My wife Meg and I have found ourselves with more “us” time in the last year than we’ve ever had as a couple; with our youngest kid getting ready to start his senior year in high school and the older two out of the house and on their own (sort of) we’re able to get away on what we call “quests”. A “quest” is something one or both of us have wanted to do, for no particular reason, and it has to adhere to the following rules:

1) The quest location has to be no more than 5 hours away from our Roseville home, by car

2) The quest must cost less than $100 in total funds (gas, food, trinkets)

3) Rule #2 is negotiable

This past weekend’s quest to brought us to the Central Valley metropolis of Turlock, right below Modesto, so I could see and experience one of my favorite Craft Beer destinations, Dustbowl Brewery.  Sure, it’s counter-intuitive to drive INTO the heat at the end of a record-setting heatwave in NorCal (“Why aren’t we going to Tahoe?” asked Meg Young), but it turned out to be an amazing adventure. Under partly cloudy skies and 86 degree temps, we not only discovered BOTH Dustbowl Brewery locations (They have TWO!  Twice the fun!), but we were drawn in by the charm and hospitality of Turlock’s quaint downtown: great shops, friendly people, a ton of civic pride.  We found a great used record section at a local antique store, where we managed to violate our set spending limit (Come on…a mint condition copy of the “Jesus Christ Superstar” three-record set??).  Turlock, we’ll see YOU again…another successful quest!

John Young



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