By Rachel Puryear
If you’re not familiar with the San Francisco Bay Area, it basically refers to nine counties (including the City and County of San Francisco) that make up the metro area.
There are a few main regions of the metro area: There’s “the City” (San Francisco), the “South Bay” (south of San Francisco, stretching down to south of the Silicon Valley), the “East Bay” (east of San Francisco, going out almost to the Central Valley), and the “North Bay” (north of San Francisco, extending through much of California’s world-famous wine country).
There’s no West Bay, by the way – that would be in the ocean.
In the far reaches of the North Bay, within Sonoma County, you will find a delightful state park known as Armstrong Woods. It was closed for a while due to wildfires in the area, but has recently reopened. As Fall is approaching, it’s a great time of year to visit.
Armstrong Woods has plenty of majestic redwood trees, abundant plant life, and serene walking trails. If feels like you’re inside an enchanted forest there.
Due to the presence of a lot of moisture in many parts of the woods, you can see a lot of cool fungi.
And lots of beautiful flowers.
To get something to eat, have some wine, pick up other essentials, or find campgrounds and lodging, visit the charming, rustic, laid-back nearby town of Guerneville. Locals here are pretty friendly.
Did you know what items people forget most often when they’re going camping? Here’s a quick reminder, with links in case you need to pick these up before you go:
- Suitable heat source: camping heater, extra blankets, portable campfire (no wood needed, but needs a match to light). If it will be chilly, see here about camping in mildly chilly weather.
- Wet wipes, toilet paper and extra towels.
- Extra batteries. If you’d also like to plug in without a power outlet, you can do that easily with a jackery (my husband uses one of these to camp with a c-pap machine).
- Duct tape in case something rips, tools needed to set up tent, and a hatchet if you’ll be cutting wood.
- Cold packs. These can double to keep food cold, and in case of injuries. Packs are less messy than ice, and can be refrozen later. Just don’t forget to grab them out of the freezer before you go.
- Trash bags (see here for compostable ones).
- Can opener/bottle opener combo, ziploc bags to reseal food (see here for excellent reusable ones that we use). There’s nothing like sitting down after setting up camp to pop open a cold one, and…damn. Or carefully picking out canned food to be…unable to open it. Don’t go hungry or thirsty.
- Birth control (if you need it). If the bears and squirrels won’t be the only ones getting frisky in the woods, and pregnancy is possible, be sure to include protection on your checklist.
- Menstrual products (if you use them). Note that if you have a tween or teen child (8+) who might need these, be sure to pack them.
- Extra shoes, extra underwear, a poncho for rain.
Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following, and sharing. Here’s to great state parks, and also great small towns.
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Check out my other blog, too – World Class Hugs, at https://worldclasshugs.com. It’s about better understanding relationships, empathic perspectives, and traveling and nature photos.
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