Eat Your Veggies!

Boo for me the Shone Farm stopped doing their VBoA (Veggie Box o’ Awesome … AKA CSA) (which, as I’m writing that, I’m realizing that I started with the Shone Farm CSA when First Light Farm consolidated the delivery area for their CSA, and I’d been with First Light after Bloomfield Farms had lost their lease I think it was… am I the kiss of death for Sonoma County CSAs?) Hmn… maybe I shouldn’t tell you about the F.E.E.D (Farmers Exchange of Earthly Delights) Cooperative and the fantastic FEED bins I’ve gotten from them – an example of which is shown in the photo above. I’ve only gotten veggies, but they have various add-ons, like pasture raised meat and eggs, and locally made products like ferments. You can also donate bins! There are numerous pickup locations and options for home delivery.

The Shone Farm is still growing produce, with curbside pickup events, although it has not fit in my schedule to make one of those. There are a few more this year.

I also found Four Oak Farm, which had an online store allowing you to order and pick up specific items (rather than the “whatever’s in the box” of a CSA), which was great to be able to do as a customer, but difficult for them as a producer. For 2022 they are trying a pre-order system.

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Hike 38 – Crane Creek Regional Park

So this wasn’t particularly on my List of Capital H Hikes, but location wise it fit in my day, and at this point in the year I’m not going to be too choosy. Well and I did get a Sonoma County Parks pass this year, so there’s the using that and seeing more of those parks thing. Which! Apparently you can borrow a pass from the library!!! How cool is that?!

Anyway, I’ve ridden or driven by a few times, but the one time I’ve been in the park was with an art class I was taking at the JC, which was a long time ago. The park is just east of Sonoma State University, but in my time going to SSU I never went there. Anyway, I think one of the reasons the art class went was for the oaks, or at least that’s my recollection. Which, are quite splendid! And this year FULL of acorns.

The other things I noticed on this visit were lots of ground squirrels (oh, correlation with acorns?), the disc golf course, several memorial benches to people who died sadly young – not even twenty, and evidence of cows but no cows. There was also a bit of a view west and north over the Santa Rosa plain. I didn’t quite figure out a route that covered all the trails, but got pretty close!

As I was getting back to the parking lot I was not quite to 3 miles, which is sorta my minimum distance, and I briefly debated about making a lap of the lot, but fortunately the distance ticked over as I was getting to the vehicle. Whew. It was definitely dry, but the pictures look really drought-y. It would be nice to see in the spring with green hillsides and wildflowers…

all the pictures

10/4/2021, 3.0 miles

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Hike 25 – South Salmon Creek Beach

I was having a hankering for the ocean, and Eric agreed. It’s really not THAT far away, but somehow I don’t get there too often. Well and it can get busy out at the coast on weekends, and you know how I am about People.

But, we got an early-ish start, so the parking lot at South Salmon Creek Beach was pretty quiet, as was the beach itself. Perhaps the fog had something to do with that as well.

It was lovely to see and hear the ocean, and we went all the way to the end of the beach, at the north side of Bodega Head. There were some vibrant red-orange starfish amongst the mussels cloaking the rocks. Also some scenic driftwood, and other interesting beach sights. A fine morning!

7/18/2021, 4.3 miles

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Hike 14 – Laguna de Santa Rosa

This was a squeeze in on the way to other things, which is nice to be able to do. Not everything has to be a big Destination Hike with a Capital H!

Turns out, the Laguna de Santa Rosa is Sonoma County’s largest freshwater wetland. When it rains, the trails – along with much of the plain, depending on the amount of rain – can flood, but that hasn’t been too much of an issue this year, although surprisingly there was one muddy spot. There are parking lots off of Highway 12 and Occidental Road, and the main trail runs between them. There are also a couple of options to loop, so it wasn’t a straight out and back (not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

There are a few bits of trail, but most is wider fire road. Some lovely oaks, a little pond, views of Mount St. Helena and some balloon traffic – quite a lovely morning!

all the pictures

3/27/21, 3.8 miles

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Hike 29 – Santa Rosa Sculpture Saunter

Similar to the Mural Meander, but this was in three dimensions. Well, three dimensional art work, that is. Sculpture! Which I knew of some – like the murals, from having seen them when riding or driving by – but this was a chance to get an up-closer look and walk around them. Others I found out about from the City’s Art Walk map, and then a few I just happened upon in people’s yards or at businesses. Then in Julliard Park there also happened to be a car show! Surprise! Which, these machines were also sculptures/works of art in their own way. And, without planning, it turned out to be the same distance as the Mural Meander!

all the pictures

9/5/21, 5.0 miles

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Hike 27: Santa Rosa Mural Meander

I’ve definitely gotten in the rut(?) of not wanting to drive … corrupted by the bike and train … and Eric was in town for a quick visit, driving down on Friday and back on Sunday, so I figured he didn’t want to get in the car either. Then the AQI was slightly in the yellow, which I know isn’t horrible (although DOH, somehow I didn’t account for getting smoked out while trying to get this done – yeah probably should have done more earlier in the year, but as Uncle Tony says, “you can’t put s**t back in a donkey”) but I wasn’t feeling like doing anything super long or with a high level of exertion.

