Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Walk in the Park

The sun is out at last, time for a walk in the park, but alas which one? Sonoma County is rich in state and regional parks and home to an unbelievable array of summer to fall celebrations of life. The two major ones this weekend are Peggy Sue's All American Cruise and the Health and Harmony Festival. No matter where you go you'll see cars right out of American Graffiti and humans right out of the 60's Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. We grew up during those heady times so see no need to join the crowds.

We decide on River Front Park just west of Windsor. You can take the back way from our place and avoid any highways and traffic (our favorite kind of road). We packed at picnic lunch, binoculars and a camera and hit the road about 10:30 this morning.

The park is adjacent to the Russian River and has several good sized "lakes" that were formerly gravel pits. Only one, Lake Benoist, is open to the public right now, but it's a nice 2 mile walk. Bass fishing is said to be good and there is prime Blue Heron habitat on the south side. Most fledglings have left the nest already but we did spy a nest about 80 feet up a dead spar with large Heron chattering up a storm. There are also other winged attractions this time of year: some yellow, some black, some turquoise and some in camouflage gear like this beauty.

Further along the trail we find a bench that looks across the lake to Mount St. Helena. It's a beautiful and peaceful spot to stop for lunch and take a load off.

I was taken by the dedication sign on the bench and the self written obituary placed carefully between the slats. Tom, it seems, was an architect, artist, traveller, outdoorsman, and photographer who lived his life to the fullest and encouraged others to do the same. You gotta love this place.