Rugged Sonoma Coast Offers Dazzling Views
Mountains, river, and coast leave you breathless
An hour north of San Francisco lies the beautifully rugged Sonoma Coast. Driving along Highway I, we delighted in majesty of the Pacific Ocean. It lay, a few feet below the road, serene as the name would suggest, showing motion only in the continuous waves that lapped the beach. The waves didn’t break, crashing against the giant, solitary rocks that rise randomly from the sea bed; rather, they seemed to melt as they reached the shore, seeping soundlessly into the wet sand.
We were in Russian River country, known for its cool weather Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. An American Viticultural Area in its own right, this is one of many in Sonoma County. But this is not monotonous grapevine country. In places, the tops of trees create an arch, cool, dark, peaceful, through which we drove. Douglas firs are everywhere, tall and awe inspiring. There are others –Pacific madrones, oaks, and buckeyes and others I couldn’t tell for they stood leafless near the river.
The Russian River
Every winter that California is not in drought, the Russian River causes much anxiety by overflowing its banks. Flooding seems to be a fact of life for those living in its valley. But on the day we were there, the country was exquisite and the river flowed within its confines. Nor could the weather have been more perfect: crystal clear and bright, giving the vast expansive ocean its gorgeous azure hue.
Featured photo: The Russian River flows into the Pacific.
Photos: Yours truly.