The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels

Water Wings and Rubber Duckies PART ONE…West Marin in the Rain…

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My friend Kurt, from home in CO,  made it to SAC Thur night.  After much head scratching we decided to go to the coast, not the East side of the Sierras like originally discussed. Looking at the weather, a big system was squatting over No. CA in a BIG way.  Would we like to camp in the rain/snow or sleep at hostels in the rain?  Went for dry sleeping.

I can’t get enough of West Marin County.  The green, the fields, the rocky coastline, the small towns all so appealing.

I’ve realized my posts are getting REALLY wordy so I’m going to challenge myself to try this post with captions only.  It’ll be tough. I’ll try.  Below, pics from Sacramento to Point Reyes Station and the hostel we stayed at for two nights.  Part two and three, forthcoming, will contain pics from Hwy one to San Francisco.

Hostels, by the way, are the bomb.  Often thought of as havens for rowdy, crazy youth, I’ve found the average age patron to be more around 40’ish.  Many are familys looking for an affordable travel option.  $20/night there equals a night of camping in a State Park these days.

The route:

Rainbow, pretty but a sign of things to come.  South of Sonoma, CA.  by the way, the yellow flowers I mentioned in the Calistoga post are mustard flowers.

IMG_5323 by you.

PETALUMA ADOBE- A fun stop for a history buff.

My exterior pics did not turn out.  Here, a pilfered pic and details from Wikipedia.  (Thank you, Wikipedia!)


Excerpt from Wikipedia:  The Petaluma Adobe ranch house was the largest privately owned adobe building ever built in California. It was two stories high, built in a quadrangle roughly 200 x 145 ft (61 x 44 m), two buildings surrounding an open courtyard patio. The eastern building no longer exists, so it is only half its former size. It took 10 years and thousands of local adobe bricks to make.[5] It was detailed with imported glass windows in the downstairs dining room, interior fireplaces, planked floors, a low sloped shingled roof, and a two story wooden veranda that encased and protected the adobe walls. The combination of wood and adobe is unique to Mexican-American architecture.[6]

In 1834, Governor José Figueroagranted General Vallejo the lands of Rancho Petaluma. In 1836, General Vallejo began construction of the ranch house in 1836, investing an estimated $80,000 in men, materials and years to complete. His younger brother Salvador Vallejo directed most of the construction. Between 1836 and 1839, at least 2,000 Native Americans were employed at the ranch construction to make bricks, haul lumber, construct, cook, farm, make tools, tan hides and tend a large herd of cattle.From the ranch, the General lodged soldiers who kept peace in the region, and conducted ranch business. His family often used the Petaluma Adobe as a summer home, while he resided in the neighboring town of Sonoma, California.

What struck me as odd was the choice for adobe construction. Winters are wet in No CA.  Adobe, without a coating, dissolves in water.  Noted, though, everything made of wood in these parts is covered in green, being eaten into the ground. 

Also noticed Vallejo did not live here much.  There was only one fireplace in the whole joint, the “fancy” dining hall, absent from the living or servants quarters. Surely he could’ve kicked down for heat sources.  Winters are COLD and WET!

This was different from the SW adobe I’m used to seeing. 

Burro, park resident, not interested in me without a visible treat in my hands.

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Really old, really wavy glass in the adobe:

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Green moss taking over everything. Another sign of things to come.  Did I mention it was raining?

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Adobe, painted over, some exposed and crumbling away.

IMG_5336 by you.

Onward over rolling, bucolic hills between Petaluma to Point Reyes Station, a quaint little fishing village on the mouth of Tomales Bay.  Of note, the San Andreas Fault lies under that bay, the great earthquake of 1906 actually split the point off the mainland 13-19 feet in places.  ( I love park info. buildings and all to learn amongst the sometimes dusty dioramas and posters.)

Headed down to Limantour beach below the hostel and puttered around the beach.  Given the size of the waves we laughed and battened down the hatches in rain coats/pants and hats. 

It was windy, waves bigger than I’ve yet seen.  Set off towards the large rain clouds to the south.  Not much flotsam and jetsom to see except some crustacean parts, kelp and a few bird carcasses (sad, but always a reminder to me of the fragility of being.) 

Warm and bundled up. Note the hat tassel dorkily hanging over my forehead.  (The stick was for poking at stuff, not Kurt.)

IMG_5347 by you.

  Looking south: It missed us, thankfully.

IMG_5349 by you.

Looking North:

IMG_5343 by you.

Realizing the darkening sky was not just from clouds of doom, we hoofed it back to the truck, checked into the hostel, and enjoyed dinner and 2-Buck Chuck. 

The wind rattled the windows.  The gal working that night pulled the curtains over the large, ocean-facing picture window “Just in case,” with many a raised eyebrow from those hostellers siting in its trajectory path. 

Despite earplugs that night, gusts of wind and flashes of light that night woke me a couple times.  No wonder there are 70+ known (how many unknown?) shipwrecks on that penninsula. 

Next:  “Car Hiking.”  Perusing Tomales Bay, a lucky break in the rain, the wonder of playing Ravens, a new love for oysters.

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