Mid-Week Rides: Lunch in Howards Cafe
Bill Grass, Dieder Werkoff and Chris Weld met at the Golden Gate Bridge and departed for Novato’s Golden Egg restaurant. They arrived to find Don Theil’s sparkling Gold Wing and Brent Hansen’s (Sue’s actually), R69/2 US, the latter with a tire leaning thereto. The tire was for Bill. Let’s see, that made five riders. Coffee was ordered-up, Don had already had breakfast and Chris ordered oatmeal. Fifteen minutes or so has passed when behold, our favorite grandpa Bob Burns arrived. We were now six strong. We were sitting on edge to learn of Brent’s ‘ranch purchase problems’; he hasn’t closed escrow due a tax lien on the property ($25K), and a contaminated well. Let it not be said Brent can’t land on his feet. Okay, the price gets reduced by $10K and they throw-in the three adjoining acres? Done! Brent says the cost of a new well, $6-8K.
After breakfast Brent Hansen, the only native resident of the county (Sonoma), led us out through a residential area and eventually to Novato Blvd and around Stafford Lake. We rode Hicks Valley for the Marshall-Petaluma Road and CA Hwy #1. No traffic! At Tomales we turned west for Dillon Beach and a break. Given that the Mugwump Photographer was not in attendance, Chris set his tripod for the requisite group picture. We returned toward Tomales but turned north on Middle Road and later, a turn west to pick-up the Dillon Beach-Valley Ford Road which we rode to Valley Ford and Hwy #1.
We’ve always stopped at the Tides in Bodega Bay in the past but Chris continued north and turned for Bodega Head, that spit of land that forms the harbor’s western boundary where we again stretched and watched a slew of generally small boats coming and going. We’d passed hundreds of crab pots poised for the opening this next week of the commercial crab season on the road out - there’s a State Park at the tip. Grandpa Burns left-us to explore further up the road. He returned to report that there was a ‘big ocean’ just over the hill. (Duh!) A large boat, decked high with poised crab pots entered the harbor and was photographed.
We did the ‘wendy’ (we were on a spit of land mind you..) and returned to CA #1 in route to the intersection with CA #116 for Duncan Mills and Moscow Road. We paused on the bridge over the Russian River for the group photo here- that’d be Moscow Road. It was also where grandpa Burns took-off on his own due child management issues at home. The water was clear to the bottom but no salmon or steelhead could be seen. The remaining five of us motored to Monte Rio and the Bohemian Highway into Occidental and Howards Cafe. (Howard was the original name of Occidental.)
Much talk of ‘aircraft’ and incidents took place over lunch but we worked in a little ‘motorcycling’. It was agreed we’d ride back to CA #1 on Coleman Valley and south on CA #1 to Point Reyes Station cutting over and around Nacasio Reservoir for Nicasio and a break. We split-up here, Don and Brent heading over to St. Francis Blvd, with Brent headed home for San Anselmo, Don for Pleasanton. Dieder, Bill and Chris rode out Lucas Valley Road for US #101, the Golden Gate Bridge and their respective abodes. Chris knocked down 221 miles on the day. Great ride, great weather and great company - food wasn’t bad either!