Autumn in California wine country



Day 20: Boonville to Calistoga, 66 miles

I sit in my tent in Bothe State Park, near Calistoga.  I am surrounded by crickets singing their last songs as the summer is passing.  Later here in Northern California, as the temps reached 90 in Geyserville.  The ride today was long and arduous, many hills and passes on the mountain highway.  I noticed so many fragrances too: the smell of wheat, dried wild dill, and the grapes!  Hundreds of thousands of acres of vineyards, as I traversed three counties: Mendocino, Sonoma and now Napa.  But no tasting of wines for me as I ride!  So important to be fully aware, riding the shoulderless Highway 128 for nearly 70 miles.

I arrived in the camp after dark, but luckily a staff assistant was here to tell me how to find the Hiker/Biker site, high on the hill over the valley where Calistoga lies, and the famous Silverado Trail of Robert Louis Stevenson. Tomorrow I will climb over Mount Saint Helena, which I hitch-hiked the time I came through in 2010.  Not tomorrow!  Over 2000 feet ascent!  I must sleep now, to gather my strength for tomorrow morning.

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