Russian River in November

Casini Ranch Family Campground – Drone photos by Bruce Prichard
That’s my trailer at the bottom of this image.

November was a good month to camp near the Sonoma Coastline. The Casini Ranch Family Campground is just a few miles inland along the Russian River. The RV Park is well maintained with a variety of spaces. I chose a space along a wooded area, with the river a couple hundred yards behind me. Other spaces were available nearest the beach area. The weather was great for most of the week; the rain started about the same time we were packing up to leave on Friday.

Our first full day was Tuesday, November 10th. We drove over the nearby Korbel winery for some champagne tasting. Social distancing was in full effect during the tasting session. The champagne was good, however, in the gift shop I purchased a small bottle of Korbel brandy. 

Korbel’s champagne tasting flight
The harvested vineyard across the road from Korbel.

On the way back to the campground, I stopped and explored some of the small towns in the area, including Monte Rio and Guerneville. I enjoyed walking the streets in these areas; many of the street scenes were pretty interesting. 

I would call this The Lazy E Market
Somebody’s gate
The Russian River in Guerneville
Fall colors and blue skies
Along the Russian River in Monte Rio
The Birds
The fog was rolling in near the end of the day as I returned to the campground.

The Russian River area is very charming. The town of Monte Rio has a splendor of casual art, with one house boasting a massive collection of Halloween-inspired yard art. 

On Wednesday, we hiked along the coastline between the Wright’s Beach campground and Shell Beach. It was a pleasant day and mild hike. The weather was great and the trail provided numerous viewpoints of the coastline. 

Wright’s Beach Campground features campsites right on the beach.
Looking back, as we hiked away from Wright’s Beach

Before dinner, I drove back to the small town of Jenner (by the Sea) to capture some Pacific Ocean sunset photos. I was not disappointed, the sky was brilliant with color as the sun set. 

On Thursday, we drove about 20 miles north along Highway 1, reaching Salt Point State Park. We checked out the nearby campgrounds and hiked along the coastline in this area. 

After leaving Salt Point, we headed back south and stopped at Fort Ross State Historic Park. Ft Ross was a Russian-American Company settlement in the mid-1800’s. It was a supply point for Alaskan settlements. The fort is available for walking tours and the grounds are woodsy and offer great views of the ocean.

Construction details of one of the buildings at Ft. Ross
Inside the fort area

On Friday, as we packed to leave, the weather changed and the rain began. It was raining pretty steadily as I closed down my trailer and drove away. 

Casini Ranch Family Campground is a do-over. The campground is very nice and the proximity to the Sonoma Coast in very convenient. Guerneville is about 5 miles away so it’s very handy for food or supply errands. 

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