On a recent trip to Dublin, Ireland, I was fortunate to visit Teeling Whiskey. Jameson was closed for refurbishment in March of 2017, during our trip, which was a win+win, for us. I always recommend taking a distillery tour when traveling to Ireland and Scotland, even if you don’t drink. It’s part of their heritage, and if you want to be a traveler it’s important to experience the heritage and traditions of the country you’re exploring. Right?
Walter Teeling started his distillery in 1782 when Dublin was referred to as the “Golden Triangle for the amount of distilleries in Dublin. Sadly they all stopped producing in Dublin around 1976. Teeling just reopened in 2015 in the ancient market area of Newmarket Â in Dublin, which is a short walk from Temple Bar. Tasting, tours, and shopping are available daily. The distillery still operates with the traditional 3 copper pot stills, which is an Irish tradition. Scotland double distills it’s Scotch.
I enjoyed the tour and my samples. I even had an Irish coffee, which is a little different than Jameson’s, because Teeling adds a little fresh nutmeg on top. They also have a wonderful whiskey liquor, which involves blending whiskey and honey together. I bought a bottle to share with the group. It was so good it disappeared in 24 hours. We even contemplated making a special trip back to Dublin from Galway for more.Â I would definitely recommend a visit to Teeling. I also recommend asking for local whiskey and beer when traveling along your adventure.
The 2016 Gasporra Expedition visited Loon Lake campground in the Eldorado National Forest. The location is at an elevation of 6400′ and approx. 50 miles east of Placierville California. ThisÂ annual trip visits outdoor gems around the Pacific Northwest. Loon Lake was another excellent choice by expedition location scout, Dan Kunze.
The trip included a demonstration of the Tentsile Stingray Tree Tent. Four other ground tents were also set up. I slept quite comfortable in the tree tent. No back pain from laying on the ground on an inadequate backpacking mat.
Campsite cooking and cocktails provided everything we needed to avoid driving back into town.
We also brought several kayaks and a small motor boat. This gave us an excellent opportunity to visit other parts of the lake and some of the islands. We also visited Pleasant Lake campgeound, which is a boat in campsite. This is the place if you want to be alone. There are several hiking trails in the area as well as the beginning of the famous Rubicon Trail for the jeep enthusiasts.
I will have to warn you that there is a problem with yellow jackets. They buzzed around us from sunrise to sunset. Wasp traps are set up in most of the campgrounds. Loon Lake campground has water faucets and pit toilets, along with fire pits. We enjoyed a fire every night.
The whole point of the trip each year is to get out and experience the outdoors. So get out there and LIVE THE ADVENTURE. #TENTSILEAFFILIATE.
Thinking of camping in the forest? Why sleep on the ground when you can be off the ground in a tree tent by tentsile.com. Fairly light and packable this tent will give you a dry comfortable night. There is also a plain hammock version to just relax and experience the outdoors. Sedgwick Travel is now an affiliate of tentsile.com and will have some items in stock. Sedgwick Travel will be showing the tree tent at local venues in California and Oregon, as well as static displays in the outdoors.
Be on the lookout for snakes. I saw this one on August 25 while hiking Devils Slide Trail in Idyllwild. I’ve come across this mountain rattlesnake before.
They don’t rattle, at least every time I’ve come across them. I’m sure if you aggravate it, you may get it to rattle, but who wants to do that. This snake just crossed the trail and kept going. And that’s fine with me.
I have always grabbed any pair of socks to wear with my hiking shoes. I never knew that there could be such a difference by wearing Smartwool socks. I bought a pair in Ireland to wear with my waterproof hiking boots. Oh man, we’re they comfortable.
I recently ordered two more pairs of the short crew socks. Again comfortable and they keep your feet dry from perspiration. I’ve hiked 5-12 miles with no complaints. The socks offer maximum breathability with excellent moisture management. They are worth a try.
I’ve hiked several of the Idyllwild trails in August. Other than it being a little warm at the lower elevations, it’s been beautiful above 7000′. The small gnats that have invaded the lower elevations are gone above 7000′. I did notice several downed trees on most of the trails. And some of the trails (PCT) need some trimming, due to plant (poison oak) overgrowth.
