Preparation for day tripping is key to fun time
The Sportsmanís Report
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By Bill Hanson  July 12, 2013 12:00 am

Day tripping for locals is an excellent sport. 

To become a true day-tripper, it helps if you make up a picnic zone in your garage or any spare closet. If your gear is packed ready to go, it makes getting out the door easier. 

Keep your stuff clean, folded and stored. When the mood hits you or the kids, grab your gear, add something for the cooler and remember the frozen plastic bottles in your freezer are waiting to go with you. Head out quickly and go in any direction you like. A few spots to put on your day tripping calendar:


• July 20-21 is the famous Civil War Days at Duncans Mills. Men passionate about that time in history dress in accurate Civil War uniforms and shoot cannons as they charge the line with sabers raised.  

The few hours you spend there has a very high “wow” factor. Visit them at:

• Howarth Park in Santa Rosa was one of the parks I often visited as a boy. Lake Ralphine is stocked with trout, and you can rent boats and paddle craft by the hour. 

There is a trail over to Spring Lake, a bigger park that backs up to Annadel Park, a huge park with rough trails that can take years to explore. 

Back at Howarth Park are the miniature train, a merry-go-round, ponies to ride and lots of playgrounds and lawn. The park is well patrolled, keeping all visitors safe. 

I took my oldest granddaughter, Taylor Hanson, there for her seventh birthday. It is even better than I remember. 

Taylor became my oldest granddaughter when her sister, Emma Rose Hanson, arrived last December.

• The Sugar Loaf range forms the northern side of the Valley of the Moon, where you will find camping and hiking trails for all walkers. It is best to visit their websites by searching on Google: Parks in the Valley of the Moon. 

They are managed by different government agencies, so there is no real consistency in finding information on the web. In the same area, there is Jack London State Park, a cool place to check out high above the hamlet of Glen Ellen. Also in your search you will find directions to the observatory, a short hike up a trail.  An outstanding place to do a late night picnic, lie on your back and watch the stars put on their nightly show.

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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