11.2 mi / 9.4 mph / 416 ft. climbing
Home: Bothe-Napa Valley State Park hiker/biker site
The park’s website said they had a 2-night stay limit for hiker/bikers, but the ranger said 3 nights when I asked, so, with the ideal November weather in a beautiful place, let’s stay another night!
Well, mornings were still foggy and wet, so we repeated the strategy of getting off the shaded hill and down into the sunny valley ASAP. This time we didn’t even attempt to visit a winery, partly because it was a busy Saturday and reservations were hard to come by, and partly because we figured it would be impossible to top yesterday’s winery visit.
Instead, we just rode to the opposite side of the valley and headed north to the town of Calistoga. We hit the grocery store and got some fresh deli sandwiches, wine, beer, and took them over to the town park. I cleverly poured the beverages into our water bottles so that we could drink surreptitiously without getting arrested for consuming alcohol in a public park, only to then notice a group celebrating a birthday by popping champagne bottles. Well, maybe having my water taste like Pliny the Elder for the next few days was worth it?
And then we just spent several hours hanging out in the park. It was glorious, and some of the best relaxation-time we’ve had. Laying barefoot on the (artificial, but thus, dry) grass, on a perfect 75 degree afternoon, with an occasional fall leaf twirling down in the golden glow of the sun. Spending three days at one “home” is really the way to do it, we’re finding.
Bill rolled back into the campground at the same time we did, after a similarly relaxing day (for him), and we found yet another new pair of bike tourers camped over in “his” old site. Interesting to see a relatively large number of bike tourers in this off-the-Pacific Coast route place, but I guess since we found it so attractive, it’s not surprising that other people do too!