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Out For a Drive Along the Coast
On Sunday afternoon it just got to be too much for me to stay in the house most of the time, or even to stay on our property outdoors. We had just heard on the news that our shelter-in-place was being extended through the entire month of April, and that was a little too much for me.
So Larry and I figured out we could go for a drive and stay sheltered-in-car. We figured that as long as we staying in our car, we would be achieving the required social distance, so we got in our Prius and set out for a Sunday drive.
We first drove to Guernville on a winding forested road that runs along the Russian River. Once we reached Guernville we went to our favorite forest where we often walk. We go to Armstrong Redwoods because of the density of trees, which produce so much pure oxygen that you can feel it. But the park was closed. Our parks had been open on the first weekend of shelter-in-place but so many people went out to the parks and beaches that all the parks were closed to maintain social distance. Even our little downtown parks are closed. All we can do now is walk on neighborhood sidewalks.
So we continued on driving from Guernville out to Jenner, which is one of my favorite places on Earth because it is a point where the river meets the Pacific Ocean and the fresh water mixes with the salt water. There is pasture along the road with a field of cows and hills on the other side of the river so it is very picturesque.
Then we drove up over the hill to the south which took us to another stretch of winding road along the ocean. Here is Sonoma Coast State Park, which is 17 miles of some of the most beautiful California coastline. Not the most spectacular but there are many crags and coves and sandy beaches to explore when the park is open, and also many rock formations protruding from the water near the coastline. But what I appreciated most about this stretch of roadway was the wide-open vista of sky and sea that was just what we needed. I just needed space. Wide open space. We couldn’t park to admire it because every turnout and parking lot had been roped off because of the closed park order, but we could drive by it sheltered-in-car. We could open the windows and breathe the air that had been traveling thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean.
When we arrived in Bodega, where the Hitchcock movie The Birds was filmed, we turned east and drove home along Bohemian Highway, another beautiful drive of winding road through miles of dairy farms.
The road was practically deserted for most of the drive. The little towns we drove through that are usually bustling with weekend tourists were quiet. It was like we had the whole area to ourselves.
To shelter-in-place doesn’t mean you have to stay in one place. The whole point is to be separate from other so you cannot catch or transmit the covid-19 virus. We accomplished that separation by staying in our car (even though there was nobody on our route to stay separate from) and at the same time managed to have a lovely and refreshing afternoon.
Our lesson from this was we don’t have to follow the social distancing requirements literally, but rather we can be creative about following the spirit and intent of social distancing and do it in our own way. We feel much more freedom now to protect ourselves in ways that we come up with ourselves, rather than being limited by rules imposed by others. Now we have free choice to create our experience of social distancing ourselves.
DEBRA REDALIA, Co-Founder of Lifely, has been researching and writing about lifestlye topics for more than forty years. After her first book on nontoxic consumer products was published in 1984, she went on to be the leader in this field as Debra Lynn Dadd. In June 2019, she retired from writing about toxics and industrial consumer products to establish The Lifely Group with her llifepartner and soulmate Larry Redalia. This next step into life beyond industrialization is the result of a lifetime of research and making lifely changes in her own life that have given her greater health and happiness.