The Sea Ranch Chapel
I feel incredibly thankful that I’ve been able to disappear up the Northern California coast as a getaway. The drive offers more variations than I’d imagine those choose-you’re-adventure books d0; there’s a network of country roads where no one way is a short cut.
There are views and offbeat attractions to punctuate the drive in the most pleasant and intriguing ways. You can sneak a peak at a yogurt-making operation, take a “bath” in cedar wood shavings, or pull over around every corner to snap a shot of the latest jaw-dropping panorama. I’m always glad to ride co-pilot so I can spot hawks and raptors on their telephone pole outposts.
Last week my husband and I were winding our way up the coast to Gualala. He was driving and made an unexpected stop just before we pushed the odometer its last clicks to our destination. He’s usually not so spontaneous, so I was curious what could be so alluring as to override his nature. It was the Sea Ranch Chapel, a unique hobbit-house of a structure that serves as a non denominational prayer space. It is open to the public provided a private event in not in progress. Even after sitting for several hours in the car, a quiet perch inside the chapel was a welcome moment to envision peace for all. My husband used to stop here on family trips when he was little.
James Hubble was responsible for the sculptural space including the outside fountain and the faceted stained glass panels. You can make a small donation for the chapel’s upkeep while inside, but it is not mandatory. Here are directions to the chapel from SF, Petaluma, or Fort Bragg.