Saturday, February 11, 2012
On Saturday I decided I wanted to go on a short hike to somewhere new, so I consulted my Guide to Sonoma County Hikes and Walks, a book that thus far has been a bit of a disappointment. Considering how many fantastic places there are to hike in Sonoma County, the guide offers very few suggestions and most of the ones included are not really hikes per se. One of the suggested places was to a lighthouse. I had assumed it was a lighthouse in the area I had gone to a few times with my dad years ago. The one I was thinking of was actually a pretty rigorous walk, straight down and back up a very long flight of stairs to the lighthouse, and then an optional flight of stairs once inside the lighthouse. I miraculously got everyone in the home dressed and out of the house early and we were on our way.
I quickly realized we were headed to a completely different lighthouse than I had been imagining, as this one was actually in the opposite direction. I was up for the adventure however so we ended up taking a surprise trip up Highway 1, further than I had been since childhood when my dad and I used to take similarly spontaneous trips up the coast in his old red van. In the spirit of adventure I decided to take a few detours. One was marked with a small sign that just read, "Two Fish Bakery." We were seemingly in the middle of nowhere so I didn't expect much, usually such detours just turn up an old abandoned building that used to be something. This detour, however, turned up a small hidden town (though I'm not sure it's fair to even use that word) with one of the most amazing bakeries/coffee houses ever.
My day of detours of ending up wherever we may find ourselves was met with fantastic results. Over and over I turned down roads that were marked with small aging signs to find things that just should not have existed there. In the middle of nowhere I found a nice seafood restaurant and working pier. It was tucked into a very small cove and felt surreal to drive up to.
We did eventually find ourselves at the lighthouse. Migs and Az were exhausted by then so they opted to nap while Z and I ran around the grounds. It wasn't until later that I realized that the little running around we did was actually what the guidebook had considered to be the hike. Fortunately at one point, while Z used the bathroom and Migs and Az rested, I had gone for a spontaneous run down to a beach that was much further off the beaten path than I had expected. It was called Pebble Beach, and I was determined to see if it actually was a pebble beach. It wasn't. So I still got in the exercise I had wanted, just not where I had expected.
Eventually Z and I woke Migs and Az up to go explore the actual lighthouse. I've been in a number of lighthouses but I don't remember ever being in one like this. We were allowed to climb to the very top, and the 360 degree view was amazing and beautiful and absolutely worth the drive. I wanted to just continue going north up 1 to see what other surprises it held, perhaps not even returning until Monday since it was a school holiday. Unfortunately Migs had work so we had to cut our adventures short, but continuing further one day soon is definitely on my to-do list.
And at least that darn guide book was finally good for something.