Not Walking

Some of you may have wondered where have I been. Certainly not on my blog.

Apparently when I had my knee replaced last July, the doctor also removed my interest in writing. With little walking there wasn’t much to write about. The recovery was slow. I had too much pain.

But we were going places that I could have written about: Ukiah, Vallejo, Jack London and Salt Point State Parks, several trips to Doran Beach and Morro Bay,  then Shollenberger in Petaluma, Brush Creek, Sears Point, Kortum trail at Sonoma Coast and Cloverdale.

As I wanted to strengthen my legs we hiked more hilly places such as: Sonoma Valley to Suttonfield Lake, Taylor Mountain, a couple of trips to Healdsburg Ridge (we were also finding many wildflowers after a wet winter), Sonoma Mountain, Tennessee Valley in Marin, Moore Creek in Napa and Coyote Point in Fremont.

Then on what should have been an easy route around the familiar Spring Lake, I spotted some blue/purple flowers at the lake’s edge. I said, “What are those? I haven’t seen them here before.” I decided to take a shortcut across some trampled grass. I slipped, caught my foot, fell and bent my leg back too far. I was sure I had blown out my new knee. Many walkers stopped to help. Mike and a strong young woman helped me to a bench. The park was contacted and a ranger gave me a ride back to the car. I was in so much pain, I decided I needed an ambulance.

Short story – I had fractured my leg. The glue on the new knee held but the bone gave way. Long story – being on crutches and in a wheelchair for six weeks is a long “stupid-inspiring” time. I hope my X-rays next week are good and then I will be able to walk and write again.

One of my friends said the flowers that I had stepped toward were probably non-native. The Harding grass I slipped and tripped on is an non-native invasive. So another reason to curse non-natives! Ha!

I hope to be back to the walking world again (though I’ll have my other knee replaced this fall) and share with you some of the places I have been in the last year. I certainly have lots of pictures.

Where have you been walking?

Words and picture by Lynn Millar.

New Coastal Prairie Trail

Seems I have lost a post about a new trail connecting the Bodega Bay Community Center to the Bodega Dunes in 2014. A gentle wide trail of packed sand and gravel makes it an easy for us challenged walkers, those looking to add to their hikes and a those wanting a safer bike ride. At least I found a picture from December 2014.

boardwalkOn a trip this past Thursday we headed north after our Bodega Bay lunch we looked for an easy short walk on that trail – the day before the rains were starting. We parked just off Hwy 1 at entrance to Bodega Dunes and realized another new section had been finished. (I have  not been paying attention lately.} Now one can walk from the Community Center to a small cluster of houses near Salmon Creek in a 1.1 mile distance. (More sections will be added.)

A gorgeous bridge is dedicated to Liz Burko, State Parks’ Sonoma-Mendocino District manager, State Parks Superintendent and Bodega Bay resident. She unfortunately passed away in 2015.

Burko bridge

We had chosen the trail since it was a windy cold day and it didn’t disappoint to protect us. It provided vistas on the prairie with the easy walk if not an ocean view.

Coastal Prairie

Once we got to Keefe Ave., we could see the ocean. We did not continue on the streets to Salmon Creek. But you could continue down to the northern entrance of the Bodega Dunes and a view across the creek.

There are a couple of parking spaces for the trail on Keefe. Here’s the trailhead sign.

Coastal Prairie trail sign

We met several people on the trail. This one was headed from the neighborhood to the Community Center. It was cold heading into the wind of the coming storm.

heading south

We are looking forward to more of this trail being completed to and along Bodega Bay.

Does anyone know where the farmers market has moved to? Seems the parking for the new trail took things over.

Below is information about the bell tower for Nicholas Green from an earlier post.

See you on the trail!

Words by Lynn Millar

Photos by Mike Millar
Before we left, we visited the Bell Memorial to Nicholas Green. Nicholas, at age 7, was shot in Italy in by highway robbers. After his parents donated his organs, the people of Italy donated 140 bells in thanks for that gift of life. Please stop and offer your thoughts and wishes for all children.

Nicholas Green Bell Memoiral




Another Visit to Cornerstone – er, Sunset Magazine

Keeping with my dining out and short walks, we visited Cornerstone in Sonoma to see what had changed with Sunset Magazine moving in.

CornerStone Sonoma l

Some of the gardens designed by various artists and landscapers, still exist. Tasting room, shops and restaurant Park 121 are still there. Sunset has taken over areas behind the second building. They also have an outdoor test kitchen.


The gardens are divided into backyard, farm and cocktail garden (to name a few).

Cocktail garden

The look is still lush looking with a tree sculpture from the previous garden.

Sunset backyard garden

And some new sculptures.

Cornerstone sculpture

These gardens and others still exist.

cs rail

cs l Globe

More information, click Cornerstone and Sunset at Cornerstone.

Go for a walk or book your next event or enjoy a Sunset event.

See you on the trail!


Kortum Trail One More Time

We’ve been walking the Kortum Trail for years and have posted many times. Click Kortum for a sample of walks. Due to getting a dog – dogs are not allowed on this trail – and now with my knee surgery – we haven’t visited recently – but the draw was strong.

