West end Doran Beach Road to Lawson?s Landing

July 9, Marin County
West-end Doran Beach Road to Lawson’s Landing, 17.5 miles

Coastwalker: “We’re walking to Mexico.”
Campground patron: “Nice day to do it!”

Looking west across the entrance to Bodega Harbor, we could see the “hole in the head” on the westerly side. So began the longest day of the expedition so far, and all of it road walking.

In a perfect world, we would leave Bodega Bay and travel along a bluff top trail into Dillon Beach. Reality, in the form of several big coastal ranches, dictate that we use available roadways, bluff trails being nonexistent. As we walked the road through Doran County Park, people greeted us who had seen our press coverage in Santa Rosa’s Press Democrat the day before. All were supportive and wished us well.

We then hit Highway One and were on our way to Valley Ford. We at least were fortunate to have a wide shoulder the entire way. Valley Ford was our lunch spot and we were able to see Terry McGill’s wonderful painting in the Post Office and have a look at a pole from Christo’s “Running Fence” art project from 1976.

Then it was off the highway and onto the Valley Ford – Franklin School Road, across the Estero Americano and the Estero de San Antonio, to the Dillon Beach Road. Our walk here was through the dairy lands of western Sonoma and Marin Counties. We then walked the Dillon Beach Road to Lawson’s Landing and our campsite for the night. As we approached Lawson’s Landing, we were hailed by Jennifer Mann and Carla Stone AND a plate if chocolate chip cookies they had baked for us. It made our long, hard day worthwhile. (Jon Breyfogle; photos, Linda Hanes)