April 24, 2019

Hiking in Wine Country

Every day I get to meet amazing people from all over the world here at Farmhouse and they always say to me “I wish I got to live the life you live.” I always reply, “I don’t think you really do; I don’t live the life you think I do!” I’m a busy guy, and when I have any free time, I’m not often found tasting wine or visiting the hottest new restaurants in the area. I’m the father of three active children and love more than anything spending time with my family and we’re an active family – we love to do all things outdoorsy. In the winter we’re always up in Tahoe skiing, and the rest of the year you’ll find us out hiking, canoeing, paddle boarding, bike riding…

This year, I decided to step up my game a little bit. My boys are both in Boy Scouts (Healdsburg Troop 21) and every July they do a 50-mile backpacking trip through the Sierras. This year I’ve agreed to come on as one of the adult leaders. I’m pretty sure I’ll do just fine, but I’m using it as an opportunity to get in a little bit better shape for the big hike. We’ve been spending every weekend out exploring some of the most amazing hiking terrain.

I think that’s one of the things about Sonoma County that makes it such a unique destination, we have world-class cuisine and wineries all around us, but we also have world-class outdoor activities for the adventuresome spirits like me.

Two weekends ago, we did a hike we’ve never done before, me and the boys tackled Fitch Mountain in Healdsburg. If you’ve ever approached Healdsburg on the 101, you will notice that directly to the southeast is a large hill right behind the city, that’s Fitch Mountain (Fitch Hill would be a more appropriate name!). With about a thousand-foot elevation climb, we set out on the first clear Saturday (of what felt like the wettest, rainiest winter we’ve ever had) to climb muddy mount Fitch. I’ve heard about this hike forever but never had done it before and when we tried to find the trailhead, I understood why so few people do it, it’s not an easy hike to find. But once we finally found our way to what we believed was the right trail, up we went. About an hour later we found ourselves up on top of the hill, with the most magnificent views. Healdsburg from above looks like a little Hamlet nestled between rolling green hills. I found myself envisioning a Thomas Kinkade painting as I surveyed the landscape. While I’ve lived here my whole life, it’s always fantastic to get a slightly different perspective, and remember why people travel from all over the world to visit our beautiful county. We got a little lost on the way back down the hill and ended up on the wrong side of the mountain. I’m pretty sure that there was adequate signage, we just ignored it! Oh well, it gave us an excuse to hike back up to the top a second time and it was even prettier! All in all, a great hike, a great workout, and a fun time with my boys.

What’s next? Well, Jenner Headlands and the back country behind Armstrong Woods are already on the calendar. So, the next time you are out visiting Farmhouse and we meet at the wine hour, you can ask me what my favorite winery is (and certainly there are many that I love) but ask me instead about the latest and greatest hike I just did and I guarantee you’ll get a much more animated answer! Happy trails!

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