Nestled in the midst of California's beautiful wine country, but just a bit on the coast is a funky little town called Guerneville. The Russian River flows right thru the center of town. It's locals are eclectic, and diverse (see link) to put it mildly...and absolutely wonderful! You can truly find all walks of life in this little town. BUT, I caution, it's not a place for the narrow minded AT ALL, which is why I love it! The locals range from serious hippies to the wine snobs to the absolute radical...radical as in fishing naked for example. There's a nickname for the locals...affectionately "River Rats"...and it suits them just fine.
I've been visiting Russian River ever since I was a little girl. It's just such a magical little river. Rustic, charming and peaceful. In my adult years it has become a destination for our annual camping trip. Every year about 30 family and friends get together and camp on the river one weekend in July (to celebrate my birthday!). We spend an entire day at the river where we shoot the canoer's with water guns and always seem to capsize a few. IT'S ALL OUT WAR!!! The seasoned "riverites" know the score and wouldn't dare board a canoe without their water pistol. I look forward to our annual trip every summer, thus this journal page...
Conrad (my fella) and I set up chairs just before dusk right at the rivers edge so Conrad could fish. He didn't catch anything but we had fun relaxing and laughing...we undoubtedly scared the fish away with all of our racket!
On this particular camping trip "us girls" were determined to be all out "foodies". We enjoyed our sun filled days just lounging at the river, but our well coordinated dinners were certainly the highlight of the trip. We ate and "cocktailed" (nothing like a martini in the woods!) like a bunch of queens. We also canoed for hours down the river too, so we earned it! One of the notable side-dishes of the weekend was my good friend Kari's rice dish...which after the weekend, became known as Russian River Rice Salad and is still referred to it that way to this day. It's healthy, simple, fresh tasting and wonderful for warm weather months since it is great served cold.