Calistoga Inn Road Trip

Lunch in Calistoga, November 10th, 2020

Today was my wife’s birthday, so we drove over to Calistoga in Napa county for lunch at the Calistoga Inn. It’s a beautiful 45 minute drive and today the weather was perfect.

We left our house in Healdsburg at noon. It was sunny, unlimited visibility, and 60F

If you look at the google map you can see our winding route to Calistoga on Hwy 128. In the middle of the map is the beautiful Knights Valley. I’ll include an image or two of that paradise.

The mountain clad in snow is Mt. St. Helena. (Pronounced “Hell-eee-nah”.) And it is as ritzy as its special pronunciation. Ex-CIA head George “slam dunk” Tenet has a home in Knights Valley. So does the ex-head of the Federal Reserve who started all the money printing madness; Alan Greenspan. Joe Montana the famous San Francisco QB also had an estate in Knights Valley when he was younger and raising his kids there.

Very little traffic on Highway 128 as we drove the narrow and falling apart two lane asphalt road. Last time we drove it was in January and we took my Jeep. The road shook my Jeep so hard the heater motor fell apart. I replaced it and the fan last spring.

We’d hoped the road had been repaved this past summer. No luck here in bankrupt California. The pavement was rougher than ever.

But the views were great and we drove Debra’s 1990 VW Jetta on the winding road. It has a five speed manual transmission so I could pretend to be a Grand Prix driver as I navigated the turns shifting up and down and spinning the wheel.

Calistoga was very nice. Everyone was friendly. The staff at the Calistoga Inn was great. Of course mask protocols were observed, but Napa County (the Napa/Sonoma county line is that blue line on the map, is in orange tier). The “pass” through the Mayacama Mountains is where the “128” marker is on the rh side of the map. It’s about 1,000’ elevation maybe.

In Napa you can eat indoors and even drink indoors. Amazing! We didn’t notice anyone putting on their masks between bites as our Governor Newsom has recommended.

We sat outside at a table on the edge of the Napa River. A propane heater kept us warm. On the other side of the river we observed two city workers in orange and yellow vests measuring the steep river bank and pounding in stakes. No idea what they were up to, but it took them an hour to travel 40 yards upstream in their work.

The meal was delicious and we ordered a prosciutto pizza “to go” along with a slice of peanut butter pie.

The drive home was excellent as well. The adventure was three hours long. We had the prosciutto pizza for dinner while watching “Casablanca”. It was a great day!


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