Day 3: Wherein Barn Owls Circle With Talons Out

October 12
Mileage 37
Guernville to Tomales

I know it’s a low mileage day so I sleep in. Lounging in my tent I finish my journal. Just before my pirate friend drives off I give her an organic lavender sachet from the farm. I stop at the coffee shop and soak in the local scene where pretty soon the line is out the door. Tourists approach, scoff at the line and turn on their heal for destinations unknown.

I roll out at 11am. The redwoods reach high and I can feel the dampness in the air from the Russian River. Kayakers paddle by. Children laugh. Not far down the road I stop at Duncan Mills where I find a bakery. I enjoy day old pizza and pastries out on the porch. A few people actually ask me about my bike and wish me well.

A few more miles and then I turn onto Hwy 1. I immediately climb. But a view of the ocean is waiting for me there. I stop often at ocean lookouts because the traffic is insane. Lots of cars all in a rush to crowd me and push by. It is incessant and gets me down. Man this really sucks, I think to myself. I’m suppose to be having fun.


I get to Bodega Dunes state park where I’d thought I might camp but it’s only 2pm. Even though I’m feeling lousy, it’s way too early to stop. If I keep going my day tomorrow will be easier. It will be easier. I must keep going because it will be easier. I tell myself this over and over. And over.

I try to lift my spirits with corn dog, fries and ipa at The Birds Cafe. Hitchcock theme throughout. I sit above the sparkling Bodega Bay and it is hot. Maybe I should have another round. No. No. I must keep going. So I push back out onto the road and fight my way South struggling to find my zone.

There’s nowhere to camp in Tomales so I stealth behind the Church of Assumptions. What do they assume I wonder. I’m getting all tucked into my cowboy camp and then there’s this loud screeching overhead. Barn owls! And they’re circling. I get a little scared that I sound like a vole and they’ll descend on me with talons out. All night they fly in and out of the old water tower, screeching and calling and searching for food.

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