Sonoma County: Russian River, Sonoma Coast, and Night Sky Photos of St. Teresa Church in Bodega, July 2013
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11 July 2013: This trip was a bit of a blur because I had just gotten back from the Indian Himalayas and was readjusting. Several days after returning, Lisa and I drove to Sebastapol, a place we absolutely love. It just feels comfortable. The next morning, we paddled nine miles of the Russian River, starting at Healdsburg, a bit north of Santa Rosa.

The Russian River, so named because, well, Russians at one point had a Fort at Fort Ross, just north of the mouth of the river along the coast. Imagine, the Russkies on our very shores. When I mention this, most Californians don't realize that the Russians explored this river or had a fort, mostly for trading, in the early 1800s. Fort Ross is still there and can be toured.

We paddled downriver for nine miles, the day going very fast. It's really relaxing and enjoyable, especially when you bring a good lunch and stop off at the shores to enjoy it. The Russian River from Healdsburg is less populated, and therefore also quieter, than the area by Guerneville. Next time, we'll probably try canoeing part of the river closer to the mouth.

Friday 12 July 2013 - Annadel State Park:
Annadel State Park is in the Valley of the Moon, an area made popular by author Jack London, and is just east of Santa Rosa. The park is appealing, having rolling hills, streams, meadows, and woodlands.

And deer.

Lake Ilsanjo in Annadel State Park.

Annadel State Park, east of Santa Rosa.

A lizard spotlighted by the sun in Annadel State Park.

The Southern Pomo Native Americans lived here for thousands of years, gathering obsidian, a volcanic rock, on these lands for trade with neighboring tribes. These would be worked into scrapers, knives, arrow points, and spearheads.

The Russian and Aleutian fur trappers established Fort Ross, and were likely the Pomo's first contact with foreigners.

The Pomo were forcibly moved by Gold Rush miners and settlers, who forced them into indentured servitude despite California's prohibition against slavery or moved them to reservations.

Annadel State Park.

Later in the day, we met up with our friends Adam and Jill and their kids, and went Bodega Bay, part of the gorgeous if chilly Sonoma Coast.

Adam discovers a skull.

The beautiful Sonoma Coast around Bodega Bay.

I kinda blew this opportunity for another of our apparently traditional "take a photo of Adam's family in a ten second long exposure photo" because I forgot the neutral density filter, which are like sunglasses for the camera, and a rather essential ingredient for long exposures during bright daylight. And it was extra bad already because the first time, I had forgotten the tripod. But I tried the best I could. This is probably four or six seconds, I can't remember. Apparently, I can't remember a thing.

More of the beautiful coastline around Bodega Bay, Sonoma Coast.

Jill and her two charming kids. The kids are really cool, very intelligent and articulate and a whole lotta fun. Adam and Jill are no slouches in this department either.

I love wavy, windblown grass. Bodega Dunes.

There's another page to this, so I hope you continue.

Ken's photos of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as photos of Peru, Burma, India, Morocco, China, Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, and elsewhere, have appeared in many books, magazines, websites, and galleries.  Visit the Ken Lee Photography Website. Some of Ken's select photos may be purchased through his Imagekind Store.

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Sonoma County: Russian River, Sonoma Coast, Night Sky Photos of St. Teresa Church in Bodega, July 2013

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