Clear Lake Road Trip

I set out early, with Clear Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake entirely in California, as my destination. I have several things in mind as I travel up through the Capay Valley; enjoy a leisurely two hour drive through some outstanding scenery, check out yet another Farmers Market, explore the south side of the lake around Kelseyville, and do a little birding.

Late spring is the perfect time to visit Clear Lake if like me, you like watching birds. The marshes surrounding this part of the lake attract large quantities of waterfowl many of whom like the Western grebe are exhibiting courting behaviors. There are also several large egret and heron rookeries in some of the tall trees that line the shore. I’ve also heard there might be a Golden eagle nest that is visible if you approach by boat and have binoculars. Hopefully I’ll be lucky on both counts as I have reservations to go out into the marsh area by boat in the afternoon and I brought binoculars.

But before I go birding, I head to the Lake County’s Farmers’ Finest Saturday Morning Market at Steele Wines to take a look around and hopefully pick up picnic supplies for lunch.

It’s a beautiful morning and the local population has turned out to shop and catch up on the local news. The market is small compared to what I am accustomed to, but with a good variety of very friendly vendors, and music for those of us who are willing to stop for a while and enjoy it.

Keeping in mind I wanted something I could take and have for lunch later, I purchased some lovely snap peas from Sky Hoyt. He says he grows these in a green house because it’s just too cold to grow them outside. The one I tasted was crisp and sweet.

Yerba Santa Goat Dairy had some tasty fresh herb chèvre  and I thought that it would taste pretty nice with the peas so into my basket it went. So peas and cheese, what else?

That’s when I found the most incredible loaf of savory bread I have ever tasted.  It’s called GREAT Bread and is made from organic winter wheat flour, whole wheat flour, sundried tomatoes, eggplant, roasted garlic, fresh rosemary, and asiago and parmesan cheeses. I know now why the named it GREAT,  I’m still dreaming about it weeks later. The leftovers made incredible toast.

Farmers Market exploration complete I headed back down the road to Kelseyville in search of the Main Street Bakery, the vendor I bought the bread from, and to see what the little town of Kelseyville was all about.

Next up: Kelseyville and the marsh.


7 thoughts on “Clear Lake Road Trip

  1. Yes, the bread sounds gReAt to me too. We are devouring goat cheeses these days, ourselves. I met a grower from Minnesota recently whose parents run a sheep dairy farm. Makes me wonder what fresh sheep cheese tastes like … early Manchego is harder than Chevre.

    • A local market carries a wide variety of cheese and I first tried Manchego there and have been hooked ever since. I think it tastes a little milder than most of the Chevre I’ve tried. Do give it a try.

      Heard it’s been pretty hot down your way. How’s your garden holding up? Any heirlooms ripe yet?

      • oops, a while has passed — teaching summer camp these last 3 weeks had me off the leisure track. I did harvest my first Cherokee Purples – learned the hard way to pick them a little bit green since they actually rotted. But the next ones I pulled off sooner and sooooo good! my early girls are producing well, but small in our drought. I hand water with the hose every day. The brandywine again is a miss priss – hardly a fruit. I pulled off horn worms back in July – do you get them over on the coast?

  2. That lunch sounds and looks perfect! What a fun day. There’s nothing better than bread. We have a vendor at our local farmer’s market who makes a wild rice bread and, when toasted, it’s pure heaven. Two of her listed “ingredients” are peace and love.

    I have sugar snap peas in my garden, but they are producing very little. Perhaps I will try some in the greenhouse.

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