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North Coast California 28 October 2021

2414 :

Away we go to visit with our friends in Bolinas and Damiana and Rich in Oakland. The day is brilliantly warm, but the ocean is fiercely dismembering itself against the headlands, and the trees are enthusiastically respiring, and there's a lot of backscatter in the air – human eyes see through it okay, but cameras, not so much.

<p>Mendocino Bay</p>

Mendocino Bay

2415 :
<p>Navarro River mouth</p>

Navarro River mouth

The Navarro River, pent up for almost a year behind the sand, has, due to the five-plus inches of rain over the weekend, broken through to the ocean.

2416 :

A lot going on in Scaramella land – that's the huge dairy that occupies the lower end of the Garcia River valley. The big rains closed the highway just a little way south from here, and the Garcia raged, sweeping away a tiny house and inundating Oz Farm a couple of miles inland. 

<p>Garcia River bridge and the Point Arena Fault Scarp</p>

Garcia River bridge and the Point Arena Fault Scarp

2413 :

Garcia River Flood Plain

2417 :

Mouse-over the image above (be patient; big images!) to see what you're looking at: this is the Garcia River's flood plain north of the Fault Scarp that twists Highway One into two hairpins. I have always loved this manifestation of the joint between the North American and Pacific Plates. At left, the highway winds its way up the scarp face.

2418 :

A little farther on, the isolated little city (yup, it's incorporated! all 726 people...) of Point Arena, and a must stop at Frannie's for cappuccini and a zoozoo. Here we have a mammoth macaroon and an Obamadelicious chocolate chip cookie. Omigod! 

2419 :

All along this stretch of coast, the highway dodges into deeply indented canyons with monster Redwoods on all sides. Wind down, sharp turn, wind up, and suddenly you're up on the headland again, with the mighty Pacific hammering away below you.

This is a good place to note that this is NOT a fast transit, even though there are many – including residents and workers – who treat it that way. Friends from the East often tell us they'll drive up the coast to see us. Great idea, but figure a day for the ride from the City to Caspar. Otherwise, you miss too much.

2420 :

South of Gualala, into Sonoma County, there's a sprwaling subdivision, Sea Ranch, from the 1960s, that was meant to counter the ticky-tacky architecture of Daly City (see Malvina Reynolds...) Good idea, but too many houses close together, even if they're all grey wood and minimalist envelopes in the best 1960s modern vernacular, begin to show their age and scar the headlands. Wish they were all as light-hearted as the Sea Ranch Chapel, at left.

2421 :
<p>Stillwater Cove – not so still today</p>

Stillwater Cove – not so still today

2422 :

Well beyond Sea Ranch, we wind our way past the original european settlement on this coast, Fort Ross. State Parks has made it a big historical deal, and has restored it, possibly with a little flavor of  Knossos to brighten it up.


2423 :

Lunch at Aquatica in Jenner: a great crab roll (no picture; we were hungry) and beet and avocado toast with a magnificent view of the mouth of the Russian River.


2424 :
<p>A gorgeous afternoon on Tomales Bay</p>

A gorgeous afternoon on Tomales Bay

2425 :

We returned to the San Andreas Fault as we passed along Tomales Bay and through the Olema Valley, where the National Park Service maintains a wonderful “Earthquake Trail” where the 1906 Earthquake dislocated fences and the creek. The San Andreas is a major shaper of California, from far in the south at the tip of the Gulf of California to the “triple junction” off Cape Mendocino where San Andreas wanders off into the sunset and the Cascadian Subduction Zone begins. 



We came to rest in Stinson Beach, where we took a long walk on the magnificent beach, watched the birds and a gifted surfer, and shared a little reminiscence of younger days with lovely old French woman.

<p>Wind-trained tree at Stinson Beach</p>

Wind-trained tree at Stinson Beach

2426 :

2700 :

the same trip in 2022


the same trip in 2023

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