River, sloughs, marshes, grapes, trees, boats, railroad, and bridges

I like exploring terra incognita whenever possible, but I also enjoy returning to some of my favorite haunts over and over again.

So it is with riding through the wetlands and sloughs of the Carneros wine region between the towns of Sonoma and Napa. (Those are also the names of the counties in which each is located). I try to pedal some variation of that route at least once a year. In fact, it has been almost exactly one year since I last rode from “Grapetown” to “Wine City.”

This morning I drove to Sonoma (about twenty minutes distant), saddled up the Ogre, wandered around, and ended up at the city limits of Napa. Then I turned around and wandered back to Sonoma.

Read more at Bill Bikes

They call me Old Grumble-Face. I have no idea why they do that....

5 response to "River, sloughs, marshes, grapes, trees, boats, railroad, and bridges"

  1. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: June 28, 2018

    Nice ride through some beautiful countryside — the burned areas are very extensive there too I see.
    Party Flyover seems a bit more energetic than Party Bridge — no discarded clothing seen there — yet!
    Ive become more curious about California and the wine production — I did see some wine from Bouchaine Winery for sale here, and recognized the name. Just 3599 more to remember!
    Some interesting facts about California wine:

    If Im doing math correctly (no guarantee of that!) CA ships 240 million cases of wine per year (2011 last stat on that) — and 12 bottle per case equals just under 3 BILLION bottles! Thats a LOT of bottles! They produced pretty much within CA?

    Ive been trying keep track of the Pawnee fire, and the search for the arsonist in Santa Rosa — the Press Democrat gets a little irritated with me for not subscribing. 🙂

  2. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: June 28, 2018

    I think I’d feel at home there with all those gum trees (eucalyptus). I personally like cycling amongst vineyards, although not everyone does.

  3. By: Bill Stone Posted: June 28, 2018

    Hi Rich,

    My ace support crew is always doing her best to increase all those numbers by joining local wine clubs, meaning she automatically gets monthly or quarterly shipments from her favorite nearby wineries. I try to force myself to assist in consumption.

    Pawnee fire in Lake County still way out of control, but it is a mostly unpopulated area and not moving in this direction. If somewhere has to burn, that’s about the best spot you could hope for. Haven’t seen any progress on identifying and apprehending Greenway arsonist. Yep, the online Press Democrat sometimes thinks I’m a freeloader, even though we subscribe to the print edition.

    As to the party flyover, when bicycling there in the past I’ve occasionally encountered carloads of kids. Not sure Old Grumble-Face would be welcome after dark. But that end of the route on Stanly Cross Road and Stanly Lane is interesting because it is partly private road — supposedly open only to vineyard and winery workers and guests, with no bikes allowed — and also partly a designated path for bikes and pedestrians. Although construction seems to have been delayed, a huge vacation resort is supposed to be built there in a field recently cleared of grapevines. Along with the heavy equipment working on Skaggs Island, I’m afraid this doesn’t bode well for my quiet cycling venue.

  4. By: gregblood Posted: June 28, 2018

    OR . . . are those hayfields going to become marijuana fields rather than vineyards? I read an article in the Minneapolis newspaper that many California vintners are considering selling out to the more profitable legalized weed business. In five years would that make your same ride “Hemptown” to “Bong City?”

    • By: Bill Stone Posted: June 29, 2018

      Dude, you are like so right! But this would be a mega-industrial-sized grow site, and I think too big under local ordinances. But it really is true that legalization is bringing all kinds of changes to the economy around here, including some unexpected competition between grapes and weed for acreage, warehouses, and other facilities. By the way, Lagunitas Brewing (a local “craft brewery” owned by Heineken) is offering a hoppy, zero-calorie, cannabis-infused non-beer. I doubt this will be on store shelves in Hastings right away!

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