Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Walk #250: Larkmead Lane...Walkers Rights and Larkmead Vineyards Winery

Boycott this winery!

The Larkmead Thug wanted me to walk on this road...

He wouldn't let me walk on this dirt path....

Maybe I'm becoming a marked man. Perhaps I am acquiring a reputation?

After work I decided to walk a very small road that bisects the Napa Valley: Larkmead Lane. Larkmead sits a few miles south of Calistoga. Not all that long of a road; it takes about an hour to walk it (back and forth) at an unhurried pace.

There are two wineries on this road. Frank Family Wineries I have visited before. So I stopped just to admire the 1905 winery for its beauty. Across the lane is the Larkmead Vineyards Winery. I stopped there, but the nice lady who came out to greet me said they were closed. She said I would be welcome to come as a literal "walk in" another time.

So I continued on my way.

I walked to the end of the road, walking along the vineyards on a small dirt path--that sits next to the road. A worker in a golf cart passes by me as I walk the path. I wave as we intersect.

Down to the end of the road and I turn around to walk the mile and a half back to my car. I stop in the shade of a tree at the bridge over the Napa River.

It is then that "it" happened. A monstrous white pick up truck pulls up. I get that feeling in my gut that tells me "you are in trouble now, Allan". The window of the truck rolls down.

It felt like a Salvadoran death squad had stopped to check out yours truly. A man hollers out of the window: "Stay on the road!".

I could see he was a bit agitated. After all, a very dangerous walker was present. Is there an all points bulletin out stating: "beware of the pudgy man with the turkey feather hanging from his walking stick"?

I tell him I had obeyed all laws.

He scolds me: "Wasn't that you walking up by the winery? Stay on the road."

Perhaps I should describe the scene. Larkmead Road has no shoulder. Next to the road there is a dirt road that is used by farm equipment. About fifteen feet divide the two. The dirt road is lovely to walk on. Soft. Squishy. The black top road has no shoulder. Traffic travels at seventy miles an hour on it. The man was asking me to share a small road with two ton metallic beasts.

Having sufficiently given me his opinion of my walk, the paranoid Larkmead Vineyards man turns on to the small dirt road I had been walking. He pulls his pick up truck on to the dirt road, as I watch. I guess this road was meant only for his truck and not my hiking booted feet.

I watch him drive off and later, as I restart my walk, he comes by again--making sure I was walking on the road. I wave enthusiastically friendly-like to this nearly psychotic man.

This has not been my week. First the EST minion doesn't give me permission to look at one of the oldest buildings in the Napa Valley, and now a paranoid winery thug asks me to stay on a black topped surface road that imperils people who walk on it. This property owner would rather have a death on the road than somebody walk the dirt road on his property.

So now I can categorically give my first bad review to a winery. I've never tasted their wines. But I have to fight their ugliness with the only tool I have: this keyboard.

First off, don't go to this winery. Boycott them. Send this entry to your friends who might be contemplating a visit to this winery. Or if you have just found this entry by Googling it, take this winery off your travel plans. They are paranoid, thugish people.

Secondly, if you happen to be in the Napa Valley, go for a walk on the dirt path next to Larkmead Lane. Let them know that walkers have the right to be safe when out walking.

If someone from this winery does happen to read this entry (and I have learned that trolls do google their wineries and reputations daily)...I would appreciate an apology. And perhaps an admonition to the death squad fellow who just yells and doesn't stop to get to know why a man might be out for a walk? A free tasting and a bottle of wine would be appreciated too. And permission to walk the vineyards.

I am a forgiving man, if given the right vintage.


Ian Woofenden said...

Today I biked to the airport. Well, not THE airport, in Seattle, but the Anacortes airport. I got a flight out to Roche Harbor to meet with a client, and enjoyed seeing this old island resort town. Then I flew back to Anacortes, to my bike, and rode home. A nice commute.

16.41 miles
9.79 mph average
29.81 mph max

Ian Woofenden said...

Rode to a friend's wedding this afternoon. I took it easy getting there, 'cause I was carrying a very large (but not heavy) gift tied elaborately to the back of my bike. The wedding was great, and I ended up being there for about 7 hours. Then I finished the trip round the block, without the large present on the back...

6.35 miles
8.94 mph average
34.07 mph max