WITH A LITTLE “BAA-RAM-EWE”. . .
March 31, April 1 &2, 9am–5pm
McCormack Ranch Sheepdog Trials
McCormack Ranch, 7680 Montezuma Hills Rd, west of Rio Vista
“That dog could use a little ‘baa-ram-ewe’,” one dog-trials veteran whispered to me as a reminder of the secret password the sheep divulged to Babe, the sheepherding pig in the movie Babe. I was at the event to do reporting for the article in this issue, and as a newbie to sheepdog trials, it had seemed best to signal my ignorance by admitting that everything I knew on the subject came from having watched Babe half a dozen times. To my utter amazement, everyone who heard that admission replied in exactly the same way: “Well then, you have a very good understanding of how it works.”
The one difference at McCormack Ranch is that no pigs will be competing: This classic show of ranching skills features more than 80 super-smart border collies moving sheep from field to pen.
Cost: $15 (kids 12 and younger are free). Lamb barbecue lunch ($8) cooked by Chef Marsha McBride of the recently closed Café Rouge. For info and tickets, call Hope Cohn at 925.550.0566 or visit eventbrite.com/e/4th-annual-mccormack-ranch-sheepdog-trials-tickets-29700611328.
Other things to do near Rio Vista
Head over and up the river to the town of Locke, a historic treasure, formerly a bustling town and Chinese enclave, which now is home to a small group of artists who work and run galleries there.
Go for a soak at the Miyazaki Osento, a Japanese bathhouse and lodging in Walnut Grove, the town right next to Locke.
From Walnut Grove, you might head east to explore Lodi Wine Country.
—Cheryl Angelina Koehler