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Continuing my vacation theme, we return to the same beach ten years earlier. I'm wearing the St. Christopher medal that was then a permanent accouterment, but what really kept me from drowning then and forever afterwards was making sure that my extremities were firmly in contact with the bottom at all times. This was when the Russian River region was the vacation destination for denizens of the San Francisco Bay Area and was jammed with sun and fun frolickers during the summer months. About ten years later, freeways made Lake Tahoe more easily accessible and Guerneville and environs went into a serious and sad decline that lasted until the 1980s. View full size.