Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fort Bragg, Mendocino and the Northern California Coast…

Pictured is a miscellaneous shot of the coast, where we stopped for lunch, on the way to Fort Bragg.

I knew before we left Bodega Bay that Janice wasn’t too thrilled about dragging the trailer along Highway 1, on the Northern California Coast. It’s a notoriously winding, up-and-down, narrow road. I tried to reassure her that the Interstates were probably more dangerous but, when we got to the top of the first steep hill, with a rock slide on one side and a thee hundred foot drop, straight down, to the snarling Pacific Ocean on the other, I could see her Brake Foot starting to get a workout.

Actually the first thirty miles or so were the worst. Either that or her Brake Foot was plumb wore out because she seemed to relax after that.

By the way, my old friend George Robb reminded me that Bodega Bay was the location for the shooting of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie, The Birds

We got into Fort Bragg, at the Hidden Pines RV Park, about 3:00pm. We set up while talking with our new, 1969 Volkswagen Van driving neighbour, Tobin, about his travels to South East Asia. Looking to be in his 50’s, he works for a year or two and then travels for a year. Usually in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam because it’s beautiful, the people are clean and friendly and the food is exceptional.

Later we took a drive through the Fort Bragg. It’s really grown since the last time we were here in 1998. Considering my fear of flying - make that my refusal to fly in the past - I’ve driven down the West Coast quite a few times. I think this is my fifth time in Fort Bragg.

We started a campfire before dinner and enjoyed some Sangria but as soon as the sun went down the chilly ocean breeze drove us inside, where we watched a little Boob Tube.

On Tuesday morning, to our surprise, we woke to sunshine - it’s usually foggy here in the mornings.

After a year of going Au Naturelle, Janice decided to get her hair cut and colored, so I went across the street to the internet café to check emails and to research electronic drums.

In the past few months JR, Stephanie and Ron have been working at putting our electric band, Dr. Recommended, back together in anticipation of when I get home. The guitar player, JR, suggested that I look into electronic drums because the volume can be infinitely controlled, which would be best for all of our old ears. Well, maybe not Stephanie’s old ears - she’s only forty, or so. OK, so Ron’s in his forties too - and JR’s in his early fifties. I guess that only leaves me.

Anyway, I’ll be a busy boy when I get home because I intend to keep the acoustic thing going with Gary, Doc and Sylvie as well. Should be fun…

Waiting for Janice to get finished, I walked around downtown Fort Bragg and took a few miscellaneous shots, pictured below:

When Janice got finished at the hairdresser about 11:00, as always, she went right home to wash her hair and redo what the stylist had done. The color is a little bit redder than she’d have liked but I’m going to help her put some lighter highlights in it.

I keep asking her, “Who are you? And what have you done with my Janice?”

After lunch we drove the eight miles back to Mendocino to have a bowl of soup and some garlic baguettes. I’ve always been fond of the Northern California Coast, especially Mendocino. I was immediately drawn to it on my first trip down here, at about age twenty-two.

The whole north coast is spectacular but Mendocino is cradled in a particularly beautiful setting. While it’s always been an artist’s colony, during the 60’s and 70’s, it also played a major role in the Hippy and Peace Movements. It’s where Earth Momma’s first appeared. It’s where people first became conscious of, and promoted, healthier, organic, food. Generally, it’s where the Back to the Land movement began. Of course it’s also where marijuana was first cropped in the U.S.

Many of the original Mendocino characters, and their traditions, still remain - difference is - a lot of them are now sitting on multi-million dollar properties.

Pictured are a few shots from around downtown Mendocino. The property with the residence complimented by all the flowers in front also has a nice art gallery building at the street and is for sale for $1.6 million.

Not everyone is so enamoured with the area as I am. I’ve always lucked out and had good weather, but I hear it can be pretty dreary and foggy a lot of the time or, otherwise, cold, damp and windy.

Lucky us. In the afternoon we took a walk to downtown Fort Bragg in the sunshine.

Pictured is the harbour at the Noyo River, taken from the bridge. It was about a five mile walk, something we welcomed after a few days of relative inactivity.

In the evening we watched the new TV show, The Voice.

Wednesday was sunny again so we decided to book another day here. I helped Janice highlight her hair and then we walked to the Noyo River Harbor, this time taking the steep path down under the bridge and walking the riverfront.

Pictured below are: Fish Boats at Noyo Harbor and a Fisherman’s ‘best friend‘, a Harbor Seal who was making a racket, no doubt because he thought we were there to feed him.

From Noyo Harbour we walked to The Headlands, or, Chicken Point - so named because sailors would walk out to where we were and decide if the Pacific looked friendly enough to fish, or not.

Pictured are Janice with her new hair colour - just a teaser - and more wild flowers at The Headlands at Fort Bragg.

Today we head for the Redwood Forrest, close to the California, Oregon border…

1 comment:

  1. Janice, I can imagine you look as cute as ever. A redhead! Shall we call you Lucy? Wonderful pictures again. You are so close to home, but don't rush, enjoy every day. cuz ljc