Guernsville had a dark undertone to its personality. Deep in the woods, where the house we rented was placed, the forest was silent. At night, and especially during the day, I expect to hear the leaves rustle, woodland creatures scurry about, and the sound of birds. Inside the house I could not tell if the windows were open or closed—both situations were equally silent. There was no sound of birds in the morning. And no sound of night creatures after the sun had set.
However, sound travelled easily. Two men building a cabin a quarter of a mile down the road could be heard conversing as easily as if they sat across the dining room table from me.
Despite this, Tucker was ease. He gave no hint of feeling we would be set upon by either a very real living human murderer or, less likely, demonic goblins of the night. So I merely noted the eery silence and gave my respect to the towering trees above.
Not wanting to spend another day on pavement, Tucker and I headed north out of the silent redwood grove to Stillwater Creek Regional Park. Unlike the state parks, Sonoma County’s parks allow human and canine partners to traverse their trails together.
The road to get the park was a coastal highway, winding along the curves of the bluff overlooking the ocean. So unfortunately, I have no photos of its beauty due to the tight turns and the need to have both my hands on the wheel at all times.
We arrived at the campground, parked, and every molecule of my body sighed in peaceful thanks as my boots hit soft forest earth.
Tucker was just as thankful:
Along the well-marked path of the park was a small cul-de-sac trail that ended in a meadow marked “Fort Ross School.” Locked up due to vandalism, we couldn't go inside, but we were able to peak into the windows to see what 1800’s schoolhouse life was like. The school was built in 1885 and perched on a bluff overlooking the village of Fort Bluff a few miles south of its current location. It was disassembled piece by piece and re-erected south of the village, in the early 20th century. Then it moved again… and again. Until it finally landed here, this little piece of history tucked away in this redwood grove on county property.
A little cove, tucked away from the large expanse of ocean, was small and covered in rocks. It didn’t seem as comfortable for Tucker as Shell beach was, but maybe after six miles in the woods, he just didn’t care where he lay his body.
Although we couldn’t see the beach that was our destination, Goathead was prominent in our view.
The food was good, the atmosphere even better. Here, the ocean breeze makes its way over the mountains, and the redwood trees dance in the morning and evening fog. They open up their arms and welcome Tucker and me home.