Eric suggested walking to a coffee shop (ABC!) but then I decided we needed a theme or something, so I made it a mural meander. Many of them I had seen before, but in passing on my bike or in the car, so it was nice to be on foot and spend more time looking. And at one spot, we found that the back side of the building also had a mural that I had not known was there and had never seen before!

The first ones were on Santa Rosa avenue, and some had sadly been graffitied on. We then wandered through the SOFA district, and over to our bakery stop – Tia Maria Panaderia! Where somehow (busy eating?) I did not get any pictures of our concha breakfast sandwiches, Abuelita mochas and mixed berry (blackberry, blueberry, red (er, rasp) berry) tart! So tasty!!!

On the way back I noticed one of the ones under Highway 12 is apparently from 1981! Forty years!!! Then some of the others have gone up within the past year. Wonder what the next forty years will bring…

all the pictures

8/21/21, 5.0 miles

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Hike 26: Spring Lake Circumnavigation from Home

So I am giving up on these being in any sort of order… ah well, maybe “letting go” is a better way to put it. Whatever. I’m not sure what hangs me up about writing up some of these more than others – I know part of me does feel like they should go in chronological order, but maybe with that out of the way I’ll get back to it. Both the writing and the doing – one thing and another sorta hit a lull.

Anyway, this was an “I don’t feel like driving anywhere” excursion, so I left from my house and went over and circumnavigated Spring Lake. So it was sidewalk, and mostly paved path, but there was a bit of dirt path, and it turned out to be 8.1 miles! So I’m totally counting it. And oh wait, I’m making the rules for what counts as a hike for this anyway. So there!

On the way there I saw some tree stump art, which was fun, and a nice patch of sunflowers. There were more people fishing along the lake shore than I think I’ve ever seen, but it may have been the time of day, or the fact that I was on foot and paying a bit more attention. The lake is a bit down – I could see the legs on the boat launch dock, which I don’t think I ever have before. On the way back I foraged a few apples. A fine adventure!

7/25/21, 8.1 miles

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still dry

The Lake Berryessa Glory Hole (official name Morning Glory Spillway, an open bell-mouth spillway) – high and dry in August 2021 – although, to be honest, I don’t pass by there on a regular basis, but the reservoir level does seem pretty darn low. Of course especially so compared to spilling in April 2017. Which is very cool to see in person – if you ever get the chance, definitely check it out! Hopefully it will again sometime… It also spilled in 2019, but I can’t recall if I saw it then. Either way, I can’t seem to find pictures.

Local agencies in Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino Counties are holding Drought Drop By events with curbside pick up of free water saving kits on Saturday, August 21, 2021.

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Hike 18: SLO and Pismo

This was a two-fer. OK, maybe two part is a better description. We were in San Luis Obispo to visit family, and were able to sneak it in. Well again, maybe sneak isn’t the best word, since both parts included family members. I guess maybe it felt a little sneaky re: The Project since I didn’t really make a Thing of it, and we would have done these anyway. Whatever.

Part A was with my Dad, from his house in the northwest part of town up to the Bishop Peak Highland Trailhead. It was fun seeing more of his neighborhood, and getting some stories about neighbors, and going by the Bishop’s Peak Elementary School – all new to me. And, although we only went up to the trailhead, not the summit, we still gained some altitude and got some nice views.

Part B was with my sister and WCN, on the beach at Pismo. Which is always lovely – there’s something about walking barefoot in the sand, and seeing and hearing the waves. And this particular day there was a multitude of bubbles on the beach, and they were getting blown along by the wind, which was fun to watch.

4/16 & 17/21, 5.7 miles

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drought

Unless you’ve been living under a rock – (which, apparently, some of my neighbors are – they are still watering their lawns. EVERY. DAY. WTAF?!) – you’re aware that California is experiencing a drought. After a seriously below average rainfall season, the entire state is at the second level of the US Drought Monitor’s 5-tier scale. As of the end of July, 95.1% is at the third level, D2, Severe Drought. 88.6% is at D3, Extreme Drought, and edging toward half of the state – 46.5% – is at the top level D4 Exceptional Drought. (D4 up from 33.4% last week. Updates every Thursday.)

If the numbers don’t bring it home, this article has some really sobering pictures of California’s largest reservoirs – Lake Shasta (move the vertical slider to see then and now), Lake Oroville, and then the disturbingly disappeared Sierra snowpack …

And, from my local water supplier, “In Santa Rosa, only 12.77 inches of rainfall has fallen this water year, just 3.30 inches more than the driest year of record (1976/1977) when Santa Rosa measured 9.47” through April 15. On average, Santa Rosa receives 32.20” inches a year.” and “Lake Sonoma is 50 percent of water supply capacity and has approximately 123,000 acre-feet of water which is the lowest storage for this date since the reservoir began operations.” among other cheery (not) tidbits.

It’s bad. And all signs point to getting worse. I’m not sure if the lawn waterers are clueless, or just don’t care. I’m not sure which is worse.

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