Monday, September 13, 2021

Cool Summer Times in Tomales Bay, California

August in northern California can be uncomfortable. Temperatures regularly head north of 100 degrees and smoke from wildfires can make you choke on the thick air. 

With that in mind, I scheduled a couple of days on the coast north of San Francisco where the air should be cool and clear.

Without stopping, it's about two and a half hours from our home to our destination of Inverness, a tiny little town on the Point Reyes Peninsula on Tomales Bay, west of Petaluma and about 40 miles northwest of San Francisco.

There's not a lot of accessible rooms on the north coast and even fewer that will accomodate three adults. Our choice for this trip came down to a room with a roll-in shower with a bay view and two queen beds or an accessible cottage with a tub with three beds a couple of blocks inland where we would not have an ocean view but would have 14 acres to relax in.

This time, beds and comfort won over the view of the water. Our destination is The Cottages at Point Reyes Seashore about a mile north of that little town of Inverness. Our cottage has a wide, reserved handicapped parking spot that is plenty big enough for our van. A queen bed in the living room will be Tim's, since that's the only one his wheelchair can get to. Letty and I will be on two twin beds in a separate bedroom. 

A hallway give Tim access to the bathroom in the back where there is also a small, well-equipped kitchen.

Tim can keep up on his baseball games on a tiny, wall mounted TV in the living room where there is also a very comfortable recliner, three somewhat less comfortable desk chairs, and a small table. The redwood decked porch also has a couple of Adirondack chairs, a picnic table, and a bench.

There is also a pool and hot tub on site- with lifts-tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and a fenced in dog run with a nice hiking trail leading into the woods and hills.

We take a little time to explore the town of Point Reyes Station, about 6 miles away, where we find some very creamy soft serve ice cream made out of local Buffalo milk in the local market.

We also find some accessible restrooms behind Toby's, a local garden center.

It's time to start thinking about dinner but, first on our way back, we stop in at the Inverness store. Behind here is where you'll find the Point Reyes Shipwreck (picture at the top of this post). It's not accessible out to the wreck but you can see in well enough from the back of the parking lot.

While many stories abound about this decaying boat on the sandbar, including a very improbable one that it wrecked there over a century ago (a pretty impressive accomplishment for a boat built in 1944), the most probable one is that local fisherman Merrel Rocca, Sr. bought the surplus troop tender planning on restoring it into a fishing boat.

The boat washed up onto the sandbar in a storm and, lacking the funds to do anything about it, the owner abandoned it where it sat. Being in a protected estuary, plans were made to remove it but local photographers banded together to save this very picturesque "shipwreck" and it still sits behind the little local store, waiting for visitors like us to snap its picture.

It's back south a couple of miles to the Tap Room, a tiny restaurant on the side of the Inverness Park Store (not to be confused with the Inverness Store, above) where it's sushi night.

It's accessible but a bit of a squeeze to get into the three table dining room (more tables are available outside) where my wife has a nice poke bowl while Tim and I...non-sushi eaters...enjoy some potstickers.

Back at our hotel, we enjoy some wine on our porch before calling it a night and planning for some more adventures tomorrow.

Darryl Musick
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