Saturday, October 18: Spring Lake Regional Park, Santa Rosa, CA
On Saturday, I headed off on my longest Coffeeneuring ride to-date! Spring Lake Regional Park is a gorgeous open space in Santa Rosa, CA that is sandwiched between two other parks, Howarth Park and Annadel State Park. This area is one of my favorite places to run, walk the dog, and just generally visit to enjoy the scenery. Knowing how popular this park is, I knew that I wanted to arrive early enough to beat the crowds. I set off from my home at around 7am.
I headed south on my usual bike-to-work commute route, and then pedaled east out of the downtown area. I had a long day ahead of me as I had plans with a friend later in the day, so I made a pit stop at the Whole Foods nearest to the park to purchase some breakfast provisions (oatmeal and scrambled eggs). From there, I headed a few short blocks to the entrance of Howarth Park. Since Spring Lake Park is sandwiched between two other parks, there are several ways to reach Spring Lake itself. My favorite route is through Howarth Park. There is a paved path that runs through Howarth Park and winds around Spring Lake.
As I made my way through the park and around the lake, I was dodging people left and right. Although it wasn’t as busy as I’d seen the park before, there were already a lot of people out and about. I had to weave around people, dogs, and strollers, pretty frequently, and slowed to a crawl on several occasions in order to let people pass. Though the path itself is bike friendly, the amount of people on the path makes it difficult to ride un-interrupted. Early, would definitely be better for folks on bikes at this park.
Rounding the South-east side of Spring Lake, I spied a lovely spot to stop for breakfast. I parked my bike against some trees on the shore of the lake.
Using my trusty MSR Pocket Rocket backpacking stove and GSI Dualist Pot, I made a lovely cup of pour-over coffee with almond milk. I used a nice big rock on the edge of the lake as both my table and a place to sit.
I enjoyed my steaming cup of coffee, oatmeal, and scrambled eggs while looking out onto the lake, watching the sun play off the trees and water, and the birds chase one another overhead. It was a gorgeous morning and a really awesome way to start the day!
Later that morning, I had plans with a friend to go on a cheese and wine tasting outing, so I reluctantly packed up my coffee-making equipment and hopped back on the bike. I had to meet my friend at her home so I left the park and pedaled west.
As I approached downtown Santa Rosa, I took the opportunity to stop at my local Fleet Feet store to pick-up my registration packet for a 5k run I was going to be doing on Sunday. After a quick 5-minutes at the store, I hopped back on the bike and headed toward the Joe Rodota Trail, a regional trail that runs from Santa Rosa to Sebastopol, the next town over, and where I had planned to meet my friend.
The fog I had seen earlier in the morning on my ride to the park had, by now, completely burned off. I rode to Sebastopol under picturesque Sonoma County skies, all crisp blue and puffy clouds.
The ride out on the Joe Rodota Trail was peaceful, and except for the goat grazing on the side of the trail that I encountered halfway to Sebastopol, my ride was nice but uneventful.
Coming into Sebastopol, I rode up two steep-ish hills and made it to my friend’s home by 11am. All in all, a lovely morning of biking around Santa Rosa and another successful coffeeneuring adventure!
Total mileage for the day: 25 miles. My Strava for this ride is here.