Saturday, July 30, 2016


Sweetwater Springs Road leaves Sonoma County's Westside Road (out of Healdsburg, California) taking you on a trip back into the hills about 75 years.

Structures that were likely community projects dot the landscape.

The substantial ones may still be in use.

A rustic brick oven lends credence to my off-the-grid imaginings.

Is it square? Is it plumb? Is it flush? Was it ever?

Bridges - several of them - are substantial, but narrow; as is the road up a piece.

Having owned one of these at one time, I wish for my copy that it enjoys a better fate.

Thinking this was a quarry of some sort, now being reclaimed by the woodlands.

This old Studebaker once hailed from Anderson, California, where a now-defunct dairy once employed it…

…or so sayeth the fading paint on the door. Wondering how it ended up here.

Viewing these pictures, someone commented that she thinks she may have gotten lost on this road at one time.  My thought was that she must have been lost just to find this decrepit ribbon of busted blacktop.  And aren’t such routes among our best discoveries?


Note:  I did a little internet look-up on the dairy from which that old pickup hailed and guess what I found a picture of?

Today’s Route:  US 101 to Healdsburg.  West on Westside Road (past the Safeway shopping center); bear right onto Sweetwater Springs.  [Note: if you get to the historic Hop Kiln Winery, you’ve gone a couple of hundred yards too far.  But don’t despair!  Hop Kiln is lovely; pause for a taste.]  Sweetwater Springs Road goes in and out, over and through for about sixteen miles, ending at Armstrong Redwood Road.  Right to the park; left to Guerneville. [Note: if you wind up in Guerneville, know that your time machine may have only returned you as close to the present as the 1960s.  Enjoy that!]

© 2016
Church of the Open Road Press


  1. Maybe it's a sort of Twilight Zone wormhole spot that transports some people and things 75 years back, where (and when) they remain in peace and with pleasant pastimes for the rest of their days.

    You were lucky to escape, or were you lucky to escape?...

    1. An excellent theory, Ry. I'd suggest there are several such wormholes throughout Northern California: Butte Creek Canyon outside of Chico, comes to mind as does Jonesville near the Cascade Sierra crest. Then there's June Lake on the east side, Cedarville in Modoc County near the Cal/Nev/Ore border, Dutch Flat over the ridge from a too-busy I-80... The list goes on and on... My personal problem is that I somehow, as you pointed out, keep escaping for some reason from the places I initially escaped to... Worm holes: I LIKE it!

  2. Beautiful photos. I think the grey scale helps take us all back in the day...... makes you wonder at the history of the things and places sometimes.

    1. Methinks, with regret, that a segment of our populace is evolving (or devolving) into a people who, by viewing things only as black or white, miss the subtle beauties gifted to us by so many shades of gray...