More Running Water Than I’ve Ever Seen in Northern California

I led two rides in late February, and I continue to be amazed at the amount of running water in places I’ve never seen running water before. Creeks are appearing and rivers that are nearly dried  up in summer are full. Last weekend, on another ride, I saw a waterfall on Petaluma-Point Reyes Road as we approached Nicasio Reservoir.

On Saturday, February 20, Will, Evan, Ben, the two Rogers and I rode up Mt. Veeder, which is the first part of the route of the Tour of Napa Valley. The ride was largely an excuse to go up to Yountville and pig out at Bouchon, the bakery owned by Thomas Keller, who also owns French Laundry. Since Bouchon was the start point and end point for the ride, we did just that. Mt. Veeder was its usual nasty self, and I heard Roger swearing at me on the way up for having the brilliant idea of climbing it. At about 1,200 feet elevation, I was swearing at myself, too. But the great thing about this route is that once you get to the top, it’s downhill or flat the rest of the way. Thanks to a good idea by Will, we changed the route to tour Bear Creek Rd. all the way back to Napa, where we had a nice lunch at a grocery on 29 and Redwood Road. Yes, I guess this one was all about the food.

The following Sunday, a nice group of us including co-leader Doug, Evan, Roger, and Mark (apologies – I think I’m leaving one or two out) did a club favorite, Morgan Territory Road. The climb was tougher than I remember, as the hill up to the Preserve seems to have gotten steeper over the winter than it was the last time I did it. Another great day.


The pretty gate to the property at the top of Mt. Veeder


Napa Valley in the winter


Roger conquers Mount Veeder


On the way to Morgan Territory


Into the park


Flowering trees in the East Bay hills