Monday, November 2, 2009

Walk #306: Where the Napa Valley Starts....

Still in the Napa Valley.

Cheered by a call to Joni at the end of a really ugly, awful, hellacious day--I head down to Trustfunder Central: St. Helena.

What a dumb time to forget taking the camera with me! The light is perfect. Fall colors everywhere. I take a walk through a vineyard of old vine something or other--I think Zinfandel. The gnarly trunks of the vines combined with the reddened grape leaves are painfully beautiful.

For me, the Napa Valley doesn't really start until you get to Yountville. Everything south of Yountville doesn't count as the Napa Valley. The city of Napa has all the charm of stinky tennis shoes (although they are trying to elevate things a bit). But to really understand the Napa Valley, you have to experience the small towns beyond where highway 29 goes from four lanes to two.

The towns where 29 merges have the most character. The best restaurants. The best wineries. The best wine. The best Yuppie watching. Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena and Calistoga are the crown jewels of the Napa Valley. And I get to hang out in all of them. Lucky me!

Tomorrow, after work, I head home finally. Big plans: Work on the Cabin; put in a wood stove; build the last strawbale wall---and of course mud work. Lots of mud work.

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