Today we reached our turn around point Fort Bragg California. When I first started routing out this west coast road trip I was planning on spending the whole summer and tying it in with Route 66 but both the heat and the cost worried me. Then this summer when i took a summer teaching contract I decided I could afford a summer road trip but only had 2 weeks off. I rerouted the trip. I probably would have only gone as far as Lincoln City or Newport but I’d heard of a place called sea glass beach and really wanted to see it before it disappeared. I first saw a picture of it on social media, Pinterest I believe, it seemed surreal but after some research I learned it does exist in Fort Bragg California. Then it became quite high on my places to see list. I wanted to see it before it was gone, and worried with social media fame I might already be too late. I’d talked with a parent of a student their family had been at Christmas and she assured me it was beautiful. Today felt like I drove forever and looking at the odometer I did add a lot of km, through a lot of narrow winding roads, with hairpin turns, up and down big steep hills, towing a trailer in heat that ranged from 12 to 40 degrees, So was it worth it? I think that depends on who you are, for me a girl with a sense of adventure who has collected Beach glass for as long as I can remember it was totally worth it. Would I come again in the near future, that’s less likely. Next time I’d just loop down as far as Lincoln City. Though if I was on a road trip with a final destination further south I’d totally stop for a visit again.
So this morning after breakfast we hit the road and drove through Prairie Creek Redwoods state park where I’d hoped to camp last night but it had been full. We kept our eyes peeled for Elk but didn’t see any. We had to drop the trailer at Elk Prairie and follow the gravel road out to the coast. Rosie and I had only done a short loop at the campground in the morning so first stop was gold bluff beach where we had the whole beach to ourselves then it was on to Fern Canyon were Rosie had to stay in the car in case we encountered Elk. People coming out of the trail were complaining they hadn’t seen any. But only about 20 yards past them I noticed a whole heard sleeping in the tall grass about 100 yards west of the trail some people Only notice what’s right in front of them. Fern Canyon was so lush and green and although the trail was only .1 of a mile long and the detour to get there took about an hour it was so neat to experience it. Then we were back in the car and on the road.
I wanted to try the Cookhouse in Samoa which is an old logging camp cookhouse that still serves family style meals. It was a hearty lunch designed to feed a logger and although it was all you could eat I couldn’t even eat the first round, and skipped the vanilla pudding that was dessert. They offer soup,salad, bread, main course, dessert and tea or coffee for a very reasonable price. The homemade bread is amazing and if timing works out I might stop again tomorrow but this time just have the soup/salad/ dessert combo without the main course.
Then as I was passing through Eureka I grabbed a copy of the row by row pattern from a quilt shop though the other quilt shop I skipped today as I was worried about parking, i was told I’d probably find some if I decide to stop tomorrow. After leaving Eureka the 101 cut in land and it got progressively hotter which scares me about my plans to take the i5 home. We took the detour thought the Avenue of Giants and stopped at the gift shops and to see the Eternal Tree House however as we kept snaking through the the giant trees it kept getting hotter and hotter and I felt less like getting out and exploring and leaving Rosie in the car was no longer an option to pop in and see something for 10 min, yes when it’s upper teens no when it’s in the 30s. When the temperature reached 35 my priority became finding a place to let Rosie swim. We found a swimming hole access and were back on the road. We cut back on to the 101 which kept changing from a 4 lane freeway to a winding 2 lane road that eventually would be one lane for parts due to construction or washouts. We passed a few more tourist atttractions I’d hoped to stop at but it was getting later and hotter, at one point it reached 40 degrees Celsius, I was so glad I’d stopped to get Rosie a swim. Though I worried how I’d sleep in the trailer in that heat. I had reservations at a state campground but knew I had no electricity so the fan would be no good. We cut out on the Hwy 1 west 44 miles to Fort Bragg. It was tight hair pin turns up and down steep hills, like driving to Tofino but worse, and more than once I questioned why I tacked on this portion of the trip. Though the upside was the further west we went the cooler it got, By the time I reached the coast it was mid teens and as low as 12 degrees Celsius at one point. Then we had to drive south along the coast , I’m guessing it was breathtaking but the fog was so thick, I couldn’t see anything. We finally reached Mackerricher State Park at 7:30 pm 2 hours later than I planned so I dropped the trailer for the 2nd time today and headed out to find gas that I desperately needed and sea glass beach. I found both just up the road and headed to the beach first. I was so happy to see it really does exist though was surprised to see the main colour of glass was white, I would have guessed amber. I collected a few pieces from the dry section above the tide line, then went down to the busy section where the tide would wash over them making them all shiny. I collected a few more, and snapped some photographs they look so beautiful as the water washes them sparkly wet. We then went back and sat on a log as I collected a few more. The pieces aren’t large probably a dime was the biggest size I found and almost all white, with a bit of amber and tiny flakes of green and light blue and possibly a yellow though it might be plastic I’ll have to check it properly in better light as it was foggy and nearing sunset as I searched. Rosie couldn’t figure out why we were just sitting at the beach or constantly bending over to pick things up, when usually we always walk the beach, but she happily sat beside me enjoying the cool crips air. The fog had lifted a bit but was still pretty dense. We drove through Fort Bragg which was bigger than I expected and decided to try to take the 20 out of town to the 101 it can’t be worse than what we came in on and tomorrow I have a lot of backtracking to do if I want to have time to visit family on the way home.
Odometer start of day 1659.9
Odometer end of day 2068.7
Wildlife sightings: some turkey vultures eating roadkill
Fibreglass Egg sightings: zero