The father of our country, George Washington, would not have gotten cold eggs and burned toast in bed because he was never a real father. Then there was the tall guy with the funny stove-pipe hat, he was the father of the civil war. Old Abe was a father more than once, yet his son young Willy died while Abe was still in the White House. Sunday is the day to honor fathers, aside from the aforementioned breakfast gift it is a time to celebrate fatherhood with a few ideas that will appeal to the sportsmen.
The delayed salmon season is due to open Saturday, June 16. If dad is an ocean going person there are several options for him to ply his skill among the silver fishes. The family will also be rewarded with a great dinner if dad brings home the bacon, or fish in this case. There are numerous charter boats who are eager to help the salmon fisher, if your dad is new to the sport go first to Outdoor Pro in Rohnert Park for advice. Just outfitting a new fisherman can run hundreds of dollars, or you can book a trip with rental gear. The sun reflecting off the water will burn you from the bottom up, so sunscreen is a must along with good sunglasses, a hat and lots of water.
For those who like to stick closer to home, Sturgeon’s Mill near Occidental is open this weekend, the second weekend of four for the year. From Cotati you are at the mill in under 30 minutes. They blow the steam whistle at 10 a.m. and close at 3 p.m. with an hour off at the noon whistle. You will find a steam powered donkey, an old planer powered by a primitive motor and the big steam engine that runs the saw in the main building. The mill is a working museum which means it actually cuts logs into lumber a process made all the more dramatic by the hundred-year-old equipment, truly a day from our past. There is also a picnic area with a selection of lunches at reasonable prices and tables for those who bring their own fare. Did I mention the price? Free. You can buy dad a T-shirt, ball cap or suspenders with the mill logo, or not. The whole family will find it fun and a powerful step back in the history of Sonoma County and a glimpse of the wild north coast of long ago.
Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Mycological Society. Look for his column each week in the Community Voice.