The previous month, Al and I drove this ‘Fruit & Wine Byway” in western Colorado and therefore I knew exactly where to go. The area is small and there’s only one main road, thus it’s not difficult to get around. However, I do have a good old-fashioned map along, just in case.
This map also highlights the ‘scenic byway’ and makes notes of interests along the way. I believe I found this particular Palisade, Colorado map at the visitor center in Fruita just off Interstate 70.
We do a quick drive through downtown Palisade and then proceed in the direction of the East Orchard Mesa Loop. This scenic loop takes us past orchards, vineyards, and quaint produce stands. It’s September 21st and the trees no longer bear the sweet, delicious peaches that were abundant in August, instead we find apples not quite ripe for the picking.
We drive past produce stands, orchards growing apples, and then vineyards. I knew just the spot to pull over so Ashton and Tasha could see grapes still growing on the vine. Their interest and knowledge in wine still amazes me. Tasha even plans to get married in a vineyard someday…..once she finds the right man, that is. I’m not sure how or when Tasha developed her interest in wine, but I do know how daughter, Ashton developed hers……Sydney, Australia.
When Ashton studied abroad, she engaged in several wine tours in Australia and developed a taste and curiosity. I’m sure it started out as an excuse to drink alcohol before turning into a genuine interest in wine. Since she wasn’t 21 years old yet, the U.S. drinking age, she found herself in a country where she was of age….well, need I say more? We won’t even mention the term “pub crawling”. Thus, the story of how my little girl turned into a wine connoisseur.
Ah, back to the vineyards and orchards……. I stop for the gals to walk among the rows of grapevines. They are giddy with delight and snapping away with their iPhones. There’s still plenty of grapes on the vines for the gals to observe and gently touch.
We hop back in the car and continue our journey. I turn down a side road then into what appears is someone’s driveway / home. The girls are perplexed. Now I am giddy with delight; I have an impending surprise for the ladies.
Just as we were exiting our parked car, the owner of Suncrest Orchard Alpacas steps out of the barn to greet us. He’s carrying something?
Suncrest Orchard Alpacas provides informative tours year ’round on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays from 9-5 or by appointment. Whew…..it’s Saturday. This time, my spontaneity worked well. The guy is obviously carrying a bundle of joy as evidenced by his huge smile.
The four of us approach the fence and in unison respond, “Aaawwww….hoowww….. cuutte”! Ashton, Tasha, sister-in-law, and myself are enamored with this one week old baby Alpaca. It’s obvious the owner is passionate about is brood of Alpacas. He graciously spent an hour sharing his vast knowledge of these interesting animals.
The month prior when Al and I visited, the owners mother was on site to give us the tour including a tour of the building where they spin the Alpaca yarn. This was probably the first time I had wished I was into knitting. I so would buy some of this Alpaca yarn. Soft is an understatement.
With the setting of the sun, we reluctantly tore ourselves away thanking the owner profusely for his time. We were all truly fascinated and entertained by this impromptu stop. Another huge thank you to Suncrest Orchard Alpaca Farm for an irresistibly good time.
Time to return to camp. We have dinner waiting for us on the picnic table …….