We finally made it up to SolFest in Hopland, CA this year. We've been wanting to go for a few years now, and finally had the time and a little extra cash to go. Hopland is about a 3 1/2 hour drive from here. We booked a hotel room online so that we wouldn't have to drive the whole way in one day. We got all the way to Santa Rosa, and it was about 10 o'clock at night. After going inside the hotel to check in, we discovered that although we had confirmed our booking for Friday night, Hotels.com booked us for Sept. 16th! We were stranded three hours from home, late at night, and couldn't find a room anywhere. The kid at the desk took pity on us, cancelled the Sept. booking, and gave us a room for $80 less that the going rate. Saturday started off a little gloomy and wet, but after the summer we've had, I welcomed the gloom! It's about a hour's drive from Santa Rosa up 101 to Hopland & the Solar Living Institute. Parking wasn't too bad, and we took the shuttle to the festival. It was HOT in Hopland, not at all different from Sacramento. There were a LOT of solar energy vendors, a hydroponics booth, a few random housing supply booths, and clothing vendors. We walked around for awhile, and I was famished. My husband about freaked when he couldn't find anything non-vegan to eat. We ended up finding two booths that sold food that looked palatable, and settled on some garlic fries and quesadillas. We topped it off with a little Ben & Jerry's for dessert. I ended up signing up for a sweet deal with Mother Earth News, got years 1970-1990 on cd, and got some biodegradable 'plastic' utensils. The Institute's store was the best. Outside, they have foam tiles (they look like stone) that allow you to grow plants on your walls. The store is made from straw bales, and was comfortably cool with only a few fans for circulation. I could have spent a fortune in there! The conclusion? Definately neat, but uncomfortably hot. Worth the drive? I guess so. The Institute's store, the Native American dancers, and the stop at the Jelly Belly factory for Belly Flops on the way home were the best parts!