Friday, October 2, 2009

Walk #274: Lodi Lane, Markham Vineyards and Ken Burns

Due to a drop in the unit census (Hooray !), I didn't work a double. I took the time in the afternoon to walk Lodi Lane.

Lodi Lane is yet another inter sector of the Napa Valley. It starts on one side with Duckhorn Winery. I've been there before so I didn't stop in.

Instead I walked the road, admiring the trash along the way; Garbage bags filled with kids stuff. Someone had literally thrown out their television. This is an argument for socialised garbage service. If people have to pay to dispose of their stuff, they will deposit it any place they can. Usually along a road (being stupid, lazy and cheap). Arlo Guthrie admitted as much in his Alice's Restaurant. At least he was made to pick up the garbage.

At the end of Lodi Lane lies Markham Vineyards. One of the older wineries in the Napa Valley, I duck in to admire their photo collection of 60's Rockers. There they are: Jerry Garcia, Frank Zappa, Bob Dylan amongst others.

The wine (and I am a winery critic now) is decent. I pull out my hospital badge and they give me the bare minimum tasting (for free!). The Wine Pourer had to go to the back, off limits area, to see if she could give me the tasting for free. She returns. I share the tasting area with women dressed up in dresses.

Women must enjoy wine more than men, because every winery I drop in on has scads of women dressed to the hilt--out wine tasting. Women out number men 8 to 1. If there are men there, they are the normal nerdish, wimpy herd with Ralph Lauren shirts on and testosterone deficiencies. Real men like beer.

Except me (I am a nerd, but usually don't wear the attire of one). I like this wine. The Sauvignon Blanc was tasty. They hold their whites off the market longer than most (the newest being a 2007). They believe in letting the wine age in the bottle. Good choice.

Their Merlot was quite good too. "We are known for our Merlots" the host tells me. Her service could have been better...but why waste time on a free tasting? On a patron who is sweaty and looks like Micheal Moore? I can't blame her for keeping her distance.

Their Cab was watery and bland. Nothing special.

I buy a reasonably priced Sauvignon Blanc and head on my way. Markham wine is worth checking out. And the winery is beautiful...housed in a building built in 1879. Two thumbs up.


I've watched most of Ken Burns' documentary on the National Parks. Impressions? Burns thinks Wallace Stegner and Terry Tempest Williams are cool. He ignores Ed Abbey. He loves nepotism. David Brower gets a slight nod of approval.

My impression? Mixed. Wallace Stegner is, and always will be, cool. Terry Tempest Williams is a sell out. In danger of becoming a New Age Flake and a money grubber (I refused to pay twenty buck earlier this spring to hear her talk). Nepotism mostly sucks.

Ken Burns is better at the history of dead people. When it comes to current movements and issues, he becomes a bland eunuch to mealy mouthiness. A dweeb.


Ian Woofenden said...

Had three appointments this morning and then went on a circuit to deliver magazines to solar tour sites -- tomorrow is the national tour of solar homes. I ended up circumnavigating Fidalgo Island (on land), and in the end, called home for a ride from the ferry, 'cause I was bushed.

34.72 miles
10.24 mph average
37.71 mph max

Too much time on busy roads with cars that whiz by too close. I think I'll strap a yard stick to my bike, with a blinking light on it...

Ian Woofenden said...

Rode out to the mail this morning with a pile of my books to mail to family and colleagues -- that's about a 3/4 mile RT. Then did an evening figure 8, enjoying a stunning moon and a stiff NW wind I had to buck more than I could've if I'd gone the other way.

12.69 miles

Ian Woofenden said...

Yo Allan -- I'm ahead of ya. ;-)

Rode to meditation and then up the hill to look at a solar house I worked on. Dramatic to see it finished, decorated lovingly, and lived in. I'm going to take a group there on Saturday. Also dramatic to look from the deck there to the ferry dock and get the full sweep of that ride.

13.62 miles
9.60 mph average (slow to talk on phone some of time)
29.33 mph max