Flush four barn owls into the late afternoon light. Read the history written in 1880s cabins. Drive up through the vineyards, past the reservoir, up into the oak woodlands. Park on a beautiful perch of a ridge with the impossibly green irrigated lands patterned, laid out over the valley below.

Take your time smiling, talking, and strolling down a sweet shoulder of the Ventanas until it opens up into a Santa Lucia highland meadow. Feed him gooseberries along the way. Be surprised by the perfect summer dinner he’s got waiting under a great oak tree. Watch the shadow of the earth pull up over the Gabilan range. Feel the last pink of the day blush the peaks at Pinnacles. Help each other ward off the chill of the canyon coming into evening. Hang on tight for a delicious one-seater ATV ride back up to the truck. Sail down past bakery-smelling buckeye stands and back into your own life, the night a fair bit sweeter than the one that came before.