It does not feel like Monday today and I love it.
This morning, we were quite successful in our attempt at keeping work and phones and devices at bay. Anya slept in and we had wonderful tea and coffee sessions, chatting away.
For Monday not to feel like a Monday, we had to do something non-Monday-like! We decided to go on a hike today to Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in a town called Guerneville.
Guerneville was the site of an ancient coast redwood forest. Much of this forest was logged to rebuild San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake and fire. The town was called Stumptown then, named after the giant redwood tree stumps left behind by loggers. Eventually, the name of the town was amended to Guerneville.
At the Reserve, we choose the Pioneer Natural Trail which was a 2-mile walk. The Discovery Trail was a little longer, we ended up switching between the two. We learned a lot about redwood trees today. The trees we saw were part of the largest grove of first-generation redwoods - they were some of the tallest living things on the planet! We also learned that although these trees grow real tall, their root systems go only 12 feet deep which makes them susceptible to wind danger. We saw the Parson Jones tree that was about 1300 years old and Colonel Armstrong, which was 1400 years old. We saw the Icicle tree in all its glory with its unusual burl formations. We also saw a huge open-air theater but that experience was definitely overshadowed by a deer sighting!
In general, there were fewer people at the trail, and most people were wearing masks when they crossed us. The bathrooms were clean and we were pretty far away from the camping site folks. All in all, a safe and fun hike.
After the hike, we decided to stop by Stumptown Brewery, a really cute spot that has its own little 'beach' by the Russian River that flows right through the town. We ordered some nachos and beer and sat right under the tree.
Puneet ordered the Red Bastard Pale Ale. This was a signature beer, the first one brewed at this brewery and a California State Fair winner. It had a great aroma, clean palette, hoppy with a bitter aftertaste. I ordered the Bush Wacker Wheat. (I think I liked mine better!). Mine was light, dry, unfiltered and smooth. It was mildly hoppy with hints of citrus and cilantro.
When we saw more people come into the outdoor space, we took the stairs downstairs to the banks of the river. In this stretch of river, we saw a bunch of people in canoes and kayaking. We saw ducks and other pretty birds on the banks. It was a great way to enjoy the beer.
Once done, we made our way to Bodega Bay. This was about 45 minutes from Guerneville. I was surprised how quiet the area was, given how scenic it was! We stopped at a point to take photos, the views were breathtaking. We saw a few families on the beach but in general, the area felt fairly isolated and non-touristy.
We decided to stop at a little cafe, but the line was long and the service was slow so we abandoned the idea and drove straight back to our Healdsburg hotel.
Overall, it was a great day. I am pretty sure I will be dreaming of the rugged rocks and the waves of Bodega Bay coastline tonight.