Feb 23, 2009
We made a slow start today. It was about 9:30 when we got under way. We took Highway 99 north from Bakersfield. Aileen drove the last stretch before lunch. We made it to Stockton-Lodi RV Park about 3:00 this afternoon. We had stopped here on our way south in November. There’s no freeway noise as 99 is 1 mile east and I-5 is several miles west. There is a train track very close but not too many trains using it, I hope. We plan to head west from here out to the coast and likely into more rain. We had showers off and on all day but the temperature stayed mild in the mid to upper 60s F. If Wendy and Randy haven’t passed us today, they surely will tomorrow as they were leaving Florence early this morning and I think they were still planning this route.
On the road shortly after 9:30 but promptly took a wrong road and after a couple miles of incredibly rough pavement we dead ended at an abandoned ferry dock across a levy! It turns out we had to go a few miles up I-5 then turn left. We bumbled our way out to the coast at Bodega Bay. The roads are something else; very narrow, very rough (California is becoming known for its rough roads!) and very busy. I saw several really good photo opportunities with green rolling hills and fluffy clouds and sheep or cattle to give scale but no way to stop. I found that very frustrating. Note to self – do not come this way ever again! We couldn’t even find a place to park to have lunch til nearly 1:30 and then it was just beside a gas station. We saw no other RVs so I guess everyone else is aware of the difficulties in this region.
The coast, when we finally arrived, was spectacular and it was mostly sunny, going against the forecast I saw this morning. We stopped in several pullouts to gaze at the ocean and take pics. We are camped right down beside the ocean at Wright’s Beach, just up from Duncan’s Landing. No services and $35 (that’s US$) for the night but I thought Aileen would like the treat; it is $25 if you are further back with no view. We are very impressed with the size of the waves. I was standing well back, I thought, taking pics when a higher wave soaked me almost to my knees. This is a very steep beach and apparently the most deadly in California, I read later. Mitzy had a ball running til she dropped. Our travel distance today was 233 kms (146 miles) but it felt like more than double that with all the abuse our bodies were subjected to. We’ve wanted to see this area for years and now have and are unlikely to venture to this particular section again. We hope the rest of the California coast will be quiet for us.
A quiet night except for the occasional thump from a larger wave. The sun even visited for a little while this morning to cheer things up. The coast was less exciting today, less large waves but also further from the water for the most part. Yesterday was definitely the best this part of the coast has to offer. There were mostly private lands along today’s route, so no access or small rec areas that said no RVs or trailers. The road was pretty interesting too. Some corners you almost meet the back end of the trailer on and some of the hills are quite steep. There were lots of really narrow sections and just enough traffic that you had to pay attention all the time as to where the trailer was in the lane.
We made it to Fort Bragg and MacKerricher Beach State Park. Its only $20 per night but few services. There’s just half a dozen of us camping here. We went back into town for gas and groceries before supper. We were on the road before 9 this morning and arrived here around 2 PM, I think. 184 kms total distance today which doesn’t include about 12 km to town and back. There was supposed to be a Wi-Fi hotspot here somewhere but it turns out you have to sign up with AT&T. We will hang up here for at least two nights to let the ladies recuperate as they’re tired from yesterday’s pounding.
Aileen put in about 12 ½ of bed time last night and slept most of it. After a foggy start today turned out nice and sunny. I went in to Fort Bragg and got the truck serviced while Aileen and Mitzy had another hour nap. We went for a couple long walks out to the ocean and enjoyed the pounding surf. After lunch, we went for a drive but didn’t get very far as we stopped so many times. I took over 500 shots today and tonight I was ruthless and culled out over 400. The beauty of digital!
We saw a pair of Black Oystercatchers and dozens of seals out at the beach. Only two seals came out of the water for us. We mostly have the beach to ourselves which has been nice. This park has been the best beach we’ve seen yet as far as huge waves and accessibility without crowds. Wright’s Beach was good in that you were camped right at the beach but it didn’t have the beauty and size that this one has.
We went for a final walk out to the beach this morning and there were lots of seals sunning themselves. The ones on the beach were very spooky but the ones with water in between us were calm. We hit the road about 10 AM and traveled to Fortuna where we are in Riverwalk RV Park since it has Wi-Fi and enables me to post the blog after several days. We traveled about 188 kms to get here. We had some interesting road today. After leaving the coast and heading inland we were treated to a corkscrew road for over 20 miles driving through forest of mostly Redwoods, Douglas Fir and Arbutus. One corner was slow to 10 mph, most were 15 or 20 mph and there were a lot of them.
One of the lenses fell out of Aileen’s glasses at lunchtime but luckily the screw was still attached. I managed to file a little screwdriver down enough to tighten it partway and we were able to get it fixed properly this afternoon in Fortuna. We went to Safeway for some groceries before supper. The girl in the campground office gave me a sale flyer which had a $10 off coupon so that helped. We went to the Eel River Organic Micro Brewery for supper. Aileen had a seafood salad and I had fish and chips. Both were very good!
I am again having trouble getting pictures to upload onto the blog so will probably post the text then keep trying to get pictures online. I have 18 images I’d like to share this time. We should be pretty close to the Oregon border tomorrow night if not into Oregon. It will likely depend on what we see along the way.