VENADO, Sonoma County (KPIX 5) – The Bay Area received some impressive rain over the last few days. One of the wettest spots is a place many people probably haven’t heard of.

Venado, located west of Healdsburg, received 13.68 inches of rain since Thursday.

“Out Mill Creek Road about nine miles is Venado,” resident Bonnie Pitkin told KPIX 5.

Go searching for the town, you won’t find too much. The homesteaders, miners and loggers are long gone, leaving a handful of quiet neighbors living in hand-built houses.

“As you can see, there’s very little activity, very little traffic, which we appreciate a lot,” said Venado resident Bob Alpern.

But Venado does get a lot of one thing, and that is rain, which finally returned over the weekend.

“It stormed like you couldn’t imagine,” Pitkin recalled.

Alpern said about the storm, “And I mean this was rain like, I call it biblical rain. A deluge like you’ve never seen.”


And that’s exactly the way it’s supposed to be here. Venado is tucked in a set of steep hills that are perfectly positioned to the catch low-level moisture that pacific storms bring in. These mountains wring out the storms like a washcloth.

The evidence of that phenomenon literally hangs from the trees.

“We’re at the edge of what’s called the Cazadero rain forest,” Alpern said.

But even in this perfect bull’s eye for wet weather, the drought has taken its toll.

“On my mother’s ranch, there are two springs, and they both went completely dry,” Pitkin said.

When the skies finally opened, and creeks started flowing, quiet Venado just got back to normal.

“Everyone that you could talk to around here will say that it was such a welcome sight. To see the rain and to see the creek running full, it’s just exciting. The rain has made all the difference,” Pitkin said.

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