2017 Travel Map

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fort Bragg, California


August 24 - 27, 2013:

It was an easy scenic drive north to the town of Willits, then it got interesting on Rt. 20 west.  This road was very windy, up and down through Jackson Demonstration State Forest, single lanes in each direction with frequent pull overs to let cars pass for 30 miles.  We ended up on route 1 north, then about a mile to Ft. Bragg.  I keep thinking of the Ft. Bragg, NC military post, this isn't it.  We found our way into the Noyo Harbor where Sportsman's RV Park is located which is an actual old fishing village, very scenic.  We checked in and then the fun started, trying to shoehorn the monster into a spot sized more for a 24 foot trailer with no slides.  We did manage with considerable help from other campers, but could not back in fully and still open slides.  It is a really cool site though right on the harbor, lots of dining within walking distance and a waterfront patio area.  Lots and lots to do and see here, we will not be bored !

A Sunday morning breakfast at a small cafe next door to the RV Park, always a very good way to start a day.  We then went a few miles north on route 1 to MacKerricher State Park.  It has miles of nice hiking trails along the Ocean front, Headlands as they call them here, with lots of rocks, tidal pools, wild flowers and wildlife.  We managed to work off some of our breakfast there.  We then stopped at downtown Fort Bragg to walk around, it is the largest town on the Mendocino coast and has many good shops, a brewery, museums, restaurants, bars and about anything else that is needed.  This weekend is the annual Paul Bunyan Festival, the lumber industry was huge here in the early days and it is a big part of the local history.  The other big industry was fishing, with the fishermen centered in the Noyo Harbor area where our campground is located. 

Sportsmans RV Park


MacKerricher State Park

MacKerricher State Park

MacKerricher State Park

Skunk Train mural in Ft. Briggs

Twinkles at the Tattoo studio in Ft Briggs

It's a 10 mile ride to the beautiful, quaint town of Mendocino and if in this area you must do it.  It's history starts as usual with the indians, the Pomo indian tribe in this case.  The early white settlers came here and started the timber industry, cutting down every Redwood tree in sight, until they were mostly used up. After the decline of the lumber industry, Mendocino became a destination for artists who opened up studios and galleries and the tourism industry started.  The whole town is now a registered National historic site and fairly upscale, no ghetto area here ! Lots of interesting artist galleries, cafes and other assorted stores.  The real attraction however is the coastal headlands and the ocean views.  We walked a great trail along the coastline that led down to a sandy beach that was beautiful.  We then toured the downtown and had a nice lunch.  We the drove a few miles north to the Cabrillo Light Station which is a restored Lighthouse that was built in 1906.  It was a easy 1/2 mile walk to the Lighthouse with more incredible views of the rocky coast.

Mendocino Headlands

Mendocino Headlands with Mendocino in background

Mendocino Headlands view


Mendocino with the fog is coming in

Downtown Mendocino

Interesting building top in Mendocino

Point Cabrillo Light Station

Point Cabrillo Light Station


Another day, another hike, we are getting back in shape a little.  This time we went to the Jughandle State Reserve very close to Ft Bragg for a 6 mile nature trail.  This trail takes you up what they call an ecological staircase consisting of 5 terraces, each 100,000 years older that the preceding one, created by the land being uplifted as the continental plates collide. Each terrace has a different soil composition and differing plant communities.  There is also a very nice white sand beach there surrounded by rocks and cliffs, very beautiful.

View at Jug Handle State Reserve

Lots of wild flowers at Jug Handle

a colorful Banana Slug

Forest at Jug Handle 

Beach at Jug Handle 

Beach at Jug Handle

Wild flower at Jug Handle

The ecological staircase at Jug Handle


We also checked out the Ft. Bragg beach known as the "Glass Beach".  The glass comes from the fact that years ago they dumped the trash, including glass bottles into the sea.  The glass beaks up into small pieces and gets ground smooth by the sand and surf.  We were really surprised how scenic this beach was, it could be another State Park. 

Sportsmans RV Park is right on the old Noyo fishing harbor and has about as "old salt" a flavor as you will find anywhere.  They have a rustic dockside patio area where you can sit and watch the fishing boats come back to port silhouetted by the sunset.  The sea birds are flying, there is an occasional Seal, a pet Sea Lion, fish are jumping, a great place to be at sunset.  This harbor area is little changed from 100 years ago except for the modern cars and trucks.

The Fred Holmes at Noyo Harbor

Old boat at the RV Park

Twinkles poses in front of our new RV, Boat and BBQ 

View into the harbor from our deck


Ships coming back into the harbor


Lots more to explore here, stay tuned.

Twinkles and Slick    

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