Mid-Week Rides: Another ride through wine country
Six intrepid riders gathered for breakfast at the Seal Rock Inn. There were the ’usuals’ the Major (Bob Burns), Dave Emmet, Randy Hendricks, Don Theile and yours truly, Chris Weld. We were also joined by a new-to-group fellow geezer, Dieder Werkoff riding an F650. Dieder is another currently out-of-work IT-type.
After a great breakfast we wended our way through Lincoln Park and Seacliff for the the GG Bridge and Hwy# 101 for Hwy# 37 for Infinion Raceway and Hwy#121 for Napa. However, we left #121 on Old Sonoma Highway for downtown old Napa in search of petrol for a certain Gold Wing rider who broke the ’creed’. We gassed, stretched’n stripped on Redwood Ave, our route to Mt. Veeder Road and the Mayacamas Mountains. When Mt. Veeder Road terminated at the Oakville Grade we turned right on down into the Napa Valley at Rutherford. Now on Hwy. #29, we turned north for several miles before crossing the valley for the Silverado Trail and a turn NB. We turned up Howell Mountain Rd. and after several miles came to a barricade ’Road Closed’. Damn! A map check revealed we’d have to back-track to the Silverado Trail. But wait! That barricade left a paved portion of roadway which we could use to get around. Deider was ’game’ and that was all the encouragement I needed. We pressed on up Howell Mountain but at a much reduced speed. Weeds where growing from every pavement crack and we were minus two riders. Dave Emett and the Major stayed back with the Major trying to call the Sheriff regarding our nefarious act. 3.1 miles up Howell Mountain we encountered the ’road closed’ cause, a complete washout that the wide enough to challenge Evil Kenival. We did the requisite ’wendy but no Major or Dave ’waiting’. Thinking we got through, they chose their own ’ride’ at that point.
Back to the Silverado Trail and after about four miles the intersection
with Deer Park which would take us to the intended Howell Mountain/White
Cottage intersection. We rode on up but no Major, no Dave. Oh well!
Carry on. We rode White Cottage through the back woods of Angwin, a 7th Day Adventist college town where I, as leader, did a Bob Burns. I missed the left turn for Ink Grade but thanks to a circular driveway of a homeowner adjacent this intersection, recovered with a straight face. Ink grade is a twisty, narrow roadway about 8 miles’er so in length. It ends at the Chiles-Pope Valley Road where we turn R for downtown Pope Valley, a four building community that features an 1897 blacksmith’s shop. If the Major and Dave were going to ’appear’, this was the place. It wasn’t ten minutes and they dropped down out of Angwin.
The country store across the street had sufficient signage to indicate we could find sustenance and we left the motors in the shade at the blacksmith’s shop for microwaved food and cold soda.
On departure Don Theile announced he’d peel-off for Lake Berryessa and the direct route home for him. We rode down Pope Valley for the junction with Hwy #128 on the shores of Lake Hennesy (aka: Conn Dam - Napa’s water source) and back to the Silverado Trail turning south. After several miles we again crossed-over the Napa Valley for Hwy #29 where we turned south again for Hwy #121 (again) and our route home with a stretch’n gas break at the ’Y’ for downtown Sonoma.
It the words of Bob Burns, it was a great, great ride, good fellowship, no breakdowns, wrecks or tickets. It was a 220 mile ride for Chris, home to home, other went further.