With road-tripping brother temporarily located in Sacramento, we're temporarily relocating our road trips locally instead of in exotic locales like Ohio or New England.
The valleys in the north bay run mostly north-south, and the south is the direction I usually approach them from. To arrive from the east is to leap over a succession of low-lying but rugged mountains. To Calistoga first, where the geyser is still operating and where lunch at a trattoria would have seemed even better had not the waiter, who looked like Stanley Tucci, kept overselling everything on the menu.
Then by way of the Russian River to Bodega Bay, where we were not attacked by birds but did take an afternoon coffee break and get a little rugged-Pacific-coast fix. The back-roads route first intimated to me by the Wonderful Beard got us south to civilization.