Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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To Petaluma and Beyond Olema, California, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 9:30pm

What's the difference between east and west? No, I'm not talking about Biggie v 2Pac. It's the ocean. Since the ocean is to the west, that is where the wind comes from. It is wise to keep this in mind.

We locked up the place in Cloverdale and set out reasonably close to our planned departure time of 8 am. Our first leg was down to Healdsburg, for second breakfast. We stopped at a french bakery that had a special of french toast with peaches and berries. How could I resist?

We decided to head south to Sebastopol, rather than southeast to Windsor and Santa Rosa. Our route along Eastside Road took us past the driveway for last year's Biketoberfest house, through Graton, and along a bike path to Sebastopol.

It was noon as we arrived, so I had a light lunch of a nicoise salad with salmon instead of tuna. Normally, I don't like string beans, but they did something to the ones in this salas to make them delicious.

We took a back route over Pleasant Hill southeast towards Petaluma. I think "Pleasant" is a euphemism for "Cemetery", rather than a description. It was a nice enough route, though a bit heavier on the rolling hills than I would have liked. The uphills were long enough that I couldn't hold the momentum from the downhills through them. Even so, we made good time, thanks to a handy tailwind.

We hit Stony Point Road just before 2 pm. The Petaluma KOA was just 5 mi away, and it was horribly early. We talked it over and decided that we could handle the extra 28 or so miles to Samuel P. Taylor State Park, the other useful camping site in the area. We stopped in Petaluma just long enough to buy a towel for the showers at the park and to have a quick snack (horchata and protein for me).

We headed up into the hills southeast of Petaluma, and discovered the flaw in our planning. That handy tailwind? Since we were now heading towards the ocean, it was a headwind. We were a lot slower in the next leg, reaching the Cheese Factory (60 mi from our starting point) at around 4 pm.

After a stop for some salami and Brie sandwiches, we set off for Point Reyes Station. There were some big hills along the way, and even when we were heading downhill, the headwind was fighting us. I found a point where it was strong enough to cancel out a 4% downgrade!

After a quick meal of potato leek soup at a cafe in Point Reyes Station, we raced the sunset to Samuel P. Taylor State Park. By the time we arrived, all of the hike and bike campsites were taken, so we had to settle for a standard site. It seems wrong to camp without a fire or s'mores.

82.24 mi 6:27 rolling Map