A Circle around Healdsburg

We stayed  at the Belle de Jour Inn in Healdsburg. Run by the hospitable Tom and Brenda Hearn, it is located up a short hill a little way out of the center of Healdsburg. The grounds and the buildings are meticulously maintained, and the experience of eating breakfast in their lovely house is delightful. We would happily stay there again.

The morning after we arrived, we set off on our Healdsburg ride. Parking in a shopping center lot just off of Mill St., we turned right on Mill St. which becomes Westside Road. Shortly after we passed under the freeway we were surrounded by vineyards..

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We made a right turn on West Dry Creek Road, which we followed for about five miles. Freshly washed by heavy rain the previous night, the vineyards were gorgeous. The road does not have a bike lane, and although it is fairly wide, I was not altogether comfortable riding here. The landscape consists of rolling hills that are fun to ride, however. It was with some relief that we reached Lambert Bridge Road, where we turned right. From this point on the road was wider, and we both felt safer riding.

We stopped at the venerable Dry Creek Store for coffee, where we sat on the front porch to watch the people passing by. A huge tour bus drew up with all young people aboard, who went in to buy sandwiches for lunch. We surmised that it must have been a wine tasting excursion.

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After we left the store, we followed Dry Creek Road back into town, turning off of it to ride through some neighborhoods to get back to the central square in Healdsburg. After much debate, we chose to eat at The Charcuterie, nabbing the last table. This was a wise decision. It was a great day and a thrilling way to celebrate our 56th wedding anniversary.

 

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Exploring the Joe Rodota and West County Trails

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I had long heard about the Joe Rodota and West County Trails, so on our way to a getaway for our fifty-sixth wedding anniversary, we sought these out. The directions and parking instructions in the Rail Trails West were excellent. We parked at Wright and Sebastopol Rds. and set out toward Sebastopol under a sky threatening rain. However, we were lucky; it did not rain. This section of the path was pretty in some spots with friendly people who greeted us as we rode along. My favorite vistas were over the meadows.

Meadow along the Joe Rodota Trail

Meadow along the Joe Rodota Trail

A Friendly Woman with her Dog Hopper

A Friendly Woman with her Dog Hopper

Reaching Sebastopol, we again followed the  directions in the book Rail Trails West to reach the West County Trail. This was a convoluted route that took us through some rather scary noontime traffic in downtown Sebastopol. But the bucolic scenery on this path made our efforts worthwhile. We rode for a ways until we decided to head back to look for some lunch. The place we chose was a true disappointment, but we did fuel up enough to ride back the way that we had come.

Along the West County Trail

Along the West County Trail

* Note: Joe Rodota was the first mayor of Windsor and the driving force behind the development of the Sonoma County park system.