Great Adventure! Part II, Wine Country and Beyond!

I've since edited Part 1 to tell you that riding from Guernville to Calistoga takes us from Sonoma county to the Napa valley and that we climbed 2300 feet all total climbs that day.  I am pretty sure I worked off that cinnamon roll from the day before!

Day 5's where we left off, to see part 1, go here.  This is the beautiful entry to Sterling Vineyards which we did not tour. Our tour was self paced on our bikes and were smaller lesser known vineyards that do not mass produce.  A real treat!  For those of you that find yourselves in Calistoga and want a fun tour, go to the Calistoga Bike shop (here) and purchase their package which includes bicycle rental (we had our own so the price was adjusted), they take care of all the details including tasting fees, and wine pick up at any of the vineyards you purchase from! We went to 5 of the 6 vineyards on their tour and they are no more than a couple of miles from each other and ANYONE can ride the mostly flat terrain!

We biked along the Silverado Trail where many vineyards line the trail.
I snapped this picture, while riding, approaching the entrance to Dutch Henry.

  If only I could transport fragrance as well.  The smells along the way were always sweet with jasmine and roses.  We went inside and tasted a couple and then the host sent us to the cave.

I had never been in a wine cave which is underground with concrete walls and of course just the right temperature for the wine to mature in these oak barrels.  We got a tasting right from one of these barrels that has not been bottled yet.  We kept walking through the cave and came upon this beautiful event room...

...this picture in no way captures the essence of this room which is used for parties and wedding receptions.  Can you imagine?  I was wondering the whole time who the decorator might be.  Small details, simple yet in a way elegant.  Look at the chandeliers, the wall sconces, just the right piece of art and the bar.

I REALLY did a terrible job on this picture of the candelabra.  A beautiful piece of art sculptured in silver (my fave).

This is the entrance to Vincent Arroyo.  This building has the tasting room in the front and the barrels in the back.  We were able to taste wine futures (not been bottled yet) here as well.

We got quite a wine history lesson here.  I had no idea there were SO MANY different grapes and blends of grapes that go into producing the different varieties.  We liked their wine so much we bought a case that will be shipped in November.  What a nice Christmas present that will be!  

This is Mike with one of the vineyard dogs, JJ.  Our boys call my Mom resemblance OF COURSE Mom! 

Our last stop was a very new vineyard only 2 years old, Envy. I know we would have enjoyed it more if it weren't the end of the day.  After tasting at 4 vineyards, the 5th was hard!  The host had a bin of chocolate and I was more into that at this point.  Their wine is VERY GOOD.
We also toured  Twomey, and August Briggs, we had such a fun time.

Day 6

Today we set off to Davis from Calistoga, our longest cycling day of 67 miles.  We climbed 2400 feet in all and sat on the bike 4 hours and 45 minutes.  Yes we were DEFINITELY feeling seat pain.  

We rode along Pope Creek through the mountains, Mike was getting neck strain trying to check out the fishing holes. 

This is lake Berryessa and the Monticello Dam in Napa.  This was absolutely gorgeous.  

Both of these are from Google images...see the road on the left?  We biked right along there, notice the terrain. 

As we got closer to Davis we went over this graffiti bridge....

...passed by fields of glorious sunflowers, oh how I would have loved to have picked a few, they are one of my faves!

I sure wish I had Cote de Texas Joni's new camera to capture the lavender fields. Well...just try to imagine and the fragrance....ahhhhh!

Day 7

Davis to Fairfield, home of the Jelly Belly Factory.  This was a VERY windy day, mostly flat terrain, but with the wind as strong as it was it FELT like climbing.  45 miles today.

The tour was fun and a great marketing scheme.  Start on one end, cirlce the factory and see how it's all done, then dump out into the candy store!  

Day 8

Bike from Fairfield to Vallejo...another mostly flat WINDY day, but only 25 miles all total. We took a ferry from Vallejo to San Francisco to ride to the hotel we started from and take apart and box our bikes and get them to FedEx.  On the way to Vallejo was a very cute little town called Benicia.  The hydrangeas in front of this Victorian really caught my eye, they were HUGE.  What I DID NOT notice were the oh so lovely garbage receptacles, not to mention the street sign.

I definitely NEED a photography class.  Honestly I didn't even notice them, I was so taken with the flowers. 

Sooooo, just to get a much CLOSER view of the receptacles....ok never mind, put your hand over them and just look at the flowers and the house.  It took up 3 lots and some YOUNG person came out of there....the gal I was riding with and I decided she MUST have been hired help! What you cannot see is not too far across the street is a bay, so you KNOW the property values are more than I can comprehend.

Getting into Vallejo we enjoyed this Saturday street market.

Of course I find the flowers....look at those sunflowers!

Lots of adventure and fun,  a bit of hard work too with the cycling, but good times all in all.
Do you have an adventure planned for this summer?  Where might you go, what will you do?  I would love to hear!

I couldn't resist this picture.  On the way home from the airport, Erma, my granddog was sitting in the backseat with me.  She adores Mike and kept trying to get his attention because she wanted in his lap.  He plays "hard to get" for a while and FINALLY gives in.  She's one happy puppy!



  1. You are so cute, taking pictures of the cans!! It reminds me of my colour and condoms post!!

    Such a sporty chick you are!

  2. Loved the travel log... much of the pleasure without all the hard work of climbing.

    My 900 foot climb (Sitton Gulch) pales in comparison to your 2400 feet.

    You are is amazing!

  3. What an amazing time you had! It sounds like the trip of a lifetime too! Wish I could of been there (maybe next time);)

  4. Hmmmm... drinking wine and riding bikes... hmmm
    GORGEOUS photos... your trip looks FAB!!!

  5. What a fabulous trip! Loved all your photo's. Ax

  6. Boy, did you pack a lot into your trip! You are obviously in fabulous shape-makes me tired just thinking about all you did!

  7. Wow Renae, you have so much energy..good for are my new inspiration. What a georgous place to bike.

    I'm off to read your part 1


  8. great pics and you look great in them .
    love the pooch !


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