Summer Dam Repairs and Good Cheese and the Great Ditch

Wednesday May 28, 2014 Guerneville CA.

A visit to the cheese factory store

The wind looked like it was up down at Jenner this morning so I was thinking it would be a good day to go over to the shopping areas and do some shopping so I’d have something to eat now and for my trip.

Dam repairs

I knew the dam guys were working on the dam doing repairs to the anchors that hold the thing up. So, I thought I’d drive down and see how they were doing with the project and give them some advice. :O)

This was the scene as I approached the Vacation Beach summer dam and bridge.damwork


These are the contractor guys that are installing the anchors. Holes must be drilled and new anchors installed, so the work area must be dry, which it is here.damanker


The dam guys were working on a method to dry out the cement that is still under water. They were having some problems, but they seemed to be making some progress finding a solution to the problem. The dam guys are actually Sonoma County Park and Recreational employees that put up our lower river dams and take them down every year.cofferdam


I took a photo up river from the summer bridge, looking up towards Guerneville.upriver


A momma Mallard duck waded into the water right in front of me with her two duckies that are growing fast.ducks


Stopped at the cheese factory

I left them to it and headed on over to the shopping areas in Santa Rosa, but first I had a special stop to make at the Cheese Factory called the Joe Matos Cheese Factory on Llano Road.

The place is on a milk farm, so the cheese is right from the farmer. I was hoping to find some cheese that doesn’t have anything made from corn in it, which is not easy in the cheese world these days.

The road into the farm. Some cows in the field to the right.roadin


The cheese store where I met Sylvia. I explained to Sylvia that I had a corn allergy and I was looking for cheese that was without the stuff. I asked about the ingredients. Do you still use rennet? No, but we get our cheese culture from France. A good sign, but not necessarily cornless.cheesefactory


The problem in trying to get cornless cheese in this day and age is, I think, they are growing cheese cultures on corn. They then process the corn to get the culture out of it and get some corn in the process. I talked with Sylvia for a bit then she gave me the cheese and I went on to do some more shopping.

But on the way to shopping I was thinking that I only had some cornless cantaloupe this morning so I was ok to try the cheese. I got the package open and broke a piece off. Hummmmmmm Good.

The nice piece of cheese she gave me after I broke a piece off.cheese


It was creamy and rich and good and at room temperature and real tasty. So far the test is going good with no reactions, but it’s still too early to tell as most of the time it takes about eight hours to kick in if food has corn stuff in it.

I did all my shopping and went on home and unloaded the car and put the stuff away.

Then, I went out and started digging on my great ditch project. I dug and  rested and dug some more until I had dug about fifty feet of ditch, all that I had watered the day before to making digging easier.

I dug from the yellow shovel that you can barely see to this end of the ditch before stopping for the evening. Only about sixty more feet to go.greatditch


Why dig this ditch by hand?

Some might wonder why I don’t use a machine or hire someone to dig this ditch. Frankly, I can’t see paying someone to get some exercise to dig the ditch. It’s better if I get some exercise.

But the real reason is I’m trying to get my body tuned up a bit from some recent setbacks. Namely, a messed up back and a sprained ankle that I’m just getting recovered from. When I started the ditch I could dig about ten feet, now I can dig fifty feet so things are improving. I could dig more, but, I’d suffer a lot the next day,  just because of my age. 67.

That was a fairly productive day for a retired guy.

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