47 Friends Wine

Travel to the Russian River in Sonoma County, California

March 2nd, 2014 by Melissa

We are looking forward to some great swimming this summer.    When the heat sets in at our ranch near Santa Rosa, we head to the River (the Russian River, that is). This escape from weather can work the other way too — leaving foggy San Francisco to come to the relative warmth of the River.  We’re reminded of this heritage as we swim near Hacienda Bridge, built in 1877 for the Northwestern Pacific Railway line. Folks could take the ferry from San Francisco to Sausalito and then ride the train to Guerneville and spend a day relaxing at the River. Unfortunately there is no longer a train serving this route, but many still make the trek.

Another favorite River trip of ours is to go for a hike in Armstrong Woods State Natural Reserve. After a short drive off River Road near Guerneville you enter another world — a magic world where the trees grow to a height of up to 350 feet and attain a diameter of up to 16 feet. There are nurse logs, fairy rings, hollowed-out trunks where surely gnomes live, and a peace that is most welcome in our busy lives. Of course the big stands of redwoods are a bit farther north, we treasure these “our own redwoods” and consider them a necessary part of our visitors’ day trips in the area, as well as a regular part of our family outings.

Stop by the Guerneville Taco Truck in the Safeway parking lot for delicious, cheap tacos before or after a swim in the River or a hike in the redwoods. And our family’s generations-old tradition is to stop at Berry’s Market for an It’s-It (if you don’t know what these are, learn more about them here (they’re fantastic!) after every afternoon of swimming. Ruins the appetite for dinner a bit, but who feels like cooking much after a long afternoon swim!

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