a morning walk in danville & a drive up the silverado trail

Tuesday, January 7:  This morning, Jayne has some work to attend to, along with a dental appointment.  While she’s taking care of business, I take a nice long walk along the Iron Horse Trail, where a friendly sign welcomes me to Danville.

Welcome to Danville
Welcome to Danville

I pass by the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, which has this Southern Pacific “radio-equipped” train outside.  It reminds me of the Washington & Old Dominion trail in Vienna, Virginia, even down to the old train station and the train.

Train at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley
Train at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley
Southern Pacific at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley
Southern Pacific at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley

Once Jayne returns home, we head out to Napa Valley, over an hour away, where we intend to stop at a number of wineries.  As we get on the scenic Silverado Trail, I say, “I can’t wait to eat something at one of the wineries. I’m starved.”

Jayne says, “There’s no food at the wineries.”

I say, “What?  Every time I’ve stopped at a Virginia winery, I’ve gotten food.”

She says, “Well, none of the California wineries have food.”

Oh.  I tell her I’m hungry and she agrees we should probably grab a bite somewhere, possibly in Yountville.  Close to 2:30, we stop for lunch and a glass of wine at the Pacific Blues Cafe. Feeling pretty good, we get in the car in search of our first winery.  By this time it’s about 3:30.

I take a picture of this brown vineyard in Yountville before we leave the town.

fallow vineyards in Napa
fallow vineyards in Napa

We go in search of a winery with a view, looping back over the same part of the Silverado Trail that we already traversed.  We can’t seem to find the ones we pointed out on the way in.  Finally, we stop at one that seems to be perched on a small hill.  It’s quite beautiful but also nearly empty, and when we ask the price for a flight the woman tells us it’s $35.

$35??? For a wine tasting?  We leave, in search of a $15-20 flight.

one vineyard with $35 flights
one vineyard with $35 flights

We pull of the road at several other wineries that seem promising, but by now it’s 4:00, and the signs tell us the wineries close at 4:00 or 4:30.

In one last attempt we drive through a sprawling vineyard to this winery, only to find this sign.

Winery Closed
Winery Closed
purple cabbage plants
purple cabbage plants

I take one parting shot of the vineyard belonging to this closed winery, as the sun sets on our wine-tasting plans.

Napa Valley
Napa Valley

We drive the long drive back to Danville, after sitting in a traffic jam for a half hour. Back at Jayne’s, we meet her boyfriend Claude and take off to see the movie Inside Llewyn Davis, at a movie theater where you can buy beer and take it in to the theater.

So much for our winery expedition.  I was hoping for an experience like the movie Sideways.  Well, not quite.  But at least something approaching it. 🙂