Resolutions and outdoor gems for the new year
The Sportsmanís Report
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By Bill Hanson  December 27, 2012 11:36 am

As we look toward 2013 and the year ahead in the outdoors, here are a few resolutions and some local gems I want to share with you. We are so lucky to live in Sonoma County, there is so much diversity in the county  and in nearby counties.

• Resolution 1: In all my endeavors in the outdoors this year, I resolve to carry a supply of small garbage bags in my truck. This way I will have a bag with me at all times to pick up trash in the bush, on the beach or in the boat.

• Gem 1: Point Reyes National Sea Shore has been one of my favorite places to hike and admire for years, and yet, I still feel like a newbie. Join me in exploring this vast local treasure just minutes from home.

• Resolution 2: I will visit a new forest this mushroom season. I want to investigate some of the lesser-visited forests close by.

• Gem 2: Tomales Bay, although it is in Marin, it is close, very close. It is a wonderful thing; just to go there and breathe the clean salt air. Tomales Bay has so much to offer – boating, fishing, diving, kiting, hiking, picnics, history, and exploring the small hamlets. I promise Tomales will become one of your favorite spots.

• Resolution 3: Bird watching; I love birds. In the year ahead, I will get serious about identifying my feathered friends. I love to watch shorebirds doing the bug boogie along the shoreline. They drill the sand with their curved beaks and cackle, chirp and call to one another.

• Gem 3: The north coast from Jenner North to the Navarro River up to Fort Bragg. The natural beauty of the Pacific on our coastline has more going for it than you can shake a tent stake at.
If you are not familiar with the coast highway, do it. Pack a few sandwiches, a blanket and bring a jacket. Be ready to fall in love. Above all, pull off the road as often as you can and soak in the beauty.

• Resolution 4: I intend to visit the visitors centers in the Redwood Empire and see what there is to see. My resolve is to see our side of the vacation fence with new eyes.
• Gem 4: I want to explore the north country – Humboldt County, the Trinity Alps and the Six Rivers National Forest. This entire area truly is a California gem, unused and undiscovered by many.

• Resolution 5: Take a child or friends with children to a beautiful spot. Pick your favorite park, beach or wild outlook and share it with someone completely new to the outdoor experience.

• Gem 5: Our senior citizens can teach us so much. I will find a new-to-me widow or widower that could use a day trip away from home.

• Resolution 6: I am resolved to dig a bucket of razor clams on the Humboldt coast this spring.
• Gem 6: Fort Ross State Historic Park. If you have not been to the fort in the last 20 years, you will be blown away. Volunteers have joined the state park system employees to bring the fort to a living museum treasure.
• Resolution 7: This year I will join a conservation group and participate in trail building, habitat restoration or some other worthwhile cause to help sustain the natural treasure that is our community.

• Gem 7: Make a gem. Pre-pack a picnic set up and/or camping pile in your garage or closet. If you have a pile of gear ready and waiting, your next trip to our backyard becomes much easier.
John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you are busy doing other things.”
Take time in your life this year to explore the beautiful part of the world we live in. People save up all year to take a trip to the Wine Country. So many of us wonder why. San Francisco is the No. 1 vacation destination for travelers. When did you last take your family to the Legion of Honor Museum in the city?
How about taking the ferry to the city and treating your family to a ride on cable cars or a visit to Chinatown. Make it a “go do it” year.

Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.

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