Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Rural Travelogue (Part XV): Western Sonoma County

My family travels to Bodega Bay every other spring or so for a biennial meeting my husband has there, and this year we were there over St. Patrick's Day week-end, during a particularly wet spell here in Northern California.  Driving between Petaluma and Bodega Bay on the Friday afternoon, we discovered that a stretch of Highway 1 was flooded, and so we looked for a detour with the help of our GPS.  That segment of Highway 1 is quite scenic in a farming sorta way, heavy on pasture and lambs and barns and such.  But once we headed slightly east toward Sebastapol, we found even more pasture, more lambs, more flooded roads, and signs protesting a quarry.  The next day, I continued to explore the area, including roads leading to Sebastapol, which takes you through Bodega and past some famous buildings where Hitchcock filmed "The Birds."  Our last day in the area, I drove the Bohemian Highway, past Occidental and up to the Russian River, over to the coast at Jenner and back down to Bodega Bay.  This part of the county has a strong identity as "west county" or "West Sonoma County," presumably to distinguish it from the more commercial wine country slightly farther inland.  Here are some photos.  From top to bottom, advertising a fundraiser for the Bodega Volunteer Fire Department; one of several signs opposing a quarry on Robler Road (read more here and here); a mural in Occidental, California; the Catholic Church in Bodega, California, which appeared in "The Birds"; the U.S. Post Office in Camp Meeker, California (is this one on the chopping block?); another anti-quarry sign; farm along Highway 1.

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