Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010
Passed this restaurant in the town of Valley Ford:
Highway 1 passes through the wee town of Tomales. Here's the general store:
And a panorama of a couple local businesses:
I've been surprised at the number of little communities like this. Many of them have very nice little bakeries/delis/coffee shops that serve as the town gathering spot. Today being a Sunday with decent weather there were a whole lot of both bicyclists and motorcyclists out. This was Tomales' bakery/deli/coffee shop gathering spot across the street from the general store:
Down the street was the church (Catholic, naturally):
North of the town Point Reyes Station, Highway 1 runs alongside Tomales Bay which was formed by the infamous San Andreas fault. The S.A. fault runs underneath the water here (left to right):
The arrow on this Google Maps satellite view of the Bay Area points to the spot where the above photo was taken. The thin line is where the San Andreas fault lies:
Over the last one or two hundred miles the flora has really started to change. We're definitely not in the Pacific NW anymore:
Road signs entering the town of Marshall, population 50:
There are a lot of these "Share the Road" signs:
California is much more bike friendly and aware than I expected. (Maybe it's just Northern California?) Many more local cyclists than I'd've thought and car/truck drivers are much more courteous and accepting than I'd expected. Pleasantly surprised.
This is downtown Point Reyes Station:
Again, lots of bicyclists, congregating at the local bakery/coffee shop. If you find yourself in this area, don't miss Bovine Bakery (In the photo it's the place to the left of Viewpoints.) in Point Reyes Station. This is a very popular destination for cyclists from San Francisco as it's about 35-40 miles from the city and there aren't any brutal hills in between.
Yesterday I had connected with a warmshowers.org host in Point Reyes Station, but had said I'd thought I'd blow through Point Reyes and be quite a ways further south by Sunday evening. Alas, I ended up taking more time than I'd expected getting here and by 3:30PM was ready to call it a day. I called the warmshowers guy but couldn't reach him. So, not knowing where I'd stay, I pedaled toward Olema. The man at the front desk of a B&B which was way out of my price range was very friendly and offered to call the Two Birds Inn in San Geronimo to see what they could do. It was about an hour away but was much cheaper than the B&B and was the only option in the area. So off I went, figuring I could always camp somewhere if I found a suitable spot along the way.
Not having seen an adequate spot to pitch camp (The area was alternately hilly with thick vegetation, swampy/wet, or private, posted "No Trespassing" land.), I arrived at the Two Birds Inn and Cafe just after dark.
Chatting with a couple of the employees, I learned that the cafe has live music on the weekends and tonight a few musicians were coming in to play. They suggested I come back to the cafe in about an hour.
The room was bare-bones with no television or internet access, so I had no excuse for not checking out the evening's live entertainment. I found the cafe more crowded than I'd expected and the caliber of the music quite a bit better than I'd expected. It was a jazz ensemble with a few locals taking turns sitting in on piano and/or microphone. I recorded the hodge-podge group doing an 8-minute version of "Moondance," cut down here to about 30 seconds:
While still passive, it was much better entertainment than turning on the TV and channel surfing through a bunch of crap.
Of course, I suppose I also could've been working on getting caught up on this dagnabbed blog!