It was supposed to be a day trip. The idea was, we’d drive out to Lodi (stop me if you’ve heard this one) try some stuff, get dinner and drive back. Only, the thing was, we were about sixty miles up into the mountains, it was dark, the car was low on gas and neither of us was in very good condition to drive. So the day trip turned into an overnight visit.
For what appears to be a tourist town, Murphys has a surprising shortage of lodging. But, after a certain amount of wandering, we found ourselves at the pleasant if redundantly named Murphys Inn Motel, which has rooms with their own bathrooms and satellite TV, which made it a winner.
There’s a certain adventuresomeness and romanticism in having a day trip wander on through the weekend, but there is also a lack of things like toothbrushes and extra clothes. Fortunately, thanks to my alcohol-burnished shopping trip, I had a lovely new blue dress to wear. Which was perhaps a little bit dressy for a day in the foothills, but what the heck. There are people in the world who wear pretty dresses all the time, just like regular clothes; why shouldn’t I be one of them?
Nothing doing on the toothbrush front, though. You probably didn’t need to know that.
After breakfast we wandered a few more miles up the road (in the car; we’re not crazy) and found a town that still had snow on the ground and the presumptive “highest winery in California.” (They aren’t sure, but they think that 3300 feet is enough for the title.) Then it was back down towards the valley, and through one of the best-named towns in California. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Copperopolis.
Isn’t it fun to say? Copperopolis, Copperopolis, Copperopolis. Everyone together, on three: one. . . two. . . three. . . Copperopolis!
It’s a wonder Cameron didn’t just leave me at the side of the road.
Ironic postscript about wine and snobbery:
Do you remember what I said at the beginning of this particular saga, about the wine that brought us to the Lodi region in the first place? It was a viognier from a place called Loredona, for which I couldn’t find anything in the way of a tasting room, or even a vineyard. But I did find that it was associated with a Clay Station, which was in turn associated with a place in Manteca. Which turned out to be the Delicato Family Vineyards, one of the biggest of the big factory winemakers in the Central Valley.
Yep, that’s us. Cutting-edge culinary adventurers. Sigh.