48 hours in Mendocino county

There’s a particular beauty to the rugged coastline of northern California. Don’t get me wrong, I love my sandy Southern California beaches, but a chilly wind (even in the dead of the July) whipping at your face as you stand on the edge of a tree lined cliff while the pacific ocean swirls violently around the craggy rocks below? It stirs something wild inside you.

It’s exhilarating. I love California a little more with each visit to the north. In fact, I think I need to make this annual July trip because it’s such a nice break from the triple digit heat at home.


I gathered a couple of my trusty adventure buddies in the form of the sister and the best friend. The trip began with a pretty, winding drive through the redwoods from Sebastopol to Russian Gulch State Park. We “stretched” our legs on the 6.5 mile Fern Canyon Trail and by stretched I mean none of us quite anticipated just how out of hiking shape we all were.

Happily, our motel had a bath tub. A good hot, epsom salt soak retained my walking dignity. Otherwise my inner old lady would have made an outward appearance because I would have been hobbling for the rest of the trip. 🙂

Sunset at Pomo Bluffs Park eased the disappointment of the subpar BBQ we ordered. I got to play with some long exposures while my accommodating buddies waited in the cold darkness. Ah, the perils of traveling with a photographer.

The next morning we hopped aboard the Pudding Creek Express out of Fort Bragg. I would have been happy to spend most of the day chugging through forest.

One thing would have improved the ride – lounge chairs on the open air train car. Then you could kick back and watch the blue sky flicker between tree branches. A daytime spin on star gazing!

We made the short stroll out to Point Cabrillo Light Station. Then took it nice and easy along the coastal route back to Sebastopol.

Did my opening paragraph sell you on magic beauty of the northern coast? Because, wow. Insert a bunch of heart-eyed emoji’s here.

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