Our proposed route from Alamo to Eureka, CA was only going to be about five hours, but some of you know that is a long time to go without pickleball ;-) If you're away from your home courts and you find yourself craving a game, open up the App Places2Play or look it up at www.Places2Play.org . Last summer we were in Santa Rosa, and we found awesome people and courts at Finley Park. We were strongly drawn to return to it, but we like trying out new locations (ya think?) but this time we found nearby Howarth Park in Santa Rosa on Places2Play.
On Places2Play we found this useful information about Howarth Park: "Four Dedicated Public Courts With Lighting For Nighttime Play. Agreed Upon Drop-in Times As Noted But Courts Available Anytime. Advanced play on 2 courts (4.0+) MWF, 8:30 to noon." We were arriving at about 10 am on a Monday and we figured that we would just drill for a little bit on our own to stretch our legs and then be on our way.
Approaching the courts we could see through the wind screen on the fence that there were some people playing pickleball. I said, "That looks like Batong" (Briones) because of the distinctive hat and clothing of the man playing. Ky said, "That is Batong! - I haven't seen anyone else who puts his left hand on his leg while playing." I shouted out "Batong - is that you?" Amazing coincidence - it was! We had just met him at Willow Pass Park, and then met him at The Bay Church, and now, 70 miles north, here he was again in Santa Rosa!
He introduced us to his doubles partner Jenny Witous, and they generously let us rotate in to their excellent drilling practice. When there were a total of six players, Jenny and I played part of a singles game until the foursome finished their game. She is an awesome and encouraging player, and those singles sure get the heart rate up.
We weren't stalking Batong, but we were certainly fortunate to get to see him, meet Jenny and a couple of other talented players, and Ky had the chance to play with Batong again. The four courts at Howarth Park are worth more than just a quick stop, but on a road trip, they will definitely take care of your pickleball itch! If you have a little extra time, you can rest up beside the picturesque little lake adjacent to the courts. Then you'll be ready for OMG - One More Game!
*** . Please, please, please, even if you're not an "official" ambassador, consider adopting a court and keeping the locations on Places2Play updated. It really helps visitors find options while traveling! ****
If you go:
Howarth Park . Google+ Code - F83H+CP Santa Rosa, California
Happy stalking, not really stalking, from Santa Rosa, CA ;-)
Next stop Eureka, CA