rio and then the other road west, to Duncan’s Mills. Made a quick stop in Jenner for the water that I forgot to buy in Guerneville. After that I went to south over the Russian River to Goat Rock Beach and made some tea and and my first hot home cooked meal.

I talked to this guy, who kept putting his hands together and bowing while we were talking. After the beach I watched the sunset from a bluff above the beach and then headed to Bodega where I had decided to look for a parking place.

The Casino in Bodego was open and since I had never set foot in there when I lived in Occidental, I decided to check it out. I bought a Miller high life for $2.50 and spent my change on a game of pool with Merle.

We played a few games and then played as partners against the most obnoxious guy in the bar and his girlfriend. All in all we had some good games but I still hate playing teams. It’s impossible to maintain any kind of rhythm and flow when you have to wait for someone to quit being an obnoxious asshole and get on with the game. Merle and I made a good team but it was more fun to play against each other.

The next day I woke up around the corner from the surf shop. I already knew that the owner of the shop is a grease car driver so I stopped in to see what resources are in the area but he wasn’t there. I took Coleman valley road back east over Irish hill. Coleman valley is just about my favorite drive in Sonoma County. Usually I would take it west and then take Bodega highway back but this time I started out going up hill through the eerie fog, through the trees and up to the part that looks like the English Moors. The road winds 8 miles back to Occidental, where I took a detour through my old neighborhood on Deer meadow lane.

When I got back to Boyes Springs in the afternoon I started filtering the grease with the electric pump into the five gallon containers. The end product didn’t look much different from the clean sample Thaddeus had shown me. I was able to start using it when I left that night for Winters to interview Andrew and Anita Anderson, married 70 years. Andy Anderson will be a hundred years old in April and Anita will be 91 in April.

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