Richard is a really, really, really good husband. I don’t think I mention this enough, though it is probably implied. I was a lot to handle this weekend, by any standards, and he did a masterful job. From just being patient and letting me rail against the world, to going on night hikes where mostly I was cry walking, to getting me out of my funk by bringing me mint truffle gelato, that guy is definitely a catch. I’ll just say, it was a rough week and it wasn’t until Saturday night that the tension finally broke for me.
The turning point came after a delicious dinner, that I was too grumpy to fully enjoy, at Sherpa Kitchen in St. Helena. Richard has learned by now that when I reach a certain level of turmoil, there’s really nothing left to do short of throw me in a river with my kayak. As it was winter, he deftly chose an alternative plan of taking me out to a wine bar that was open late on a Saturday in Napa. See? Smart.
Oddly, we have never really walked around downtown Napa. This turns out to be tons of fun. Who knew? It was hopping with dozens of restaurants, sweet shops, wine bars, jazz clubs… the whole scene. We walked up and down the main drag, taking in some of the River Walk along the Napa River. Twinkly lights reflected off the water and sounds of people chattering and laughing carried along the paved riverfront walkway.
We ended up at John Anthony Vineyards Tasting Lounge. I’ll admit I got the expensive tasting flight and had samples from bottles that go for up to $750. That’s close to a hundred times what I tend to spend on my evening staple wine. I felt quite out of place, wearing my camping clothes in a swanky wine bar, but after glass #2, I really couldn’t have cared less. I’m not much of a wine connoisseur, despite my steady relationship with the stuff. Hints of cherries? Blackberries? Sure. I just know the reserve 2006 Cabernet was a whole lot better than what I normally drink. We learned some interesting grape facts, like how more and more vineyards are moving to “dry farming” especially after the drought. It makes for smaller fruit, but a taste that packs a more earthy punch, since roots have to go deeper to get water. Also new information for me was that argon gas is commonly used on open bottles to keep the remaining wine stable inside. Now we’ll need to mount an argon tank on Dory, next to the propane. Just kidding, I’m still a cheapo and will continue to drink wine that probably doesn’t need its delicate flavors preserved.
Richard got to enjoy a good bike ride, so his weekend was a win. This time he explored a loop around Old Mount Howell. He said there was a section that was “hellish” because it was narrow, steep downhill, and lots of traffic, but it only lasted 1.6 miles. The rest was beautiful.
Even angry/upset/sad, it’s better to be out in Dory. I think at home I would have just kept it all in, where it would fester and eventually kill me. In some ways, detaching from home allows me the space to purge all of the emotions. I’m just glad Richard is able to roll with it. He’s maybe a keeper.
Total miles: 64.8, 16.6 mpg, 2 hours 4 min. Site 7 no hookups, no solar, no dump. Pay $15 to dump at the fairgrounds; good dump there. In and out cell service, enough for most things, but it can drop out. TWAW