In the morning, we asked our host for a recommendation for a nice drive and place to eat. What we got was probably the best morning ride of our trip – in hindsight we wonder if it’s because of the lack of expectations. When we don’t have expectations we’ve discovered we experience true excitement and happiness.
Our host recommended that we head back south for a mile or two to Bodega Highway and turn left, head up the road for a few miles, turn on to the Bohemian Highway and have breakfast at the Howard Station Cafe in Occidental. Even though he described it well and said it didn’t look much like a highway (it wasn’t and neither was the Bohemian Highway), we still missed it. Once we found it, we turned up what looked like a busted up driveway and thought “this can’t be it”. But as we tooled along, we started to see some of the things he said we would see along the way, so we figured we were on the right path. We were, and it turned out to be a fun twisting, country road to drive on.
Arriving in Occidental, we noted the main road in the town could not have been more than a few blocks long. The town was nestled in a little valley with lots of shade trees and historical buildings. We found the restaurant he recommended and had a terrific breakfast. It didn’t seem like there was much to do in the town on the Bohemian Highway, but it was really worth the visit. We hopped back on the bike and headed toward the Russian River and Route 1.
The drive from Occidental along the Bohemian Highway to River Road (State Route 116) was a very scenic ride in the dappled sunlight of all of the trees; then, once we got to River Road, we were driving along the Russian River. The Russian River is a beautiful, wide, meandering river with nice beach bars that looked like they would be a lot of fun to hang out on. I could just imagine floating down the river on a warm summer day and landing on a beach bar to relax for the rest of the day. Next time!