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Bonus Feature

Outside Our Door - Camping the California North Coast
(video on YouTube)









Google Places and Platypie

Same Braxton, but this Fort Bragg is in California

September 17, 2012

The hand lettered sign on the cinderblock building said, RV Overnighters. It was with some trepidation that we pulled off California Highway 1, just south of Fort Bragg and headed towards a clump of older double wides we had seen from the road. Maybe just for a night we thought... if they have a space.

It was early evening, and the area was shrouded in fog. As we headed for the office, I could hear ravens croaking and knocking near-by.

“Yup, we got a space, just go around to the left past those trucks and pull in by the fence in the back.” (Do I hear banjos?)

Overnight we could hear fog horns moaning and the clanging of a buoy bell... good sounds for sleeping.

In the morning we got up to take Sully for a quick walk before closing up and heading on north. The fog had lifted during the night and we found ourselves parked near the edge of a bluff high above the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Noyo River. Morning light poured across meadows of golden grass and just outside our door was a herd of mule deer and Pomo Bluffs Park’s accessible paved trail. The path meanders for a mile or more thru the fields along the headlands about 90 feet above the surf.

California and Herring gulls were circling above, cormorants hunched on guano covered rocks and we could hear the barking of sea lions or seals somewhere below us. Pairs of ravens swaggered about the fields or were hanging out by the dumpster.

So it seems you can’t judge a campground by it’s sign and as it turns out this may be a place we will never leave. Everyday we have been walking the trail... the light and sky, the birds, painters and photographers, bird watchers, abalone divers, fisherman, mule deer, dogs and the fog banks lurking, mysteriously off shore... We walk and watch this ever changing scene off and on all day long. Then, walk again in the evening for the sunsets or to watch the fishing boats return to the Noyo River harbor below us.

Last weekend we were in Bodega Bay for a few days and hiked around the waterfront and docks looking for the ghost of Alfred Hitchcock. No luck, but there were quite a few gulls and pelicans who hung about and watched us very closely. Very.

There was also a small flock of Canada Geese swimming around in the harbor followed closely by what appeared to be a white farm goose who seemed unable to fly. As soon as the white goose would swim into their group, the wild birds would fly off a short distance and the poor domestic goose would swim as hard as he could to rejoin them... only to have them fly away again. Poor guy, I hope he does not end up an insulating comforter.

From Bodega Bay, we traveled north towards Ft. Bragg. The road took us along the edge of the Pacific Ocean and up to elevations of over 1000 feet...still on the edge of the roadway’s cliff and in a deep fog. Never did see the ocean below, way below. Our engine strained even in a low gear and we wondered about the sanity of the cyclists pedaling rapidly up these same very steep mountains - well pedaling frantically in 78th gear while moving upward and onward at a slow snail’s pace or less.

Back down at sea level we walked out to visit the seals and sea lions at Salt Point State Park. The sea was pounding and waves were crashing over the sea stacks just off shore. The spindle shaped cetaceans clamored on and off the rocks, basked in the sun and dove in the rough water catching food. Endlessly a cool delight...we watched for hours.

We passed quickly through the cutesy Victorian town and shopper”s paradise, Mendocino. Adorable, trendy shops... Gas: $6.00 a gallon! Imagine the prices in the little shoppes.

I am not a shopper, and it is only when the last cracker and bit of cheese in the camper is gone that I can be persuaded to even go grocery shopping.

BTW, One of my favorite chick flicks, Overboard, was filmed here.

I am literally racked with pain when I read your descriptions of you Pacific coast travels. We did it all with Jordan, and promised each other on many evenings as the sun set over the Pacific that we would return someday. Alack and alas, it was never to happen! Saddened I am for sure, but at the same time rejoice with you.


We must have passed each other on Route 1.

I just drove from Carmel down to Santa Barbara on Sunday afternoon and am headed to LA, babe!


My stars above, my envy meter is pegged out with that tale of the unexpected wonders you've gotten to see. Ain't life grand?  

The Pecan Grove finally got some rain, perking up the greens almost immediately. We're also now out of the 100's, and football is everywhere. Still paddlin' my ass off, with Lady Bird more mine now the kids are back in school...

Keep up the good work.. and the blog...for all us anchored travellers!

All the best,


The video w/audio reminds me of the West coast of Ireland. Next time you go to Ireland, spend your time up and down the West coast for lots of scenes like this.


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