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Sonoma County Gazette
Gualala River Redwood Park entrance

Our Beautiful Gualala River

Jun 28, 2017
by Robin Joy Wellman


The inland heat this past month drew thousands of folks to the local beaches. It looked like Santa Monica with sunbathers in swim suits, Frisbee throwing, beach balls, blankets, and BBQ’s minus the swimming of course as our cold cold water is dangerous to say the least. I know it is tempting to jump in for that coastal dip but our ‘cold as heck’ ocean is not the place. It can even be a little rough for the dogs, who by the way, must be leashed - yes even your baby! A good place to enjoy the coastal weather and at the same time get wet is the Gualala River. The Gualala River (all locals know the G is silent and is pronounced “Waalaala” ) has several safe places to swim a little inland from the coast.

I want to offer a shout out to the Gualala River Redwood Park (46001 Gualala Rd, Gualala). If you are looking for a family friendly camping trip to the beautiful coast this is the place. They offer 120 camping sites, reservations accepted, with each site having electricity and water. Pets are welcome. Kayaking is available as well as ping pong, volleyball, bocce ball, horseshoes, basketball court, and a children’s play area. The ocean is a short walk along some beautiful trails. Going north, past the Gualala Bridge is a left turn along the river. Follow the signs to the Gualala River Redwood Park. For more info visit their website at The river beach is a great place for hanging out or being active and the water is pretty slow moving which allows you to swim. Family camping or getting a group of friends together is one of those summer memories that will last a lifetime. I remember our group camping and the young teens walking around at night through the campground singing hit tunes, or our parents going out with us to the fields for ‘snipe’ hunting with a paper bag and flashlight. The bag had to be paper and the flashlight could only be turned on when setting up the trap. We are told to sit at the bag and wait. We would wait and wait for what seemed to be forever and then give up – only to learn that the parents went back to camp or if we had real young ones were waiting nearby. Much laughter would follow. No spoilers here – but we never did get a snipe.

I want to remind all the gardeners about donating extra foods to our homeless shelters. This includes fruit from the trees. Get a few people together for a “Picking Party” and donate the extra. The other reminder is CalFresh, a state government owned program that is trying to bring local businesses into partnerships to provide food for those in need with healthy food choices. Please contact them at their website or call them at 707-284-3850 x174 to sign up or to get more info for friends and family.

If you are looking for a summer camp for the kiddos while you camp nearby, the Global Harmony Summer Camp has much to offer. The instructors are truly caregivers and bring a nurturing spirit to the camp activities. The class are well suited for local kids and kids who are visiting from out of town. Classes in the past have included: culinary arts, beading, drumming, mask making, portrait painting and much, much more. for more info and to sign up. TheAuto Show and Pinewood Derby, one of the best on the coast, is July 15th at the Art Center. Truly something for all ages including! What could be better - award winning cars, good food, and redwoods to relax in. For more info visit

Point Arena Fireworks Show and Festival is Saturday, July 1st this year. This is an amazing down-home, firework display and street faire with great food, live music, crafts, BBQ, and fun for the whole family. This fireworks display is known as the best and longest displays on the coast. There is a $10 charge. Presale of tickets made available online a and in some local businesses. It is a little tricky for parking and getting to the event site – so plan ahead. They have a shuttle which is encouraged. The annualPoint Arena Street Parade will be held at noon on Sunday, July 2nd. To volunteer, become a vendor, or to be in the parade for Point Arena Celebration please contact City Hall at707-882-2122

Fort Ross State Historic Park will host its annual Festival July 29th, supported by California State Parks and the Fort Ross Conservancy. Over 80 costumed people in the fort compound, beer garden, salad bar and other great good, free horse and buggy rides, and much more. Please for more information.

Please, turn and hug the one you’re with! Many blessings to you and wishing you all a great summer!

North Coast WInds, Robin Joy Wellman



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