Sebastopol to Petaluma


Wow, what a gorgeous ride today! I don’t know that I’ve ever seen weather/scenery quite like this. It was both foggy and sunny (I think that’s pretty common here, but unfamiliar to me.) The fields, vineyards, cows, and trees looked amazing.

On my way out of Sebastopol this morning, I did stop on Florence Avenue, to see the sculptures. They were pretty cool!

I’m noticing how out of shape I’ve gotten in the past month and a half, not biking between cities much, just in town. That is changing now, as I’m able to turn to the bike as my primary mode of transport again. But… yeah. Feeling it on these hills! (And bigger hills tomorrow!)

When I arrived in Petaluma, I briefly said hello to my Warmshowers host, and stashed my trailer in an outbuilding at his and his wife’s house, then pedaled on in toward downtown to meet up for coffee with a Servas couple. They had been unable to offer me hosting at this time, but we all agreed we wanted to meet up to talk.

I’m so glad I did; they were delightful and interesting people, with an unbelievable story—filled to the brim with magic—about their wedding three weeks ago in Maine, after 25 years of being together! Hearing about how so many amazing things came together for them in unexpected ways renewed my excitement about the magic driving my own journey.

After we said goodbye, I had just a short while to bike around town, in beautiful warm and sunny weather; I wish I had a bit more time here. Petaluma seems pretty cool, and I wish I’d been able to take better photos of the downtown area, which seemed hip and bustling, despite the small-town feel.

Two of my favorite vegan companies are headquartered here in Petaluma: Miyoko’s Creamery and Sjaak’s chocolates. Sadly, neither one has a storefront. I did learn today that Miyoko Schinner herself has founded an animal sanctuary, Rancho Compasion, in Nicasio, between here and Point Reyes. I’m still hoping I can find a way to visit Point Reyes on my way through, since I associate it with John Francis and the beginning of his Planetwalker story. I have contacted a potential Servas host there, but have not heard back. If anyone reading this knows of someone in or near Point Reyes who might be able to host me for a night or (preferably) two, please feel free to put us in touch!

I returned to my hosts’ place, and joined them for a delicious meal of vegan quinoa tacos and fresh melon. (I hear tell of homemade muesli in the morning!) I’m staying in a guest room in the workshop of the husband, who is a local sign maker in high demand. (In fact, he had recently painted the sign of the coffee shop where I met the Servas folks yesterday!) He helped me to clean and lube my chain after dinner, which I greatly appreciated, since I knew that chore was overdue and I had been putting it off. He also showed me some of his cool bikes, and shared that he will be cycling across Canada for his next big trip.

This has been a full day. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s adventure: San Rafael!

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