Here in Healdsburg, it's been overcast every morning this week. Except yesterday, when the sun rose in a slightly hazy sky, and I could tell that it was going to be a gorgeous September day. You know... the kind of day when the light has a golden glow and an apple-cidery tang.... The kind of day that makes you want to get in the car and travel down the road with the windows down.
So that's what I did. I packed a lunch, grabbed a map, and set out to travel down the Russian River as it heads west to the Pacific Ocean.
I first passed thru lots and lots of vineyards. Most of the grapes have been picked, because you can't see any heavy clusters of grapes hanging under the leaves. But a few of the vineyards are still being picked this week, and you can see big trucks loaded with grape bins heading to the wineries.
After driving thru miles and miles of vineyards, you take a bend in the road, and suddenly you find yourself in dark redwood trees and other tall, woodsy trees, and you get glimpses of the Russian River down below the road. But the road is narrow and windy and there are few places to pull over and take pictures (much to my disappointment). But never mind, I cruise thru the summery vacation town of Guerneville, where all summer long the town is packed with people heading for the Russian River. Mid-week, it's quiet, although I still see a few kayaks or canoes out on the river...
But on a whim, I decide to turn away from the river and up a long road that leads to ARMSTRONG REDWOOD STATE RESERVE.
I've never been there before, but suddenly have a craving to see redwood trees.
Well, here they are...
lots of beautiful, tall, redwood trees....
and oooh, it's so cool and quiet under these big giant trees.
Truly a photographer's and a hiker's dream spot!
Here's a shot of Katie, my constant companion, as we rest on the redwood trail. (Dogs ARE allowed here on leashes, but we have to stay on the asphalt roads. And we certainly met a lot of dogs on the trail; even a dog walker with 4-5 assorted dogs.)
After our wonderful walk thru the redwoods, Katie and I went back to the car, had our lunch, then headed back home. As luck would have it, I finally DID get a good shot of the Russian River, as we crossed an old iron bridge.