After playing rounds of golf with Trevor, Elaine, and Jerry Brady (Saturday), I awoke with a very painful right thigh and buttock area. I could tell this was another instance of some nerve condition. I had this back in October, but I could still walk and play golf. It would really hurt if I stood still for any period of time.
This time is different. It doesn’t seem to be related to a back injury since there is virtually no back discomfort. It is really focused on the lower glute area and the back of my thigh. This situation indicates that my sciatic nerve has become inflamed and irritated by something.
Sunday, the 21st, was a very uncomfortable day. I could not walk or stand up without a great deal of discomfort. Sitting was pretty much OK, so I did a lot of that. I took ibuprofen throughout the day, and that helped somewhat. But it’s very difficult to manage nerve pain so I was not completely comfortable at any time. Moving around the house was a real chore. Taking a hot shower seemed to provide quite a bit of relief to be able to move around more easily.
After some research and reasoning, I think I have a good chance of having “piriformis syndrome”, which is not a medical diagnosis specifically, because it does not have data or specific cause for its occurrence. It is explained here in this video: Piriformis Syndrome Video
Fortunately, I already had a doctor’s appointment next day with a new provider here in Port Ludlow. I hobbled into the appointment with hopes for some ideas how to resolve this painful condition. Dr. Laura Wulff at the Jefferson Health Care Clinic in Port Ludlow saw me. She had a very nice personality and positive attitude. She seemed to be pretty informed about this condition and prescribed medication, stretches, and therapy to address the piriformis syndrome. Besides ibuprofen, she suggested Gabapentin. She also seemed fairly sure that with an aggressive treatment program, this should be relieved within two weeks. I was pretty happy to hear that! Additionally, I ordered a heating pad from Amazon. Finally, some massage techniques can be used to relieve discomfort. Here are three YouTube videos that I found to be clear, helpful, and well presented:
Weather – About 45º. Cloudy with wet ground conditions. Little wind.
Pick up a birthday cake for Dad’s birthday
Movie in Poulsbo at 3:00
Dinner after the movie
“Game of Thrones – Season 2, Disk 4”
Mike wanted to solve some golf problems so requested instead of an inside workout that we play a round of golf to sort out some of those things. There were practically no other golfers at the course when we got there around 8:30. We checked in a got to the 1st tee. Our first hole was pretty disappointing so we walked back and started over again. From there on, Elaine’s golf was pretty normal and steady. Mike’s was not looking too good. Mike had bad holes on 3, 4, and 5. After that it seemed to settle down. Elaine had an OK score of 56 on the front 9. Mike had a sub-standard 47.
On the back nine, Mike improved and parred 11, 12, 15, and 18. Also, hit a good hybrid to the back pin on 17 and made a 5 foot birdie. (Followed by Fireball Birdie Juice)
Gained some insights into lining up better for golf shots.
Dropped by Central Market in Poulsbo for a birthday cake. Single-layer German Chocolate. Bakery put writing on the cake for us.
Regal Cinemas in Poulsbo. Watched “Darkest Hour” a movie about when Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of Great Britain and how he led his country during the time when Germany was threatening to invade Great Britain. A focal point was the extraction of British Army troops by a civilian fleet from the French port of Dunkirk. Interesting with good characterizations.
Mexican dinner at “La Costa” Restaurant in Poulsbo. Margaritas were pretty weak and tasteless. Good food though. Chicken fajita burrito and chicken macho burrito. Plenty to eat. Service was OK, although it was strange how the staff seemed to interchange with each other throughout our dinner.
Game of Thrones – Season 2, Disk 4, Episodes 7 and 8
Amanda and family arrive today in Manson. Their flight got in to Sea-Tac at 11:00 in the morning. After picking up their Dodge minivan, they found some teriyaki, and headed east over Snoqualmie and Blewett Passes. They ended up arriving about 5pm.
During the day, we went to Karma and Ventimiglia Wineries. We had a nice lunch of cheese, crackers, and wine. We chose to have a red flight of wine to share, and then we drank a glass of Try blend wine. It was pleasant sitting in their “cave” decorated with white lights and branches. The lights were somewhat dim. A couple families were there as well with their children. I was not overly impressed with the service. The two staff seemed tired and less than energetic. We found they were going to be setting up for a 150 person event on the following day. No wonder they seemed stressed.