Starting at Shell Beach and using my walking poles, I managed to walk to the end of the first boardwalk.

Lynn at Kortum

The entire Kortum Trail goes from Goat Rock near Jenner to Wright’s Beach. Most of it is cliff top, with a couple of dips to the beach. From Shell Beach parking lot heading north one could go a mile without any elevation challenges – if that is a concern for you as it has been for me.

Kortum Trail boardwalk

Overlook marker

Kortum ocean south

Since I couldn’t travel far, I did look at the vistas and took time to notice many bees working the thistles.

Kortum thistle w/bees

I love this part of the trail because it is more raw nature than I usually get to see. It’s an excellent place to walk in the fall without the summer’s fog.

Don’t forget more Kortum walks and crossing Hwy 1 to go up to Red Hill or over to Pomo Canyon.

See you on the trail!

Pictures by Mike and Lynn Millar.

Sonoma Plaza Walking Reminder

I’m still not walking much, but am traveling around for restaurants and one store window shopping. One of the best places for that is the Plaza in Sonoma.

Here are a few pictures from a recent trip. The duck pond is still going strong. The central park also includes city hall, lawns, big trees and playgrounds.

Sonoma Plaza duck pond

I’m glad a bicycle was parked here so that I could understand the artist’s (Bryan Tedrick) intention.

bike rack

To see more about the Plaza, Depot Park and other walks nearby, click Depot Park to Maxwell Park, Overlook Trail, and Bartholomew.

Walking with a Cane

Six weeks from total knee replacement, I’m walking to restaurants and stores and physical therapy class/appointments.

Last week in Petaluma. (For a previous walk go to Petaluma River.)

Petaluma River

And while we were having Fogust, it was sunny one afternoon and I was able to take a short walk on the boardwalk at Doran Beach. This the view towards the golf course.

Doran Beach to Golf Course

This view to Bodega Head.

Doran Beach to Bodega Head

For one of our previous visits go to Doran Beach. Btw it should be sunnier the California coast from now on. For Bodega Bay we check the sun at Bodega Ocean Observation Node.

I think it will be a while before any new treks but I hope to stay in touch.

First Walk and Last – Spring Lake

Many years ago, Mike and I walked at Spring Lake where at first I had a tough time making it up the dam. Over the years my stamina increased even though I had more and more health challenges. Walking in the beautiful places of Sonoma County and California has certainly helped me physically and mentally and soulfully.

boat launch Spring Lake

I am preparing for total knee replacement tomorrow. So walking will become a new challenge for a while. Things have been slow on the blog lately (you may have noticed) and they will be much slower in the next few months.

Here’s a couple of pictures from our walk at Spring Lake last weekend. The swimming lagoon is hopping with youthful energy and the other side of the lake brings peace. (Note: It costs money to play on the equipment in the lagoon, but swimming outside is still okay. It costs money to launch a boat now besides the park entrance fee. You have your annual pass right?)

Swimming lagoon Spring Lake

I have updated a few old posts lately. Check out these links.

Sonoma Valley

Doran Beach

See you on the trail!

Lynn Millar


Recent visit: Sonoma Valley Walk

This has been a cool summer so we managed a walk at Sonoma Valley Regional in the afternoon. Amazing.

The new plantings seem to be overwhelmed with weeds – hard to tell how they’re doing. The blackberries are creeping back.

"new" plantings

But the oaks and the grasses look just fine.

Sonoma Valley Regional trail

It’s a great short walk on a paved trail. slight downhill going out, means uphill on the way back. But if I can do it, you can do it.

Sonoma Valley Regional park

This was from February earlier this year (2016):

We have often walked at Sonoma Valley Regional, as it is easy, wide and paved. We can keep dry in winter and can enjoy the wildflowers in spring.

Last November, we noticed some blackberries had been cleared out of the creek bed near the entrance and something planted. From a distance we couldn’t quite manage to figure out what.

SV Regional restoration

Last week, it was hard to tell what was working and what wasn’t. The grass was green though.

January 16 SV update

Hope they work on taking out the rest of the blackberries and accessing the success of the plantings.

The oaks are still magnificent. We listened for birds. And noticed lots of milkmaids blooming. (4 petal white flower on a long stalk.) What was different for us was water, lots of water in the creek. Yeah!

SV with water

The buckeyes were starting to put out leaves. Maybe we’ll have blooms in May this year.

early buckeye leaves

Some buckeye seeds were sprouting and hoping to take root. (That’s a soap plant -long green leaves giving shelter.)

buckeye w soapplant

We discovered a fallen granary

fallen granary

And an unusual “granary”

another granary

The memorial to Zoe, the Happy Dog, seem to be well cared for. Last fall, it was embellished for the season.

Zoe happy dog in fall

Last week, it was more set for the recent holidays.Zoe the happy dog


From a January 2010 foggy walk.  Sonoma Valley Regional Park.


