The Arroyo Mocho Trail in Livermore

The Arroyo Mocho Trail

Yesterday we braved the arctic cold to make this ride which we do a couple of times a year. We put on several layers of clothing and started out. The sky was beautiful with threatening clouds gliding by interrupted by bursts of sunshine; believe me every burst was welcome. Considering our recent heavy rain, we felt the trail was relatively free of debris. And although spring seems far away, there were trees in bloom. Please see my post of March 22, 2010 to see where to park and to learn more about this trail.

Vineyards with Clouds

Blooming Trees

After our ride, as always , we went in search of lunch. Arriving at our favorite Livermore eatery, Garré Winery, we discovered that the place was packed with some kind of a wine tasting event. Disappointed, we returned to downtown Livermore where we found a hearty welcome and good, warm  food at Strizzi’s on First Street.

After lunch we wandered into Cal Bicycles, where a genial young man showed us a Giant brand folding bike   that he said was actually made by Dahon. It looks like all that we are looking for in a new bike, but the ones that we now own have been so good that we are leery about replacing them. Does anyone out there know anything about the Expressway folding bike by Giant?

Livermore is an interesting town. When I was growing up in Danville, it was an outpost of civilization. But with the founding of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1952, the town began to grow. Now since the wine industry has burgeoned in the area, there are beautiful homes as well as fine restaurants and arts venues. The old town has been restored,  and the town is definitely worth a visit.


Exploring Sonoma along the Short Bike Path

Yesterday we set out for Sonoma with our son and grandchildren. It was a cold, cloudy winter day, but it was not raining. Sonoma has a generous parking policy; behind the plaza on the north side, there is free all-day parking. And the bike path is right there.

Unloading our Dahon Bikes

While our son and the kids went shopping, we pulled our wonderful Dahon bikes out of the back of our car and set off westward along the path to Maxwell Farms Regional Park, where we circled the park and then headed for a nearby Starbucks for coffee. We turned around after the coffee to ride eastward on the trail through a lush meadow, past an old railroad station that is now a museum, by cute restored cottages, and finally coming out by a Sebastiani Winery.

A Restored Cottage

We took Lovall Valley road past Sebastiani to East 7th St., where we turned right until we came to MacArthur St., where we turned right.  We followed MacArthur for a ways until it became too dangerous because of the vehicles parked along the narrow street. We then wove our way back to the path and hence to the car.

We lunched at The Girl and The Fig, a fantastic restaurant on the plaza. The service was outstanding, and the food was innovative and superb. Even my fussy granddaughter ate all of her potato and spring onion soup. As a light dessert, the chocolate covered figs are great. However, they were busy turning away people without reservations, so I would say that booking ahead is an absolute necessity; I had made a reservation on Open Table.

After lunch we took to the trail again along with the rest of our family to visit the Mariano Vallejo House which is a short stroll off of the trail. The children enjoyed the historical house, but I think that they liked the pond cut into a hillside the best.

Pond behind the Vallejo Home

Pond behind the Vallejo Home

As we walked back along the path, we all agreed it had been a delightful day.

A Glorious Day to Be Out on the Trail

Today we headed north out of Walnut Creek on the Iron Horse Trail. Turning right onto the Canal Trail, we made the Diablo Valley Farmers’ Market at Shadelands our first stop. This market is only a short ride off of the trail by means of a wooden bridge across the canal. A lot of fine looking products were on offer, with most of the produce certified as organic.  The vendors were helpful, and the light crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves on this first really warm day of 2011.

Diablo Valley Farmers' Market

After filling my panniers with fresh fruit and vegetables, we proceeded along the Canal Trail to the turning at the end, following the path that leads under Ygnacio Valley Road via the tunnel. There is a glorious view from the highest point of the trail. Coasting down from the hill, we followed the twisting, turning path along the Ygnacio Canal until we circled back to the Canal Trail by Heather Farms. Along the way, we enjoyed the intense greenery of very early spring and admired the ducks floating in the canal. This ride was a round trip of about 14 miles.

Ducks in Ygnacio Canal