We left our purch overlooking Bolinas Bay  at 8 AM heading north. It seems to take about a half an hour for Sherman to settle into the rolling Van. His relationship to bumpy roads is totally changed in the last five days. Around Ojai, and our first day on the road you will startled by many road bumps. Now he just sits or lays through them. Occasionally on a bigger one to lift his head up and look at me, then return to his former pose.
I checked the map before we left and thought we would find a nice beach to run on somewhere in the Sonoma Coast State Beach Park. This is an amazing stretch of beaches that goes on for about 15 miles from Bodega to Jenner. We’d been on the road for about an hour and a half when we got to Bodega, so stopped at a marina area for a pitstop.
I picked up my phone to look at the map and noticed I’d butt-dialed Kazdyn. I caught him at home recovering from three days of side effects from a Tetanus vaccine. We had a good catch up.
Back to the map, with a beach in mind between Hogback and Duncan point, but I totally missed the turn off. I was still looking for it when I saw the turnoff to Goat Rock, the last beach in Sonoma Beach Park. We drove down to the end of the road where there is a huge rock in the ocean similar in size to the one in Moro Bay. It’s a beautiful spot.The parking area split 2 beaches. The one to the right, go to rock beach, was a no dog beach. One to the left, blind beach was a yes dog beach. The sign said keep your dog on a leash, so I did for a couple hundred yards. Then he was free. For the next 2 hours Mr. Sherman chased birds, played tag with the waves, and danced and ran in circles and ovals around and with me.
 


 
There are some marvelous Driftwood structures. The remnants of parties and rituals. A sweet sacred little room, just big enough for Sherman to go in and look around, built by a couple who been married a couple weeks ago. 

A large structure with a roof over one end, seating for many people, and adjacent 10 foot wide, 2 to 3 feet tall circle. 



At one end of this was a flat piece of driftwood with the sign, “We are the 7 Sisters”. 

Sherman and I hung out here for a good 30 minutes. The energy was wonderful. Me sitting, listening to the surf, watching Sherman chairs stick after stick to chew on. His favorite was actually an old dried piece of seaweed that he bit off small pieces of and chewed up and swallowed. It was fascinating to watch him go from stick to stick and inspect them by sniffing, turning them around with his paw and sometimes licking before choosing the next one he was going to savor.



He was a mess! Wet and covered with sand halfway up his body. I decided to walk the last half-mile back to the van up against the cliff to give him a chance to dry out and shed some sand. It worked!



It was time to head north again. The coast here is beautiful. As stunning as anything in Big Sur. But it’s much more desolate and undeveloped. 

Tiny towns of 100 to 1000 people dot the coast. Fort Ross, Miller Creek, Sea Ranch, Gualala, Wilson’s Field, Anchor Bay, Point Arena, Manchester, Elk and many more. Around Gualala it was time to start looking for a place to spend the night. There was a sign to a campground that felt promising. So we drove in. It was fabulous, but there were no spaces. And I didn’t really want to spend the $40. On the way out I turned back onto the PCH. About 15 minutes later I saw a road sign that said Inverness Road, and didn’t think anything of it. In a sign that said very curvy road next 16 miles, and I didn’t think anything of that. It was not only curvy, but bumpy. A real test for Sherman’s new bump comfort. After 16 miles there was a stop sign at PCH…? How did that happen? I got out my map and could not find the connection between that campground, Inverness Road, and the PCH…
I looked at the map for small state roads that go from the PCH back into the mountains to inland cities. These have turned out to be quite reliable roads to find turnouts to spend the night. The roads are very lightly traveled and so far haven’t seen one car between 9 PM and 6 AM. To the next one of those roads was in the little town of Elk. So here we stayed. On Philo–Greenwood Road. About 2 miles in from the coast. Almost 8 AM and time for today’s adventure.