Soulful Travel: Fort Ross 

More than just a premier Wine Country destination, Sonoma County can have a profound impact on a traveler’s emotional wellbeing, including fulfillment and a renewed sense of purpose, gratitude, reduced stress, altruistic joy, and a stronger sense of connection to the world and the destination.  

Here we help you have that experience in Fort Ross, a unique little town located along the Sonoma Coast. 

Fort Ross Ocean Scenic  View

Poseidon Adventure

Free spirits, wrote the poet Charles Baudelaire, will forever love the sea. The forest has its wonders; hills and valleys their sunshine and flowers; but the sea holds a mystery that is difficult to put into words.  

That hasn’t stopped you from attempting to express the un-expressible as you wind your way along what has been called one of the most scenic coastal drives in all the world: Highway 1 on the Sonoma Coast. It also happens to be one of the most dramatic times of year, that narrow sliver on the calendar when winter and spring gently joust with no clear victor. It’s the perfect backdrop for veils to drop and revelations show themselves, and the place where it all unfolds for you is Fort Ross.  

Located 25 miles north of Bodega Bay, it’s a spot where varied stories of Northern California history converge, for not only did Native Americans once trod these oceanside hills, but Spanish ranchos and Russian fur traders also walked these grounds – not to mention soulful travelers such as yourself. Surrounded by nature enclaves such as the Rhododendron State Natural Preserve, and coastal hamlets such as Timber Cove, the centerpiece of the Fort Ross stretch of the Sonoma Coast is the very fort that lends its name to this historic state park.  

Established by Russian fur traders as the hub for their enterprise from 1812 (you might want to cue up Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture”) until 1841, Fort Ross is considered California’s first multicultural community, with Alaskans, Finns and Swedes joining the Russians and the Kashaya native tribe. The fort still stands on 3,400 acres of land wedged between redwood forests and waves crashing upon the craggy coast. Your day’s itinerary includes a guided tour, a stroll through history at the park’s bookshop, and a sampling of nearby wineries and dining options.  

But it is the voice of the sea that really calls you, like the sound inside a shell pressed to your ear. So, in order to set the proper mood for the day, you decide the first priority is to perch yourself upon the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, letting your gaze stretch outward toward the horizon, to that spot where sun and sea seem to meld together in some otherworldly dimension, where the light of understanding penetrates the profound depths and draws up the ancient wisdom like the lost city of Atlantis.   

Fort Ross Chapel Historical State Park

As the planet Neptune is not visible to the naked eye, it does not belong to the traditional structure of seven that rules over earth-dwellers through the seven colors of the light spectrum, seven chakras or energy centers of the body, and the seven visible planets and days of the week named after them.  

Neptune, like the sea and its mysterious depths hidden from earthly eyes, represents the invisible world.  

Standing here on the Sonoma Coast in perfect weather for soulful awakenings – with sunlight and clouds jockeying for supremacy in their celestial drama – you come to realize how the depths of the sea serve as a metaphor for the innermost recesses of the human psyche. It is the place through which, over the course of our lifetime, we slowly build our personal vision of paradise. Neptune is said to operate on the same frequency as Venus albeit an octave higher, taking us from earthly love to divine love free from the hold of the lower spheres.  

Fort Ross stands at the very edge of the North American continent, where solid earth yields to the beautiful and tempestuous sea, a symbol of the part of ourselves where dreams are made. It’s an ideal place to put your hand over your heart and ask it to reveal your deepest desires. Astrology textbooks refer to Neptune’s subtle frequency in human consciousness as “exquisite,” a state of mind in which earthly cares are transcended and the soul floats free.  

Sonoma County Coastline in Fort Ross

At this critical juncture in human history, when man has created machines to do his imagining for him, never does the sea beckon so strongly to those who feel the inner call to find their way back to their true selves. The Sonoma Coast is not a tropical beach where you lounge in the sun with a fruity drink topped with a paper umbrella; it’s a place for profound experiences, where waves of realization crash against the cliffs and hard-reset you back to who you really are and what you really want.  

Suddenly a burst of sunlight breaks through and seems to light a path leading from your vantage point all the way to the edge of the horizon, where the Pacific Ocean meets the vault of heaven. Turning over your shoulder to gaze up the hill, you realize you’re standing at the intersection of two worlds. Above you stands Fort Ross, symbol of earthly endeavors, of success and failure in the world of enterprise, while down the cliff, Neptune’s horses sound their crash with the rhythm of eternity.  

A smile breaks across your face as you realize you’re in both worlds simultaneously – which is precisely where you’re supposed to be. And with a subtle nod of the head you thank Neptune – and the Sonoma Coast – for reminding you of this.  

Other Soulful Adventures   

This trip through Fort Ross is just one of a series on soulful travel. For other experiences, visit our Soulful Travel page. 

Remember the Leave No Trace Principles

Experiencing our destination through the Sonoma County Leave No Trace Seven Principles gives travelers an opportunity to make a difference. Together, we can protect and preserve this special corner of the world for generations to come. Find more info about sustainable travel in Sonoma County here.   

For a list of local businesses helping promote the important message of Leave No Trace, click here.

Written by Christian Chensvold 


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