Archives for category: —- Sonoma County

If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area and have an interested in seeing huge, circular blades slicing through big redwood logs, head up to historic Sturgeon’s Mill this weekend, west of Sebastopol for their open house. They run the mill four times per summer. This is their first session of the year.

Here’s a post I wrote about it a couple of years ago, including some video of the mill in action.


For our first camping trip of the season together, my girlfriend, Natalie, and I took the canoe up to Lake Sonoma for some boat-in camping. Lake Sonoma is a man-made reservoir just east of Cloverdale, California. There are beautiful campsites around the edge of the lake, lots of shoreline to explore, and plenty of fishing — the lake contains one of California’s only landlocked steelhead populations.

We self registered for a campsite at park headquarters at the southern end of the lake then drove up to Yorty Creek to put in. With the canoe packed up, we shoved off for the 2.7 mile paddle to our campsite. It was fairly windy but, once we left the main basin of the lake, the water was much calmer. In an hour and fifteen minutes we were at Thumb Camp, Site #2. Read the rest of this entry »

To co-opt an old saying, things sold by the pint are always going to be more expensive than things sold by the tanker truck. (Click the photo to see what I mean.)

Well, here’s to a local favorite wowing beer drinkers everywhere: Pliny the Elder, a double-IPA brewed by Russian River Brewing Company right here in Sonoma County. At $9 a pint it’s not cheap but it tastes fantastic (satisfyingly complex, with just a hint of sweetness). And at 8% alcohol by volume, it packs about twice the punch of your standard IPA. Worth noting.

Click here for an article about the beer and the lengths people go through to get their hands on it.

If you’re in Northern California, you can find it at Whole Foods, whose stores up here just happen to be having a 20%-off sale on beer tomorrow (Friday). Cheers!

Photo: Nik Schulz

Last week my girlfriend, Natalie, told me about the Greenbelt Movement, an organization founded in the 1970s by Wangari Maathai to combat deforestation and soil erosion in Kenya by training women to plant trees. According to a radio piece on Living on Earth, the movement has dramatically improved water quality and habitat for both animals and people.

Well, in a couple of weeks Natalie is going to help improve the environment a little closer to home by participating in the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation’s Tree-a-Thon. The goal is to plant between 500 and 1000 trees, and other native plants, around the laguna, which is located here in Sonoma County just north of Sebastopol.

If you’d like to sponsor Natalie in support of the Tree-aThon, and the birds, fish, and river otters that call the laguna home, here’s a link where you can donate.

All photos and video: Natalie Menacho & Nik Schulz (click to enlarge)

This past September, Natalie and I went to visit Sturgeon’s Mill on the outskirts of nearby Occidental. The steam-powered mill, originally built in the 1880s, is open to the public about four weekends out of the year. We caught the last “steam up” and got some great footage of the mill in action. Read the rest of this entry »

Butch turns 200!

Here’s a short, little post while I work on our next SE Asia installment: Malaysia!

The other morning, feeling ambitious, we got up to watch the sunrise on Peaked Hill near Goat Rock State Beach just south of Jenner. The previous evening I’d noticed that the odometer in my Montero (whom we affectionately refer to as “Butch”) stood at 199,992 miles. I knew it was about eight miles to the beach. Sure enough, right before we got there he rolled into his 200,000th mile. I hope he has many more.

There are a couple more nice photos of Natalie, Butch, and me after the jump…

Read the rest of this entry »