Liz Perrone Dog Park

Liz Perrone Dog Park is in a large fenced field. Dogs can run free here, with water. On the trail, dogs need to be on a 6’ leash.

Sonoma Valley entrance on a wet day

There are Blue, Coast Live (the ones with the leaves), Valley and Black oaks. Poison oak, too.

SVR Oaks


Lichen on Oak


You will find a few Buckeye, Bay, Manzanita, Toyon and Madrone.



If you stay on the paved path it’s just over 1¼ mile out to Arnold Dr. It’s generally downhill. Keep this in mind for you’ll need to make the gradual uphill when heading back.

See you on the trail!

Lynn Millar

To Pay or not to Pay: If you park in the Hwy 12 lot, it’s $7. Buy a pass, since you’re now walking everywhere. You could park on Arnold Dr. for free, but then there’s a short steep incline to start. That access point is just north of the Sonoma Development Center. Annual pass link

Dogs okay on leash.

Portapottie near entrance. Water fountain.



Winery Walks: Think Lavender at Matanzas Creek Winery

We recently visited Matanzas Creek Winery – just before a big event. The lavender was gorgeous and the wine was pretty good too. Please visit soon before the lavender is harvested.

uphill lavender

downhill lavender

Originally posted in June 2014: If it’s June, think about visiting Matanzas Creek Winery in the Bennett Valley in Sonoma County.

Thought we had covered this before, but only briefly in Winery Walking  and in Mike’s great picture.

Mantanzas Creek Winery LavendarThis year’s contrast of photographer to lavender.

Matanzas photo bocce

The lavender is not quite as spectacular as in previous years. This year, due to the drought and subsequently less watering, the lavender is a little smaller. But it’s still beautiful.

Large oaks shade the tasting room terrace and deck. Lavender surrounds a bocce court. And mounds of lavender seem to cascade down the slope – that used to be lawn.


The lavender is near its peak – visit soon – festival at the winery is the end of June.

Oh, and they do have wine too. Matanzas Creek Winery has Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. You can go for tastings, cheese pairings and special tours. You won’t be sorry.

Yes, we did taste some wines and bought some too.

See you in the garden!

Words by Lynn Millar, pictures by Lynn & Mike Millar, available upon request

Later in the year you can buy lavender. Soap etc are for sale now.

Matanzas lavender umbrellas

Walking at Doran Beach & Birdwalk

We often visit Doran Beach. It’s an easy sand walk when the tide is low and the rhythm of the ocean is calming and exciting. I took these pictures last Saturday on a busy day with many people, dogs and equipment for land and water. We walked and then…

Busy day Doran

We hunkered down in the dunes for a time and just watched.

Doran dunes

The following was originally posted March 2014: Even with the newly paved road along the beach, we like to visit via the Birdwalk at Cheney Creek. Still part of Doran Beach Regional Park, it allows access through the wetland and can be a great birdviewing spot.

Since I’ve been practicing with my new phone/camera, these pictures are more utilitarian than beautiful as Mike supplies. (Gray pictures are from February and sunny pictures from March 2014)

From the parking lot at Birdwalk, there are two paved ramps up to the trail.

Trailhead for Birdwalk at Cheney Gulch

There are two ponds with elevated dirt and gravel trails surrounding them. A few benches provide excellent viewing across Bodega Harbor.

Loop path at Birdwalk

The trail left leads down to a bridge that crosses Cheney Creek. You can see .4 mi to the Beach. (Thank you Coastal Conservancy and Coastwalk.)

Trail split creek or loop

Then the raised trail crosses the wetland area. We usually go to the beach at low tide, but we have sat here to watch the tide rise and fall.

Cheney Creek Bridge

Trail to Bridge over Cheney Gulch

Trail to Doran Beach

View to Harbor from Cheney Creek

View from Cheney Creek to Bodega Harbor

Across the main road is a parking lot and the trail over the dune to the beach. (Note the hitching rail to tie up you horse. Horseback riding is okay near this point towards the end of the beach below the golf course.)

Doran Beach entrance

Remember the red marker so you can find your way back.

Trail marker at Doran Beach

Don’t forget to look around. Here’s a view to Tomales Point.

View from Doran Beach to Tomales Pt

And one to Bodega Head.

View form Doran Beach to Bodega Head

And don’t forget to watch the waves (as in, WATCH OUT – they can get you) and check out the sand formations.

Hope you have a great time at the beach and on the trail. There are many ways to have a great time here from kite-flying, to surfing to walking the dog (on leash).

See you on the trail!

Lynn Millar

Here are some basics and links to our other beach visit.

Fee:  Use your annual Sonoma County Regional Park pass or pay the $7/vehicle fee.

Parking: Just north on Hwy 1 from the main entrance to Doran Beach.

Benches: Several around the ponds, along the trail towards the beach and at most parking lot areas.

Picnic: Tables at parking lot, many protected tables near large bathroom hallway along the road to jetty and at the end.

Bathroom: portapottie at the parking lot and at most of the parking lots within the park.

Camping: RV and tent camping available. Register at park website.

The usual photographer and our dog.

Mike and Cole at Doran Beach

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