|Placed Date||Mar 14 2005|
The Riverwalk area in Petaluma is under construction. When completed, it will be a pedestrian walkway that follows the Petaluma River with shops and restaurants nearby. It will follow the old train tracks that ran to Santa Rosa and further north. Currently, traffic and parking can be difficult at times. A walk around town is quite fun, since many Victorian ironfront buildings are in the downtown area.
John Balshaw was a councilmember who was a strong advocate for walking and bicycling routes in the downtown area. He pushed hard for a pedestrian bridge crossing the Petaluma River. In 1989, the bridge was completed near the turning basin. It won the 1990 "Best Wooden Bridge in America" award, winning out over a bridge at Disneyland and the Nike Headquarters in Portland! Dedicating the bridge to John Balshaw caused quite a town controversy as many citizens felt such an honor should be reserved only for the deceased. Despite that, the mayor pushed forward and the bridge was name for former Councilmember Balshaw (who still lives and writes in Petaluma).
1. From Hwy 101, take the Petaluma exit that has a president's name in it. Head west.
2. Park in the shopping center that is named for a guilded raptor. (Plenty of easy parking here!)
3. Walk toward the river until you find an Irish-named brewery & restaurant (a great place for a pint and some food, by the way!).
4. Walk in a westerly direction, following the black, iron fence bordering the river. (Note: The tall trees to your left, which are wrapped in lights, are home to a couple dozen of egrets that arrive there after the sun goes down.)
5. Walk across the wooden bridge.
6. On the west end of the bridge, look for 2 utility metal cabinets. Underneath the one on the right side you'll find your treasure! This box is held on with magnets and is small in size (Altoid tin), so bring your stamp pad. There is no room for a hitchhiker in this little box. Sorry!
When replacing the box, please place it as far back as you can so it won't show. Thank you!