Thursday, June 20, 2019

6/20 Bodega Bay, CA

I was here about six years ago, but I was happy to come back for a few days co-camping with my son and grandkids.  We found two campsites not too far apart, which was nice.  

The only problem with Doran Beach Campground at Bodega Bay is that there are no electrical hookups.  I can do without full hookups, but I do like power so I don't have to keep running my generator to keep my laptop charged.  And to make things worse, the 12 volt charger I use for my laptop was giving me error messages saying I needed to use an approved charger.  I did discover that it must have been adding some charge because with it, I could use the computer for a lot longer.  I hate to use a noisy generator, but a lot of people do, so I have to live with it until I find a better solution. 

Anyway, here is a map of Bodega Bay.  It is north of San Francisco about 60 miles and 40 miles west of Napa, California.  It is a big, natural bay with the small town in the center top.  Doran Park, where we are staying in on a sand spit at the bottom of the bay. The nice thing abut the campground is that you have the bay to the north and the open ocean to the south, just a quick walk away.

The bottom arrow shows Bodega Head.  We drove out there and walked as far as I could handle. 

 There were quite a few sea lions jumping about, but they are very hard to take photos of because they disappear underwater just as you snap them!

This can be a wild and windy place on the ocean side of the head. 

 
 A lot of cormorants hanging around.
 

This is the path headed east to the highest part of the head and a view of the campground, except we gave up part way.  Too tiring. 

What was surprising were the number of wildflowers along the path to the higher part of the head. Here are three kinds:  The yellow ones are California poppies, and the white and pink flowers are white and pink ice plants. 

A closeup.  This is a yellow ice plant, and it is an invasive species.



This is where we were heading. 

More flowers. 

 These are yellow bush lupine and are in the legume family. 

Headed back to the truck, walking past this meadow filled with wildflowers.   


Love these California poppies. 

My campsite. My rig is facing the ocean, with the bay behind it. 

More campers.  Would be a great place to get satellite because it is so open, but can't get TV without an electric hookup.  Darn. 

Looking from the campground back at Bodega Head where all the wildflowers were.  To the left is the open Pacific Ocean and some fishing boats occasionally. 

A better view of the ocean-side beach. 

This is looking back towards the mainland on the ocean side, with a golf club and fancy housing development in the distance.  

And looking the opposite way over the bay to the town of Bodega Bay.   

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

6/17 Point Arena & Lighthouse

I have no idea when I will be back here, if ever, so I took this change to check out the Point Arenas Lighthouse. It is about an hour south of Mendcina and two hours north of Bodego Bay. 




Some interesting water tanks held together by iron rings.


This is the lighthouse cat.  She was more interested in sleep than making friends. 

This is a view from the top!  You can see how the point of land juts out into the Paciic Ocean.


Looking back toward the entrance.  Notice how narrow the point is.  They had to move the Cape Hatteras lighthouse in 1999 because of erosion, and it looks like they will have to do the same thing here.  Guide said they predicted abou100 years!  If you don't think it can be done, check out this site:  https://www.nps.gov/caha/learn/historyculture/movingthelighthouse.htm   And the Cape Hatteras lighthouse is 208' tall with 257 steps!   Point Arenas lighthouse is 115' tall and has 145 steps, so it can be moved if someone has the money to do it.  

Looking down or up always makes me dizzy, just I take photos anyway.

Just some pretty wildflowers to end. 


















6/16 Really Scary Drive to the Coast

I spent two nights in Ft. Bragg, and then left on Monday morning, continuing to head south to Bodega Bay.  All of the coastal highway is twisty and curving, but this section is one of the scariest.  There are absolutely no shoulders and a lot of tight turns.  I probably drove it at about 25 MPH.  It starts innocently along the coast, but dives into big trees on its way to the coast. 

It is just impossible to see around many of these curves. 




I can tell we are headed downhill to the ocean.

Whew!

Friday, June 14, 2019

6/14 Drive to and along Northern California's Redwood Coast

I have not posted in a while because things have been fairly boring.  I spent a few days in Eugene getting my generator fixed.  It was running fine, but not providing any power to my motorhome, which is the whole purpose of a generator!!  I also visited my urologist to get the kidney stone I had a couple of weeks ago checked, and it had not budged.  Going to wait a month and see if it passes by itself.  If not, I will need another surgical procedure, which I really don't want, so I hope it passes. 

I headed out from Eugene a couple of days ago to head to Bodega Bay, CA.  First stop was in Valley of Rogue State Park, which is a place right along the I-5 freeway, so handy as you head south.  Unfortunately, it was horribly hot and AC units in RVs almost never manage to completely cool rigs, so it did not get below84 degrees inside until about 9 pm. 

Yesterday morning I headed west to Crescent Beach along the coast, and today drove south through Redwood National Park.  (Much, much, cooler, by the way!  Temps along the coast in northern California all the way to Washington stay very consistent year round.  Highs are 55-60 degrees and lows are around 50 degrees, thanks to the moderating effect of the Pacific Ocean.)  I did not take a lot of time to stop on my drive because I did not have much time and also because I have been here before, but I did stop at a couple of visitor centers and at several pullouts. 

I'm showing these in the order they were taken, so I will try to explain them. The first three photos were taken in Oregon, near the California border, at the northern limits of the national/state park.  It is a little confusing, but the two are somehow combined and share visitor centers.  Pretty drive, below:

A quick photo of some redwoods.  There were not very many big places to pull over, but the speed limit was not very fast, so windshield photos were easy. 


Once in a while the redwood highway cuts over to the ocean and gives a great view.

While I was stopped at one ocean pullover, I noticed some wild flowers growing on the cut bank of the mountain.  These are succulents of some sort.  At first, I thought the yellow flowers were growing next to the whitish succulents, but now I am convinced they were the same plant.
There were a lot of them growing here.  I had to use a telephoto lens because they were on the other side of the busy highway.  When I got the photos transferred to my computer, I found something strange with several plants.  Notice the ring that the arrow points to.  Highway trash??

Might have been highway trash wrapped around the first plant, except I found this second plant that is obviously planted in some kind of round metal container.  So these are planted, not wildflowers at all!!!!  They must have dug a hole in the rock or used a depression of some sort.

Another puzzle is that this flower looks very similar, but it does not seem to be growing out of the same kind of succulent.  Very strange. 

Back to the drive south.  Lots of fog along the coast.

I found a good place to pull over and took a photo of this very ancient log.


And here is my motorhome and a couple of big redwoods behind it. 

You can really see the size and perspective in this photo.


A few miles further, I was driving along an open meadow in the national park and saw a bunch of elk antlers sticking up in a field.  At first, I thought they were fake, but then I saw a couple of people standing along the roadway looking at something.

Maybe some elk have lost their antlers?

I parked and got out just in time to see a head watching the gathering crowd. 

I guess it was time to continue eating. 


And here are all the elk watchers that gathered by the time I left! 

Another glimpse of ocean with less fog.

And back into the big trees. I followed instructions and slowed down so I would not tip over.


I ended up this evening about 12 miles further south at the Avenue of the Giants RV Park.  Will have more big trees to drive through tomorrow. Love the cool and fresh air after all the heat yesterday and the day before.