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  • Peggy Simonsen

Redwoods and Pacific shore

“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanates from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

We drove down from the Sierra Mountains to the Russian River in Sonoma to stay at a VRBO that my daughter-in-law rented for the family to celebrate my granddaughter’s 18h birthday and the 4th of July. It was in the magnificent tall redwoods that only grow along the Pacific in northern California. So I got my fill of forests- from the lodgepole and Jeffrey pines in the mountains to the redwoods near the coast. As I wrote about in Wandering the World, i am always in awe of these hundreds-of-years-old, hundreds-of-feet-tall trees, and grateful that some prescient conservationists worked to save them from logging. I cringe at the thought that they are still cut down for decks and yard furniture because they resist rot and mold.

While California had been intensely hot, the area near the coast was cooler, but still warm enough to play in the Russian River with floating tubes and kayaks. The house had a hot tub-which I enjoy soaking in after a long day- special under the huge redwood trees.

We also walked along the coast in the Goat Rock State Park with crashing surf. When I waded in to rinse the sand out of my sandals, a huge breaker came in and nearly engulfed me. I didn’t get pulled under, thankfully, because I had my phone in my pocket, but my son caught this photo.

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