The Capay Valley Almond Festival is celebrated in the Capay Valley towns of Madison, Esparto, Capay,
Brooks, Guinda and Rumsey along state Highway 16 (from Vacaville, ride north on I-505 for about 25 miles, go west on CA-16).
The Capay Valley Almond Festival has been a Northern California tradition ever since it began in 1915, and,
it is the only six town event in Northern California.
Sunday morning in West Sacramento was only just light jacket temperature; Flame "on" at 8:30am and we rode out,
the river road into Woodland and continuing west on Highway 16, over I-505 and through Madison ("Was that
Madison we just went through?" "What... did you blink?")... to Esparto
for the annual Madison Fire Department's "Ultimate Car Show," which features both modern and classic cars.
Jacket off for the rest of the day, I began checking out the cars. [SIGH] Partied late Saturday night and
didn't make it this year, but, there is a FFA pancake breakfast in Esparto at 7am... maybe next year.
Continuing west on CA-16 we rode through Capay where the streets were already lined with bikes,
and, through Brooks, barely a wide spot in the road where Capay Valley Vineyards was open for wine tasting,
and, past the Cache Creek Casino for a photograph among the blossoming almond trees in an
orchard I have been visiting for years.
Further west on CA-16 is Guinda where the fire department sells BBQ'd oysters and shrimp.
Now, throughout the ride in Capay Valley there are Burma Shave style red signs with white lettering
calling attention to the vendor and farmers market booths, the Equipment Show, BBQ and baked goods,
and music and dancing at... Rumsey Hall in Rumsey, the most westerly town of the five.
OK, east back to Paula and Jerry Tackett's Road Trip Bar & Grill in Capay where we had lunch - I had
the a burger with fries and onion rings, and, a fine burger if I do say so.
Good music again this year at the Road Trip Bar & Grill by the Terry Sheets Band playing country rock.
You don't have to wait until next year to have a great time at the Road Trip Bar & Grill,
there have a country store, a full bar and they are well known for their BBQ smoked ribs, and,
there are regular live music events with the Terry Sheets Band, the Fryed Brothers, and many more bands
playing country rock, blues, just good music - check out the Road Trip's calendar at www.roadtripbg.com.
Article and Photographs by Russell "Raz" Holder
Would you like to see more?... go to www.russellRAZholder.com and
click on the photos link and look for a link to "The Almond Festival"...
(click here to view ALLLLL the pictures)