Bear Valley Trail, Bodega Bay, California Bay Laurel, Fort Bragg, Hide and Seek, Inverness CA, Jenner CA, KLR650, Mendocino County, Michelin Anakee III, Mountain View Road, Navarro CA, Osteria Stellina, Point Reyes Lighthouse, Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes Station CA, Rock the Shack, Russian Gulch Creek, Shearwater migration, Tomales Bay
Canada 2015. Days 24 & 25 (Aug 22 & 23, 2015). On this trip we visited two friends, Craig in Calgary and Jane in Point Reyes Station. We were surprised to find coincidences between them that we did not expect. Jane is Australian and Craig is Canadian so they are both subjects of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. They both live in beautiful houses in the countryside away from the nearest big city. And more surprisingly, they both have a book about cabins (written by the same authors) on the living room table. I had taken a picture of the cover of Craig’s book because I wanted to buy it. I was so surprised when I picked up virtually the same book from Jane’s coffee table!
On day 24 we rode from Fort Bragg to Jane’s house near Point Reyes Station. For breakfast we went to a Starbucks so we could use the WIFI. We ordered two cappuccinos and sat there for more than one hour. Many people came and went while we were there but one person caught our attention. A guy who was riding a very good-looking KLR (the pre 2008 model) with a cool bright yellow paint job. He was coming from his hometown, Santa Cruz, and going to a friend’s wedding in Arcata. Unfortunately, we forgot his name so for now we are calling him Jeff. If you ever read this Jeff, please let us know your real name so we can change it here. We talked about the general awesomeness of the KLR and about how hard are the Michelin Anakee IIIs (the new tires he has on his KLR and I have on my F800GS). We left Fort Bragg at about 11 am following CA-1 south. It was cloudy and relatively cold. At the Navarro River estuary we missed the turn to stay on CA-1 and took CA-128 instead. I realized of the mistake when all of the sudden we were ridding in a redwood forest and the clouds were gone. We kept going to visit the vineyards around Navarro in Mendocino County. At Boonville, CA, we took Mountain View Road to go back to the coast. This is yet another rugged mountain road that goes up and down like a roller coaster in the forest. There are lots of beautiful Pacific madrone trees (Arbutus menziesii) along this road. The red exfoliating bark of the madrone reminded us of the “Arrayán” or Chilean myrtle (Luma apiculata) of the Valdivian temperate rain forest of Patagonia. By the time we reached the coast we were back under clouds and the temperature went down significantly. We followed CA-1 south crossing several little towns. A few miles before Jenner, CA-1 goes down into the Russian Gulch Creek in a series of long twists. We crossed the Russian River at Jenner, and then stop near Portuguese Beach close to Bodega Bay to photograph the numerous guano-covered stacks. From Bodega Bay, CA-1 goes inland and then comes back to the shore at the narrow Tomales Bay. Point Reyes Station sits at the southern end of the bay but not near the water. We arrived at Jane’s house at around 4 pm. That night we went out for oysters at a restaurant called Saltwater in Inverness. The oysters were good but we were overcharged.
The following morning we went for a hike with Jane and her Londoner friend Rowena. From the Bear Valley Visitor Center we took the Bear Valley Trail to a large meadow—a distance of 1.6 miles according to Google maps. It was a lovely walk through a Douglas Fir forest. Many large California Bay Laurel trees that grow along the trail give out a scent that can be smelled while hiking. In the way back to the visitor center we found a “Motos al Sinfin” card carefully placed on top of a flip-flop by the trail. One can only wonder who could have lost such a precious item (the card, not the flip-flop). We suspect yet another subject of Queen Elizabeth II. In the afternoon we drove to the Point Reyes Lighthouse. The road into the Point Reyes National Seashore is a bit bumpy but offers great vistas. We arrived to the lighthouse right before closing. As we were going down the 308 steps to reach the lighthouse, we briefly saw a whale spouting water into the air. There was a shearwater migration happening at the time. We saw thousands of birds flying south around the point. There was a never ending stream of birds that kept moving along the point for as long as we were there. I had never seen something like that; it was awesome! That night we went for dinner at Osteria Stellina in Point Reyes Station. We had a mussel appetizer and then Adrián had pasta with clams and Jane and I shared a white fish dish. We had a bottle of Prosecco two help digest the food.