COVID-19 has put a damper on many of our plans this year. However, the biggest casualty for Leigh may be missing Napa. We could possibly still go later in the year, but for now, everything is shut down. We had a hard time deciding where to go after San Francisco, but we landed on Lodi, CA. Neither of us knew anything about Lodi, but it has a lot of open Harvest Host vineyards.
We planned to stay at the Lodi Elks Lodge the first night, and then bounce around to a different Harvest Host each night. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen for a couple of reasons. To start with, we didn’t check the forecast until we arrived in Lodi. The climate is totally different than the coast, and several 100F days were in the forecast. That’s not a big deal if we’re out doing things, but it’s not much fun to work in the RV in that kind of heat with no AC.
More Solar Issues/Upgrades
Another issue is that our solar panels weren’t producing like we hoped. This really disappointed us because we put so much time into rewiring everything in Ontario. The panels are the last remaining parts of the solar configuration from when we originally bought the RV (other than one new panel we bought in October). We had no idea how old these panels were, and they were in the best spot with no shadows. Therefore, we decided to just scrap the original panels. We planned to order another 160 watt panel from Renogy and put the two new panels in the best position. The Elks Lodge let us ship everything to the lodge, so it worked out well. Another visiting Elk took our old panels also. Fortunately, the new panels seem to be a huge improvement so far.
It didn’t work out to stay at any Harvest Hosts, but we still checked out some wineries. It’s easy to do in Lodi because they are everywhere! It is literally surrounded by wineries in every direction. The Elks Lodge is in Woodbridge, on the northwest part of Lodi, so it is a great base. We drove to Lange Twins after work one day, and we biked to Klinker Brick another day. For both facilities, pickup was the only option, so we didn’t get to really experience the winery. We probably liked the Klinker Brick wine the best out of the two.
On Saturday, our last day in Lodi, we got in a nice bike ride through the farm land. Leigh really enjoyed this ride because it lacked the hills we’ve experienced in most of California.
After our ride, we packed up and began our drive towards the Eastern Sierras. On the way, we stayed at a Harvest Host winery, 24 Brix, in Plymouth, Ca. We couldn’t believe it, but the patio at 24 Brix was open and packed! With almost perfect weather, we had a wonderful afternoon of sipping wine and socializing for the first time in quite some time. We pulled out of 24 Brix on Sunday and continued towards the mountains. We are looking forward to more hikes and cooler weather!