Monday, November 29, 2010
Day Trip: Armstrong Redwoods
On Sunday, we had to drive down to Bodega Bay to drop off my niece. On the way back we decided to take a side detour to Guerneville to do a grocery run (they have a Safeway!). The town of Guerneville is eclectic. It actually has an old school Five and Ten. It's packed with just a little bit of everything: craft supplies, toys, cards, puzzles, gifts, candy. It reminded me of Woolworth's, but at a much smaller scale. (Tangent: My first job was at Woolworth's. I made minimum wage - $3.35/hour. I still have my name badge.)
Just a few miles north of Guerneville is the Armstrong Redwood State Natural Reserve. How is it that I grew up just 1.5 hours from this place and never heard about it before? Well, I guess it's not surprising, since my parents considered the 15 minutes drive from Napa to Vallejo a long drive.
The Armstrong Redwoods SNR is an old grove of majestic coast redwoods. Nothing quite compares to standing among trees that are 1,000+ years old. Talk about perspective. What I love about forests and groves is how quiet they are, yet, when there is a sound, it is super amplified because everything around it is so quiet. Did that last sentence make any sense? I think you know what I mean. For example, a squirrel in the leaves sounds like something ten times its size.
The reserve has a nice walking trail along the valley floor which takes you by some of the largest trees. They do a good job about keeping cars out of the reserve. You can park in a lot in front of the grove and walk in for free, or pay $8 to drive in. Since most people are cheap like me, most people walk in for free!