Lakeport, Yountville, Napa Valley
Monday, April 24, 2006

Route Overview and Start:
Trip / Odometer / Time:

45.9 / 29,801 / 11:45

I was unsure about a ride today.  I wanted to go, but the weather seems unfriendly.  Overcast and cold.
But, tomorrow and the next day were forecast for rain so if not today then three days hence.

Well, vacillating led to hesitancy, hesitancy to lateness, lateness to a longer day than a relatively
short ride might otherwise have merited.

Golden Gate
Headed North on Hwy-280 headed for SF and Hwy-101

First stop the North Vista Point of the Golden Gate Bridge.
I make it a point (poor pun intended) to stop off here whenever
I'm going by.

There was a group of tourists who thought a CHP cop was
interesting enough to pose with for photographs.

Rohnert Park
There's a Harley Dealer here!  I pulled off and drove by.  It's closed
on Mondays.  Drat!

I stopped in Healdsburg to fuel both Lola and myself.

The past two years I have headed up to Jamestown near Yosemite
for my 'J' city.  Having become familiar, I thought maybe it would be
appropriate to use Jimtown this year.

That's a joke, James -- Jim, get it?

Jimtown, just off Healdsburg, is too small to have any city buildings
and the city limit sign lacks any personality whatsoever.
So, I opted to hold out for something more exciting.

Hwy-175 Hopland to Lakeport
This is just a little jaunt between Hwy-101 and Hwy-29, right?

Well, throw in a little mountains and it becomes more of an adventure.

Lake County

Most of the county buildings I found have no convenient parking with
an angle for a photo.  I spotted the district attorney's office in the back
of a parking lot.  This seemed appropriate since most of we Harley
owners are familiar with DA's on a professional basis...

The only good place to park was in the handicap spots.
While I was setting up and taking the photo, several sheriff
deputies came walking by.  None stopped to talk.  I guess they
didn't care too much about my parking in the handicap area.  Also,
since they evidently took no note of my milling around and taking
photos of government buildings, I guess they are not all that
worried about Lake County as a hot target for terrorism.

Lower Lake
This is a little town at the South end of Clear Lake.  I thought maybe
to trade it for my 'L' city, especially with the picture of the monkey.
But the Livermore PO is so quaint I just can't replace it.
So, Lower Lake is for archival purposes only.

I did notice, across from the Post Office, a funeral parlor next to
which, perhaps appropriately, is the "Last Chance" pawn shop.
If you can't take it with you, at least you can hock it before you go.

I was planning on going into Yountville and finding a post office or
city building, but by now I was pretty happy to be heading home and
realizing it would be far later than I had planned.

When I saw an opportunity for a big city limit sign, I took it.

Napa is a larger town than I had realized.  On Hwy-29, a freeway
at this point, I took the second off-ramp to take my bearings and
look for my photo ops.

I came across a little shopping center with a Trader Joe's.  A banana,
some masala tandoori naan, and a bag of fancy mixed nuts were dinner.
Not too bad.

Using my Magellan, I found that the off-ramp I want is still 2-3 exits
South.  In the right vicinity, I found a Napa County Building and
got my photo.

Contra Costa County
I wanted to stop in Martinez on the way by to get my usual photo of the Contra Costa County courthouse.
By the time I was going by, it was late, the light was poor, and I was very tired.

A 'C' county will have to wait.

I gassed up in Vallejo at a Safeway.  A Safeway?  Yeah, this is the second time in so many rides
that I've come across a Safeway with a gas station.  Also, they are giving a 3-cent discount if
you swipe your Safeway card.
8:15.  In spite of Daylight Savings Time, it was getting dark.  So I
turned off to replace my smoked face mask with the clear one.
I found a Shell station with a small mini-mart and a Jack-in-the-Box.
Perfect, a pee and a Hershey bar were just what I needed.
Down Hwy-680, over to Hwy-880 all the way to Hwy-280 (whew, a lot of 80's here) and...

Finally, home! 80.3 / 30,157 / 9:05

Lessons Learned:
Don't start a long ride late in the day.
If the weather is cold and overcast, going North will probably not improve it.
Going North, one does not encounter nearly so many bugs as going East.
If the road is jiggly on the map, it probably is jiggly in real life.
The Magellan GPS is great finding stuff in an unfamiliar town.

ABC Letters: Cities: Y, Counties: L, N

Total: 356 miles, 9 hours 20 minutes

Updated: Tuesday, April 25, 2006 10:58:40 AM