We departed Karma and headed back to Manson. There was more time to spend tasting so we decided to check out Ventimiglia Cellars (pronounced ven-ti-mee-lee-uh). Their storefront is in downtown Manson. Ron Ventimiglia greeted us and poured us 7 different wine tastes. We had tried to find their winery 2 years ago before the fires of the summer. We’re thinking that was when we were there playing golf at Gamble Sands. In any case, we talked pleasantly with Ron about his wines and connections to MVP Vinters (Pete Mathews). He asked us not to hold that against him. We decided on a yummy Syrah/Mourvedre blend to take home with us.
When Amanda arrived we got them settled and then went to the Sunset Bar and Grill for dinner. They have interesting menu choices in a bright tavern environment.
After a slow morning here in our condo, we finally got our snowshoeing clothes on and headed out the door. It was cold and partly cloudy – a temperature of about 30º.
We drove down the road a ways to where we could take Winesap Ave up toward Echo Ridge. The road was mostly clear, but ice and snow in the shady areas. We arrived at the Zoom Trailhead at just after 12 noon. We had our packs lightly filled and planned to wear our mountaineering boots on our snowshoes. We checked out the map on the info board, and determined that a trailhead fee was not required.
The trail traverses around the side of Echo Ridge and ascends to the North Junction. There is lots of good signage on the Echo Ridge Trail System. We turned north again and took the trail toward “The Outback”, a trail that circles a nearby butte.
Near the junction we had a great view off to the east of the Waterville Plateau. It’s on the other side of Columbia River from where we are. The snow stretches as far as you can see which is a really long way today.
We went out to the Outback intersection and turned around there. We had gained several hundred feet and had gone somewhere around two miles. That was all we had time for today, so we headed back.
On the way down, we could see south to a view of Lake Chelan, and even further a peekaboo look to the Columbia River somewhere near Entiat. Wow! It was sure clear.
Upon our return, we changed out into warmer boots, and carefully steered our way down the snow-covered roads to the Echo Valley Ski Area on our way to Vin du Lac winery. There we had a very good tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah wines along with crackers, cheese, apple butter, and carrot and golden raisin slaw. Really nice to sit and reflect on our activities before heading home to plan our dinner coming up later.
We went to two wineries today. The first we walked over to was the Wapato Point Cellars. It’s close to our vacation condo, taking only 5 minutes to get there.
We decided just to do some tasting and have a glass of wine as it was after noon. There was only a couple other people in the tasting room when we arrived. It had snowed overnight and was still raining a bit. The trees were really shedding the snow and we got a little wet as we walked under the pines.
Wapato Point wines are some of the best wines in the area, in my opinion. After tasting several, we came to the last offering, the Kludt Alexis 2015. The tasting assistant warned us that it might be somewhat smokey in flavor since the grapes were picked after the summer of the 2015 fires near Chelan and Manson. We were here during that time and after experiencing the fires and smoke, we were reminded clearly when we put our noses into the sample! The nose was distinctly of that fire smell we knew first hand. It didn’t affect the flavor of the wine much and we ended up buying a bottle of this wine because of its personal connection to us.
CR Sandidge Winery
This is home to our only wine club membership at this time. We think Sandidge has the best wines. The winemaker is Ray Sandidge, who is from Entiat, and has a background in mountaineering. We had a very nice talk with him a couple summers ago and have made a nice connection. He has also helped and worked at several of the other wineries around the lake, and has extensive time with winemakers in Europe. He has become very skilled at what he does. We had 3 shipments to pick up, but were most excited to finally get a delivery of the first CR Sandidge sparkling wine.
Laura helped us with our complete line-up of tastings – excellent as usual. Talked a little with other folks that were there to taste as well. They were just as impressed as we were with the wines. Both reds and whites are equally good.
Dinner and a Movie
After dropping off our wine purchases, we headed the 7 miles to Chelan. We enjoyed a meal at Marcela’s Mexican Cucina even though we were seated between two families with children. We assured them it was not a problem as we understood as grandparents.
Following our meal, we checked in at the Ruby Theater for the showing of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This old historic theater has been well kept up. We sat in the only pair of seats at the front of the balcony on one side. We had a great unobstructed view of the movie. It was exciting and enjoyable.
Returning back to WP around 9:45, we took just a few minutes to settle in before turning in for bed. It was a very fun and successful day.