Armstrong Redwoods Grow Tall, Old and Strong

Redwoods Trees at Armonstrong Woods in Northern California
Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Preserve

Not 30 minutes by car from the Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport (STS) and Sixt rental cars of Santa Rosa is a preserve of the tallest living things on Earth, Sequoia sempervirens, or Coastal Redwoods.  Drive west about 16 miles along River Road and the Russian River, turn north at Guerneville, California, and tucked into the coastal mountains is a canyon where old growth redwood trees exist much as they have for millennia, a place called Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve.

According to California Park Services, these remarkable trees live to be 500-1,000 years old, grow to a diameter of 12-16 feet, and stand from 200-250 feet tall. Some trees survive to over 2,000 years and tower above 350 feet. Coast redwoods are classified as temperate rainforests and they need wet and mild climates to survive. The rainfall in Armstrong Redwoods averages 55 inches per year and the trees are often shrouded in a mystical fog that helps to maintain the moist conditions needed for the redwoods to survive. Continue reading

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Whale Watchers Rejoice! California Gray Whales Making a Comeback

Gray whale breaching - Bodega Head, Sonoma County, California
Whale watching off California’s Sonoma Coast

If you’ve never seen a whale before, chances have never been better. Drop everything and book your next vacation to California’s Sonoma Coast.  Fly into the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport (STS), rent a car from Sixt and make the 45 minute drive to Bodega Head, where experts say that gray whale populations are recovering.

The epic migration of whales peaks from January through May, but is visible during much of the year, according to BodegaBay.com. Each year gray and blue whales travel south from the Chukchi Sea near Alaska and down to Baja California for winter, then back north for the summer feeding season. A great vantage point is the Ocean Overlook at Bodega Head, or various whale watching boat trips launching from the local area.

Experts say they have seen more whales this year than in decades, estimating the population to have grown over 20,000.  A tour operator said they have seen a whale every time they’ve gone out which is unusual.  The following article about the gray whale comeback is from our local paper, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.  SEE MORE