Mid-Week Rides: December Ride
Thursday, Dec 28 2018
On Thursday Dec. 28, five hearty souls (Mike, Russ, Bill, Simon and Chris) gathered on the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge for another day of excellent riding. With the sun making a spectacular appearance highlighting the ruby red cumulus over the San Francisco skyline we aimed our BMW’s in a northern direction and set off. The short trip up the 101 reminded us it was still actually winter as we wove our way through bone chilling low lying fog en route to the Henny Penny restaurant in Petaluma. At the restaurant Brent Hansen joined us on a newly acquired Suzuki 650 dual sport. Appears the new bike was a last minute Christmas acquisition having been purchased from a previous owner in Modesto last week and this was for all intents and purposes Brent’s maiden voyage with the new machine.
Good food, catching up on stories of broken bones, harrowing wildfires and warm coffee were all consumed. Jokes were made as to the planned route (would it include a long windy road ending in a dead end?) After breakfast we headed off to the Sonoma watershed by way of Healdsburg. Thanks to road construction and a strategically placed round a bout we achieve our goal of a dead end road and turn around right away, much to the amusement of Simon and Brent. A block of backtracks and we were quickly on our way down dry creek road to our next destination, the Warm Springs Fish Hatchery.
Much credit and admiration rightfully goes to Chris for the planning of these rides. Our purpose is to enjoy the ride, but there is always a much-appreciated educational component to the rest stops. At the hatchery, Coho, Steelhead, and Chinook were all spawning. The Steelhead spawn was awaiting rain to be released. The patterns created by so many juvenile fish swarming around the spawning pools were visually intoxicating, like viewing living smoke in the water. A short walk to the fish ladder revealed a few adult steelheads resting in the creek. It is amazing to see trout that that were larger than most adult salmon in their natural environs.
From the hatchery and a brief visit to the Sonoma reservoir overlook we set off over Skaggs Spring Road to the coast. Great roads and fine weather and good company, what more could we wish for. With mandatory stops along bridges and some motorcycle swapping, just for fun, lead us over the roads to Jenner (via Hauser Creek and a eventually to Occidential, just in time to grab a hamburger at the Howard’s Station Cafe before it closed for the afternoon. From there it was routes home and residual smiles….
For the author 2017 was not the easiest year, but it ended on a high note thanks to rides as enjoyable as this one was, thanks to Chris for organizing it. I wish you all a Happy New Year filled with many such rides as enjoyable as this one was.