Riding the P&SR (On Bikes) ~ Monday, January 21, 2013
We spent the tail end of the holidays visiting Sonoma county. First stop was Petaluma, home to a nascent heritage trolley operation using equipment and trackage from the Petaluma & Santa Rosa interurban railway. They have a small barn building, with a few pieces of equipment parked out front;
electrically-powered equipment is inside and/or under tarps, but everything was quiet on this particular day.
The former NWP/future SMART station (we saw some track work being done on the way into town) is across the street.
In Santa Rosa, we visited Snoopy's Home Ice, which is a very nice place for kids just learning to skate, as they put out a bunch of chairs for them to lean and push around.
Downtown Santa Rosa has another preserved NWP station and a P&SR station that is now a Chevy's restaurant. We've eaten there before, but I wasn't aware of its history then, so I insisted that we go back and have dinner properly appreciating it (nobody objected). It was dark so I only got an inside picture.
But you can check it all out virtually on Google Maps if you want.
Railroad Square also has a statue of Charlie Brown and Snoopy (Charles Schulz lived here), and Nathan, being a fan, was amused.
The next day we went for a bike ride on the Joe Rodota Trail, built on the P&SR right-of-way from Santa Rosa to Sebastopol. As it gets past the edge of Santa Rosa it starts running through some very nice northern California countryside, and gives you some idea what riding an interurban might have been like.
Nathan and I tried out a new bike semi-trailer which allows kids to ride behind you while helping pedal, which he did enthusiastically.
Sebastopol also has two stations; the PS&R depot is now a museum, and the NWP's houses an establishment called Coffee Catz, which can be accessed by a branch of the trail, but that way turned out to be muddy, so we'll save it for next time.direct link