Gualala to Stewarts Point

“Oh ‘Dear'”. I’m setting a record with regard to tardiness in blogging about a day’s walk – this is a report on our final day of walking on Saturday before our return home for a break, 6 days late!

Spotlights This Week:
Always: Hope Chapel Missions
Charity Spotlight: The Dream Center
Church Spotlight: Gualala Baptist Church – Gualala, CA

And – “Oh ‘Deer'”… Saturday started out kinda weird. We left Bodega well before daylight and headed north to catch the 6:20 a.m. bus at our end point (which would then take us to our start point) – traversing some of the most treacherous road thus far. Steep, curvy, narrow, no guardrails in places that dropped off into the ocean. And dark. VERY dark.  But THANK YOU for the prayers – the fog was lurking around, but never made visibility terribly scary.

The DEER were abundant and were a constant presence, popping into view with just enough time to slow down – as well as several foxes, night birds, at least one skunk, and a few unidentifiable pairs of glowing eyes scurrying across the road at the outer limits of our headlights. We were not responsible for a single incident of road kill – but we missed a lot of great opportunities!

It was a trip of 50+ miles, and we made it with just 5 minutes to spare before the bus was scheduled to arrive!

But it didn’t come.

We were standing there in the dark, at a little country store (closed) in Stewarts Point, with one streetlight. No bus. I worried that because it was Saturday, we might have gotten the schedule wrong, but we double-checked and it seemed right.

There was a house behind the store and believe it or not, a man and woman wandered outside and started working on something-or-other in the pre-dawn.  I worried that our presence out there on the road in the dark might freak them out, but Larry thought it was best to approach them and ask if they knew anything about the bus.

As it turned out, they were up early preparing for a community memorial service for a local war veteran who had recently passed away.  They were surprised that we expected a bus this early – so we checked the schedule again. And we finally noticed that the bus was scheduled for 6:20 P.M.

Every bus we had taken thus far had been a morning bus – but the northbound #95 is a P.M. bus!

So. We opted to go back to our modus operandi from the previous week, with Larry leap-frogging with me in the car.  Not quite as convenient, but it got-er-done.

In scouting our route today, it seemed like it was going to be particularly pleasant.  We were mostly walking through the community of Sea Ranch, which had a horse bridle trail that paralleled the road.  We were so excited to be able to walk off the road for awhile! However, the soft, deep dirt was so taxing that we quickly returned to the road.

When the walking day was over, we picked a scenic spot with an ocean view to park and eat lunch.  But God had other plans.  At some point, a work truck pulled in near us and it was apparent that the guys in it were having car trouble.  It was a man and his son who were doing carpentry work at a Sea Ranch home in a truck they had borrowed, and they suspected they had run out of gas.

Our little car is so full of our ‘stuff’ that it’s hard to fit even ONE person in, but we found room for Dad.  We left his 17-year-old son with the truck and drove 15 miles back to the gas station in Gualala.  Larry & I prayed that it would be something that simple, but Dad said they had tried to fill it with gas earlier in the day and the pump had stopped very quickly – so we were all rather skeptical that this was the problem.  But God is good – a gallon of gas did the trick!

We’re home now, and I’ll be returning to Bodega on Oct 2 without my sweetie – but I’ll always have the One who stands before me and behind!

Here’s some of the typical coastal rural scenery we experienced on Saturday:

IMG_0480.JPG

Lastly, I’d like to thank all my ‘Sole Mates’ for this walking cycle…

My host families/churches: Pastor Nancy, Theresa & Bruce and Pastor Craig (Richardson Grove RV Park / New Hope Assembly of God – Garberville); Kris & Krystal (Coast Christian Center – Fort Bragg); Debbra & Brenda (St. Paul’s Methodist Church – Point Arena); Jason & Jenni (Gualala Baptist Church – Gualala); Pat & Denise (Bodega Bay Church – Bodega Bay); Paul & Linda (Benicia); Dave & Sally (Walnut Creek). God bless all of you!

Thank you to my husband Larry for walking with me for 140 miles, and for still liking me at the end of it! 😀

Also, many thanks to Jesse & Lisa from Dean Creek Resort for the bike loan; to Pat & Denise for dinner; to Adam for getting the dogs penned before I passed by; to Linda & Mike at Gualala Country Inn for your hospitality; to Chris at the Westport Store for the great pizza & conversation; to Alphonso at D’Aurelios AND Eggheads, for being a super-server! To Laurie & Laura at Garberville Visitor’s Center for pointing me in the right direction for both the bike and the camping.  I have been overwhelmed by your kindness.

—–

May the Lord now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this. ~ 2 Samuel 2:6

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