Car camping and day hiking in Napa Valley and around Calistoga
For Valentine’s day, Lindsey and I went to Napa. We left on Friday after work and stayed through Monday. It was a blissfully extended weekend.
I pulled a new-to-me camping stunt by leaving my sleeping bag at home. Two towels, a yoga mat and a down jacket were finicky but warm enough. A quick trip past fancy wineries on Saturday brought me to a department store for a new blanket.
Unsurprisingly, it was a hiking trip. Wine tasting? Sit inside?
We ended each hike at dusk. The perfect time.
Saturday: an afternoon/evening loop around Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
Sunday: the camp host (who saw stickers on my car, introduced himself as a PCT trail angel aspirant) shuttled us for a point to point hike. That coup saw us hike the ~11 miles from Highway 29 in Robert Louis Stevenson SP, out the Table Mountain Trail, across the Palisades Trail and then down the Oat Hill Mine trail. The Palisades portion is lightly traveled, narrow and really fantastic. Our time of year was just right. Green, wildflowers, and the Poison Oak was leafed out enough to see, but not huge enough to encroach.
Monday: hiked the summit of Mt. Saint Helena. Second to last party to summit. Shared it with a dust devil (how cool!). Drove home via Middletown and Butts Canyon Road (how neat!).
Beyond that, it was a great date weekend. Lots of good food, good times, time around the campfire and games.
My college year as a freshman was at Angwin, CA above Napa Valley to the east. Climbed Mt St Helena at night, with a flashlite, in 1962. Slept on the ground with a blanket. It was all that we had. Raisins for breakfast. Beautiful sunrise. Then went to Calistoga to learn to skydive. Nice memories of Napa Valley. Snowman.