My Travel Blog

The Heartbreak Hiking Fools Do France

Everyone knows that Lisa and I love to hike, and that we are members of the esteemed hiking group the Heartbreak Hiking Fools (HHF).  Whenever the opportunity presents its self we grab our poles, put on our hiking shoes and off we go.  This past week we were joined by our fellow HHF members Gail and old What’s His Name.  We happened to find a trail close to where we were tied up and decided to do a little exploring.  If there is one thing that is critical to ensuring a successful hike it is proper hydration.  The picture taken below is of Gail, What’s His Name, Lisa and I preparing for a hike by making sure that we are properly hydrated.

“Always make sure you consume plenty of liquids before hiking.”

Our good friend What’s His Name once told me in complete confidence that his dream was to be a chorus line dancer.  The picture below is of our friends Gail, What’s His Name, Mary and Doug.

“How do you like old What’s His Name’s knee action?”

“Rabelo tied up along the canal in Foulain.”

“More of those beautiful French clouds.”

Our friend Doug was able to get us a tour of Francois Freres barrel factory.  Francois is known for making some of the best barrels in the world.  The factory is not open to the public, and it was only because of Doug’s personal relationship with Francois that we were allowed in.  I can safely say that our tour was the highlight of the trip.  For Lisa and I it was also fun to see that Francois made barrels for our friends Qupe and A Bon Climant wineries back in California. .

“Raw logs that will be made into barrels.”

“Logs being split so that they can be made into staves.”

“Barrel staves being aged for two to three years.”

“A barrel being assembled.”

“Barrels being toasted.”

-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave” – 
a Chuck Palmer Adventure novel


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.