December 8, 2022

Nomad the cat has now come over for five days in a row!  He even started graciously eating the treats that I offer.  In addition, today he actually let me pet him!  He stood still while I stroked him and he even gave me a head bump!  I think he is starting to feel comfortable here and I hope I can look forward to more of these daily visits.

I took my bike out to Ragel Ranch Regional Park yesterday to enjoy a rare afternoon of sunny weather.  We’ve been getting a lot of rain which is good news, but we also need some breaks in the day after day of grey dreariness. 

Ragel Ranch is just outside of Sebastopol, one of my favorite towns in Sonoma County.   Sebastopol has a plethora of lovely shops, a Sunday farmer’s market and a population of progressive and thoughtful people.  The culture of the town is perhaps best reflected in its Sebastopol Living Peace Wall which is situated in the town square.  Unlike so many city monuments that honor war heroes, this monument honors those who worked for peace.

I chose Ragel Ranch because the park allows bikes.  I’d visited the park before but previously my knee has been too frazzled to make it up Ragel’s steep hills.  Since my knee has improved, I did manage to push my bike up the hills yesterday.  However, because of these hills, I wouldn’t recommend this as an ideal place for trail riding.

The park is much more favorable to hiking.  It covers 157 acres and has miles of beautiful trails. Unfortunately, when I tried to traverse these trails by bike, I frequently encountered “pedestrian only” signs.  Thus, the trails available to bikes alone are limited and mostly confined to a large slope that is dangerous to ride down and a bear to climb up.

The pedestrian trails wander off into prettier and more level areas.  Given that it was a weekday and the trails were relatively empty, I did violate the rules now and then.  I entered the pedestrian only trails walking my bike, but then got up and rode when there was no one around.  I know I sound like some criminal but I am actually a cripple.  How I long for the days when I used to go on up to 15-mile hikes in all kinds of terrain.    I’m praying that those days will return, and until then I may be sneaking my bike into other restricted areas.

I won’t be bringing my bike back to Ragel Ranch.  I’d highly recommend this park to hikers, but we mountain bikers are going to have to look elsewhere.

Ragel Ranch Regional Park

Published by susancasslangmailcom

Susan Casslan is a writer and a nurse. Her writing touches on spirituality and issues pertaining to social justice. Casslan lived for a decade in the San Francisco Inner Mission District, and she was greatly inspired by the Latinx culture of that neighborhood. The Inner Mission emerges in her books Conversations with Richard Purcell: The Adventures and Reflections of a Renegade San Francisco Priest and That Which Wavers with the Night, as well as in her chapbook 24th Street and Other Poems. Additionally, Casslan’s nonfiction articles have appeared in El Tecolote, an Inner Mission newspaper.

%d bloggers like this: