“We had to decide if we wanted to put money into the facade, or into the wine. And we chose the wine.” Unbeknownst to him, our landowner had just crossed over from a man we were making polite conversation with, to a man we were listening to.
I’m one of those walking contradictions. I listen to a Ted Talk every morning, but frequently participate in technology cleanses. I ramble on about the suggestive climax in Bach’s Cello Suites, but also feel like Trap music is the secret to a daily grind busting self confidence boost. Fire needs air. So, when the opportunity to see something, really see something, arises — I’m frothing to tell that story.
Paso Robles is a perfect halfway point between Santa Cruz (where my manfriend lives) and myself in Santa Barbara. Having both at some point lived out of our cars or on communes, we knew that packing to go never involves much of a stray from our normal day to day. Pianetta Winery was a perfect middle ground of comforts. We pitched our tent beneath the mistletoe, to the north of the Cabernet vines. The landowner provided us with ample firewood, a grill, a propane heated shower, and a bottle + jug of wine.
Post-bottling facility tour and sunset stroll with the vineyard dog Beaujolais, the quickly dropping temps brought about a closer, curious energy. We huddled by the fire and learned that warming our glasses over the flame would bring out the fruit notes, and also about the generational farming history of our winemaker. Jesse played a few songs he’d written recently on his guitar, I continued to knit the blanket I meant to have done in September. We offered options for what tomorrow’s adventure could entail.
After savoring our campstove breakfast tacos, we stopped for just one more at Dos Hermanos. The best, best chips. Having decided on Lake Nacimiento, we had an unspoken understanding that pants were optional and trails were a matter of perspective. We plucked miner’s lettuce, and picked up rubbish. The sun drenched us in that golden glow of hope.
Sometimes it really doesn’t matter where you are. Physically. Adventure, passion, risk — these aren’t things you do, they’re places you go inside yourself (or with an other). Say yes more. Adopt a “we’ll see” attitude. Find yourself outside, because “how often I found where I should be going only by setting out somewhere else.” Buckminster Fuller
Words by Gianna Rankart
Gianna Keiko Rankart is a storyteller. | photographer writer designer content curator | Formally trained in Marketing + Studio Art, she weaves 9 years of experience in editorial, advertising and lifestyle photography with her passion for outdoors, conservation and health. Her extensive travels leave her grateful, flexible, curious. Y’all can play on Instagram.