It had rained the night before. As the road trip started, there were still raindrops falling, but the air was soon clear and clean and full of light. Taking the backroads to the coast through the redwood forests was aromatic to say the least. The first night rain of the season had released all the smells – trees, earth, clean air, the forest floor …
Goat Rock Beach sits to the south of where the mouth of the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean, between Jenner to the north and Bodega Bay to the south. After wandering around the little towns along the way – Occidental, Guerneville (with a stop of the Taco Truck in the Safeway parking lot), Monte Rio, Rio Nido, Cazadero, Duncans Mills, and Jenner – we finally made it to the coast.
I took off my shoes and socks and ran off down the beach by myself, putting my bare feet in and out of the surf and enjoying the cool water temperature. The beach was full of driftwood, and a few little huts that people had built. The sun shone strong and the wind was pleasant. Every now and then a big wave would come in and soak me to my knees.
While September is the best month for visiting the coast in California, there weren’t many people there. It was a Monday, so that may have made a difference.
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To get to Goat Rock Beach:
There are many roundabout ways to get to the Bodega Bay from the North, South, or East. But the direct ways are to take Highway 1 north or south, depending where your starting point is, or from the east, take Highway 116 West from Highway 101 – through Sebastapol. Any other roads are an adventure!