It’s a new year, but last year’s travel.
Last week I wrote a bit about driving up to Petaluma and some of the driving/scheduling disasters that happened (and what could be and what really couldn’t be avoided). Now we’re moving onto a few of the things we got to see running around with my family and, as always, my camera.
We didn’t get out as early as I would have like nor as early as I would have had I been on my own, however, we were still able to spend a lot of time exploring the coast and bay not far from my cousins’ house. Because we ended up with quite a crowd, we ended up caravanning it (the rules of which I will cover in the next few weeks) which meant following my aunt through the twists and turns of coastal highways and side-streets. Still, so much fun.
The first area we passed through was Bodega Bay. We didn’t end up stopping – it was crowded and, again, we started late – but my family had spent the morning before fishing and crabbing which (while cold) they loved despite coming back empty handed. I can definitely see why people would want to hangout in this area for a day – there’s a lot to do and all of it is relatively close together. There are also plenty of popular yet delicious food shacks if you are stopping for long enough – the lines are long but everyone assured me that it’s for good reasons.
We drove up to an area my cousins called The Point, but as far as I can tell is the coastal beaches around Jenner. I loved looking at the water and waves from the cliff edge and there was so much of it to see. The area is full of hikes and beautiful shots for photographers of all skill sets. Where we stopped, there were hikes that branched off in both directions and promised hours of fun. These hikes include a few paths down to small beaches though make sure you have the right shoes – some of these are definitely crawl worthy.
We didn’t go far (for reasons I’ll discuss in a future post) on this spot and next time I visit going back with an early start is an absolute necessity. Just like all the beach areas we past, even in the chill of December, these areas can get crowded so be ready to search out parking.
Which brings up to Goat Rock. Why is Goat Rock named Goat rock? Well, we couldn’t figure that out, but running around in it’s shadow was so much fun. In terms of getting here, you’ll need to pay close attention – it’s hard to find or, at least, the turn in is easily missed. Then you have to pay attention to signage – some of the roads are one direction at a time based on who gets to the stop sign while others are small, passing roads on curves which mean you have o slow down and drive carefully.
The view is worth it. When you get down to the parking lot at the base of the rock you will have beaches on either side of you: check out both sides. First, we did not climb the rock and I’m not sure you are supposed to – but something to check out. It might be a hefty climb so really research and prepare for this.
Facing the rock, to your left there will be great views of fun rocks with a lot of beach spray – great for pictures but we were there during winter so fog was kind of heavy which made it both interesting and difficult to photograph. The rocks closest to you has mussels all over which make the stones really interesting when you play with water and light shots. Just watch your step as you will be climbing around rocks which can get loose and cause accidents.
On the right side, there’s a whole different view. The rocks along the beach were interesting but my favorite part was a rusted out old tank. It looks like it was flipped forever ago and has a lot ware. It’s completely brown and orange with so many exposed gears and is so rusted out it looks more like wood than metal – go ahead and walk through it though because it’s definitely solid.
There are tons of small towns and wineries up and down this region so you can pretty much pull in anywhere and find something to do or see. Just check on days for wineries; we pulled into Korbel only for it to be innovatory day so there were no tours or tastings!
Still an amazing day. Next time, I will be taking earlier days so I can do more – all the hikes! – and maybe sticking to summer (less rain and chill!).
This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.