California2012 travel blog

Duncans Mills

One-lane bridge across Russian River

Angler (steelhead), Russian River

Hop Kiln Winery, Westside River Road, near Healdsburg

We left Bodega Bay this morning with ill weather forecast and drove up the coast to Russian River. Once again, the drive up Hwy 1 was spectacular, with lots of places to pull off and gaze at the pounding surf or walk down to the beach and become one with the ocean. We turned off at Jenner, though, to follow Highway 116 along the Russian River. A beautiful drive on a two-lane highway, through some more sweet looking towns, obviously a very popular place. Lots of vacation homes, and B&Bs, and neat looking eateries. Apparently steelhead fishing is a major recreation opportunity here, and Ron is VERY excited about that.

We took the backroad east through Sonoma vineyard country. Even though the weather appears to be changing and the skies are overcast, it was still beautiful. Lots of small vineyards and wineries, some offering public tastings, some not. A few blooming fruit trees, some very old Victorian houses, well kept and important-looking, an old single-lane bridge crossing the river at one point while a lone angler tried his luck beneath. Very nice.

We stopped briefly in Healdsburhg, which is a slightly larger town than many we've seen in the last couple of days, with lots of chi-chi shops, B&Bs and restaurants. This area is popular with the wine crowd, rivaling Napa in its appeal. We'll meet up with friends Dei and Peter tomorrow for some wine-tasting, but for now we headed to our home for the next couple of days, Dutcher Creek RV Park, to catch up on laundry and housekeeping. It's a funny place, mostly catering to full-time residents, perched on the top of a small mountain, looking out over the valley. Yesterday at Doran Beach, the campsite had filled up for the weekend, with a boy scout troop and a man with a noisy, broken generator among the newcomers. The quiet here is lovely.

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