Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Healdsburg and Dry Creek

For this week training dictates that we walk Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and Sunday. But as we all know Tuesday is a workday and I although it was a clear day for me to walk, I couldn't find anyone able to join me. I sat down at the computer and started looking for a place to walk where I hoped the sun would be out. (Another foggy day in Mill Valley). Sonoma has paid off in the past, but having walked there a couple of time, I looked farther North to one of my favorite wine areas, Dry Creek.
So I bundled up in 57 degree temperatures and packed my bag to head up north. I expected with every mile to see the skies clearing more and more. But instead I found my wipers going on in Petaluma. When I go to the Healdsburg square the skies were dreary and I couldn't see a sign of blue in any direction.
Its been awhile since I was in Healdsburg. The old quaint square which serves as the center of the town was still quaint, but there the entire town seemed to have taken a tick up in the luxury realm. Many more stores than Sonoma and the ones that I could see looked as those they were catering to a higher crust crowd. It was encouraging to see, despite the economic times, doors opened and business waiting to do some business.
It was still early though (10am) and there weren't too many people wandering around. I grabbed a cappuccino and stopped in one gift store to talk with a very nice lady about the weather. Actually I was gift shopping but didn't find the right (Back packed size) gift. She said the weather all summer had been cooler than normal.

I decided to get my lunch to go from Oakville Grocery.

Hoping to get a fresh mozzarella sandwich I was disappointed to hear they were out. The girl suggested I get a grilled cheese instead, so I did despite the fact it would be an hour or more before I was going to eat it.

Heading out of town I looked into a few more windows, winding my way toward Westside Road.

Part of what I love about this area versus some others is its variety. It has flat flat land, and then there's a river. Next to that find primeval forests of redwood. Hills climb from the valley floor then fall again making the scenery delightfully different.

While I walked I tried talking on my new I-Phone. Allison and I were in conversation about her new job, her upcoming move and then I couldn't hear her anymore, right about when I was making my turn onto West Dry Creek Road.

I discovered something as I walked along. There is an app that follows your walk versus GPS, but if you leave the screen where that app is, it doesnt continue to follow you on the road, it will only pick you up when you return. So along my route that twisted and turned, it appeared I cut through vineyards making new shortcuts for myself.

I have always liked this road. On one side the vineyards stand like rows of soldiers in the sun. On the other they climb up the hill disappearing into the forest. While there are modern and stately new estates along this road, there are older, more quaint homes and barns that I usually prefer.

Across the valley the hills that lie between the Alexander Valley and Dry Creek had popped out of the fog. Bu now (around 1pm) the skies were crystal clear and the temperatures were rising. I took off my fuscha fuzzy and noticed I still was hot and sweating in my long sleeved shirt.

The road doesn't have a proper place for a walker to walk (you have to walk on the road itself for the most part), but I never felt I was going to be run over by the trucks that were delivering things to the vineyards along the way. I did worry just a bit about drunk tourists (but it was early enough I felt like my odds were good they hadn't had too much YET.)

Along the road one of the vineyards had roses standing watch at the end of each row.

The way in which these vines roll up the hill reminded me a bit of when I was in Germany.

My goal was to stop at Lambert Bridge since they have such a nice picnic area to eat my cold grilled cheese sandwich. I had been worrying that the greasy sandwich would have been the wrong choice for walking. In my experience it is best to avoid greasy things when walking a lot of miles. I was surprised and I supposed a little relieve to see the sandwich was never grilled. The white bread was soft while somehow the cheese had been melted inside. Now though the cheese had reverted back to to its former cold state. A heck it tasted fine though.

I enjoyed the deserted picnic ground while I ate my sandwich.

Looks like the bees were having their lunch too.

Along the way I looked at one or two Realty fliers to see how much these places were selling for. One said $2.7 mil which meant, out of my reach anytime in this lifetime.

When I came to Lambert Bridge road I knew I wanted to take ti to go to Dry Creek Road where I would head back toward Healdsburg. I have always loved this one lane bridge on the road (From which the road got its name!)

Who was Lambert anyway?
Well on the Lambert Bridge website they explain, the Bridge was built in 1915 on land of the CL Lambert Ranch. It's the only single lane Trestle Bridge in the county.

I made a short stop at Dry Creek Winery to use their facilities.... then onward to Dry Creek Road and venerable old Dry Creek General Store.

Dry Creek Road is decidedly busier than West Dry Creek Road. But thankfully there is enough shoulder to walk without fear of being flattened into a pancake.

As I walked along a red pickup pulled ahead of me. When I reached it a smiling face popped out and a Hispanic fellow with a big grin asked if I wanted a ride.
"No," I said "I'm training. But thanks anyway" "Ok" he answered and off he went.
A couple of other trucks pulled aside and stopped, but I just walked by.

The when I reached the 101 a grey pickup pulled over and a middled aged fellow popped out and yelled "Are you exercising or do you want a ride?"
"I'm training" I yelled back "But thanks for asking."
Then off he went.

I was texting Glenn about this and he was asking for license plate #s and pictures.
I didn't feel at all uncomfortable until I was walking on Grove and a fellow with a pitbull and another dog was following me. I heard him struggle at one point with the dogs, so I pulled into the parking lot at Seghesio and waited for him and the dogs to disappear.
There were a few sculptures along a walking path as I came into town walking by the City Hall.

I took a peak at the farmer's market. There really wasn't all that much of interest except maybe these gourds.

Then I was finally back at the car. The phone said 13.5 miles for the in town exploration and the Dry Creek walk. I am guessing I would need to add a little back for the "shortcuts". I would estimate I walked just shy of 14 miles.
It was a beautiful way to spend the day.
I caught up on all the phone calls on the way home knowing tomorrow would be a work day.
We are 2 1/2 weeks until the three day. Despite a blister on my foot and a tight muscle or two or three, I am ready. I want to go tomorrow but I can't. More training walks coming up.
Let's go for a big close and DONATE
And make your calendar for Oct 2. At the end of Bridgeway between 9:30-12:30 Come and wear Pink, yell loud and enjoy the sight of 1300 people making a difference.