After a week of working in delightful Petaluma ( famous for cows? ) I had a day and a bit to kill before jumping on an old BA 747 back home ( and when I say old, I do mean old, tired and should be cut up and recycled ) and as some of you have asked where I took the pictures, here is the info...
I was first recommended Guerneville as a place to check out 4 or so years ago, when I had to kill an afternoon and it made a nice loop back to SFO.I have been back a couple of times since to check out some of the eateries, but this time I booked into the Cottages on River Road ( top on Trip Advisor and I needed a change from the oh-so-business Sheraton ) and headed down after work on the Friday.
I was early in the season, but managed to get a canoe from a local outfitter ( not quite one of my old Mobile Adventure models.... this was a plastic tub, but still a good paddle ) and they even drove me up river so I could float back down to the town without having to worry about where to end my trip.
It's fair to say it was hot... Not quite the 90 degrees of the previous week, but still against my wintered British skin it was harsh out on the water. It didn't distract from the paddle though, just made for a nice 5 hours out. Ignoring the smell of the local medicine wafting out of the houses by the river, I was followed by a couple of herons as I checked out little turtles, fish and other local critters ( no mountain lions this time ).
Post-Paddle I grabbed a pizza and beer in town and then headed back to my cottage to chill with a good e-book ( this one if you must know ).
Sunday was travel day, but not wanting to sit in the same spot at the airport I have done on all previous trips too early, I headed up the hill to Armstrong Woods.This is the quiet cousin of Muirwoods and has all the escapism you could want ( much like the UK most people don't wander far from the carpark ) and of course it has the mighty Redwood.
If you haven't seen these 1000 year old beasts, then you should do, before they are all gone. Natural skyscrappers would sum it up and given it was May 4th ( Star Wars Day ), it felt like I was on Dagobah and around the next corner would be an Ewok with a catapult ( yes I am a still a nerd ).
So next time you are working somewhere, don't waste your free time with shopping, that is what the internet is for, get off your ass and get outdoors.
And remember it is all reconnaissance for your next trip back...
Canoe Trip Pics here.
Armstrong Woods Pics here.