I didn’t find any water except for the stream crossing the trail just below Little Round Valley. So make sure you bring plenty of water on your hike. I don’t consume a lot of water normally but with the warmer weather I’ve been consuming about 60oz on a 6 mile hike and even more on longer hikes. Wildlife seems to be venturing down lower in search of water also. I’ve seen several deer along the way.
I find myself lucky to experience these local trails on a regular basis, and hope you also come up and experience this natural wonder in Southern California.
I made a recent ride on the Old 24 hour loop from Hurkey Creek campground. I’m sure a lot of you will remember how well maintained the trail was. It was being maintained by local riders. Rider interest seems to have dropped since the forest service closed sections of the 9+ mile loop after a fire scorched a good portion of it a few years ago.
The good news is the vegetation is growing back. The trail on the other hand is (sadly) poorly maintained. Bushes now practically cover the trail on the ride from the campground up through the meadow. I was almost knocked from by bike by low lying tree branches covering the trail. I had to focus on the trail, due to the vegetation growing almost completely over the trail on sections. The long climb from the campground is sandy and rocky.
On the other hand the forest service has gone to great lengths to keep hikers and riders on the trail by installing signs along the way warning everyone to stay on the trail. It seems they just don’t want anyone there, which seems to be a trend with the forest service in the Idyllwild area. The forest service should be maintaining trails to prevent injury. If the trails were open and maintained it would attract more participation in the area and promote the area for local businesses. So let’s hope that the forest service decides to conduct some trail maintenance or get interested parties involved to maintain the trail.
This is a truly beautiful area and should be enjoyed by all.
Oregon business owner, David Gasporra made a recent trip to socal to visit family and friends with his wife Susie. David and Susie are the owners of “About Face and More”, a Portland Oregon based day spa offering skin treatments and massage therapy.
David was interested in a mountain bike ride and contacted Mark Sedgwick, owner of Sedgwick Travel. Mark organized the ride and acted as the guide for the ride. David’s brother, Damon Gasporra also signed up for the ride. Damon works and lives in Orange County.
Mark was able to obtain a demo bike from Casino Bikes in Hemet. Casino Bikes is a full service bike shop carrying Trek, GT, and Cannondale mountain bikes, along with several other models and brands. Casino Bikes owner, Matt Madore is a long time Hemet resident that believes in the community and is involved with the local rider community. Casino Bikes is also a sponsor of the local high school mountain bike teams at Hemet High School and San Jacinto High School.
David’s demo bike was a Trek Top Fuel 8, 29inch wheel, full suspension mountain bike. The Top Fuel 8 was nicely appointed with a high end components, with Fox providing the suspension front and rear. This was quite an upgrade to David’s bike back home and this was David’s first time on a full suspension/29inch wheel bike.
The ride started out through the local citrus groves to a steady uphill grade leading into the open hills above the citrus groves on a perfect single track with a steady climb to an amazing overlook. The trail heads back down through the groves to another quick single track. After another short ride through some citrus groves the ride continued up a single track trail into a serene canyon that climbed slightly up the trail with an E-ticket ride back down the trail. The ride ended after traveling the paved road back through the groves to the original starting point. The ride covered 15.5 miles. Both of the brothers conquered the ride and enjoyed a cold beer along the way.
David was amazed at the riding comfort of the 29inch/full suspension Trek, and would consider owning one in the future.
Contact Casino Bikes at 43906 Florida Ave. in Hemet or via the Web at casinobikes.com if you are interested in purchasing a bike. Casino does offer demo rides for those interested in purchasing a bike. Sedgwick Travel offers free trail ride information and can be contacted via this site or sedgwicktravel.agentstudio.com.(617) 319-2557(407) 587-5228
The 2016 Spring riding season has riders on the look-out for snakes. Several riders have already encountered Rattlesnakes on Bautista Canyon road and in Simpson Park. Be careful when riding narrow single track routes, where you might not see the snake until you are right up on it.
I went for ride yesterday in Bautista Canyon and saw four snakes in an hour. One was a red Diamondback on the edge of the pavement. Another rider saw a rattlesnake near Lake and Stetson shortly before meeting up with me. I haven’t seen very many snakes the past two years so I’m guessing this will be a bad year, since there have already been so many sightings.