Sonoma Valley locations feature prominently in new guide book
Like pretty much everyone, travel writer Yvonne Michie Horn had big plans for 2020 before the coronavirus hit. A lifelong adventurer and world traveler, she had planned a full trip outside of the country that had to be completely thrown off due to the pandemic.
Yet like many around the world, Horn had to roll with the beats and find a way to keep her career and passions moving forward.
Fortunately, the Reedy Press publishers in St. Louis got interested in their pitch for “100 Things To Do In Sonoma County Before You Die,” and Horn made his way to the socially distant races.
When Horn spoke from her home in Oakmont, she told the story of her canceled trip, but quickly realized how lucky she was. Horn said, “After my trip was canceled, I was delighted to hear that the Reedy Press and their guidebooks had a loophole, and they wondered if I would be willing to publish the book, 100 Things To Do In Sonoma County must do before you die ”. ”
She added, “So I signed a contract for her at the end of June with a November 1st deadline, but it was signed early in late September.”
As the title suggests, Horn’s book takes readers across Sonoma County to many popular locations, but it also highlights some hidden gems. The chapters include food and drink, music and entertainment, sports and recreation, culture and history, and shopping and fashion.
Sonoma Valley itself is well represented with 18 entries in the book, and not all of them are related to wine. Local highlights include the Transcendence Theater Company, Quarryhill Botanical Gardens (now Sonoma Botanical Gardens), Hanson of Sonoma Distillery, El Molino Central, and TrainTown. Sonoma also makes the grade in several addenda on each subject where there are many options, such as golf courses, distilleries, breweries, community theater, and horse riding facilities.
While covering a county as large as Sonoma, Horn was willingly armed. As a travel and garden writer, he said, “I’ve written about Sonoma County over the years, so I went back to my files and started there.”
Horn stated that the Reedy Press “100” series looks for authors that contain entries in five categories. So the challenge for Horn, a third-generation lifelong resident of Sonoma County, was deciding what to include. “Ideally you want to get 20 [entries] in every chapter or 18 or so, ”said Horn. “It gave me direction and also forced me not to write anything I wanted because it didn’t fit in the order of the book.”
In fact, “100 Things to Do in Sonoma County Before You Die” is very diverse, and almost every town in Sonoma County has a reputation. All of this begs the obvious question: Was there something that Horn had to cut out of the book because of the rather strict outline?
Horn admitted, “In September when I was winding things up, I was talking and realizing a terrible thing. Instead of 100 seats, I had 104! I had to choose which of my wonderful babies wouldn’t come in. “Like any good travel writer and homeland lover, Horn declined to mention what didn’t make the cut.
Horn says she visited every entry in the book, but there are two things she just wouldn’t do even though they’re in the book. “I’m not going to catch my own dinner on a deep-sea fishing charter, and I’m not going to zipline either,” she laughed, referring to the Sonoma County canopy tour from Occidental. But it’s in the book under “Sports and Leisure”.
In addition to lively commentary on each location, “100 Things to Do in Sonoma County Before You Die” also includes an easy-to-read “Suggested Itineraries” section at the end of the book. Sections like “Family Fun,” “Take to the Trails,” and “Famous Folk” make it easy to plan specific trips, and there’s also a breakdown of locations by city. There’s also a fascinating list of eateries and eateries in the suddenly burgeoning Guerneville food scene.
“100 Things to Do in Sonoma County Before You Die” is available online and at all local bookstores. Horn will host a virtual event about Copperfield’s books on Thursday April 29th at 7pm. Information can be found at kupferfelderbücher.com.