We parked in our usual spot at Vintage 1870 in Yountville and set off toward Oakville Grocery, intending to stop there for coffee. We turned right out of the parking lot on Washington St., then made a quick left turn on to Yount St.. leading to Yount Mill Road, which ends at Hwy. 29. We turned right on 29 and rode the ample shoulder until we stopped at Oakville Grocery for coffee.The ride there was uneventful except for seeing a long line of sporty looking cars driving on the shoulder of Hwy. 29 after having made a right turn from the Oakville Grade. We speculated on what they might be involved in.
Pulling up in front of Oakville Grocery, we were astounded to see a ramshackle shell of the formerly bustling store. The notice advised us that they are doing some much needed remodeling. Given the age of the structure we could understand the necessity for this. I checked on line when we got back home to find out that they expect to re-open in March. Because of the state of the building, I find it hard to believe that the store will re-open that soon. However, we can hope that it will not be too long.
After drinking from the bottles of iced tea that we always carry, we set off down Oakville Crossroad, a gorgeous country road, where the bike lane was adequate most of the way except for a narrow bridge crossing the Napa River. We passed a winery having some kind of large event with parking lot attendants and the California Highway Patrol offering guidance. The road is flat except for a steep hill at the end leading up to the Silverado Trail, where we turned right. The part of the trip on the Silverado Trail is on a wide shoulder and is mostly flat or downhill. After a right turn on to Yountville Crossroad, we cruised along on the flat shoulder with only a slight hill just before the return to the town of Yountville. This scenic ride is a little over 12 miles.
Remembering our good lunch in November, we again opted to eat at Bouchon Bistro. Here one would never know that there is a recession. The restaurant was packed, but we managed to get one of the last tables. I would recommend reserving ahead, but this is something we find hard to do when we are traveling by bike because the amount of time a ride will take is difficult to estimate unless one is traveling a very familiar route. After starters of a beet salad for my husband and pumpkin soup for me, we split a main course of Couquilles St. Jacques. We finished up by splitting a white chocolate pot de crème. This restaurant is pricey, but it gives one a chance to savor the food of Thomas Keller without the difficulty of getting reservations at his French Laundry or the challenge of the prices of meals there.
Surely a beautiful bicycle ride followed by a fabulous meal is one of life’s greatest joys. To watch a video of some of the scenes from this trip, please click here.