Day Trip Fort Bragg to Gualala
I left for the coast around 8 Am, driving west on Route 20, up and over the coastal mountains to Highway 1. Route 20 is full of sharp turns and long winding ascends and descents of 6% grades through the heavily forested mountains. Though a little tough on the motorhome, it is mostly a fairly doable road for a larger rig, though it would be a little harrowing, to say the least. My goal for today was to head south on Route 1 and make it down to Gualala where I had turned around and headed back home the other day.
As usual, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.
I turned off the highway and ventured west through the little town of Mendocino out to the Mendocino Headlands where I was distracted from my journey by the gulls, ravens and vultures buzzing around the nesting colonies of cormorants and murres on the near offshore islands.
I spent the better part of two hours working on flight shots of these birds that were gliding past my position on the edge of one of the bluffs, flying by at eye level, then above, and then below me.
I suppose this should be a little unsettling, when the vulture is studying my condition so carefully! Perhaps he is thinking he could really go for a Big Mac?
There were several art galleries and interesting looking shops in town that would warrant a return here in the future.
As usual, I was stopped many times along the way by the roadside wildflowers and shoreline scenery.
I drove out to the Point Arena lighthouse to give the dogs a break and stretch our legs.
Along the drive out to the lighthouse there is a stretch of rocky shoreline with dramatic surf crashing along the shore.
This stretch of Highway 1 from Fort Bragg to Gualala has some very impressive scenery along with an abundance of wildflowers, as well as nesting birds on the large rocks just offshore, a place I hope to return in the future for a longer, more intimate study. My short time here this spring has been marred by unusually warm weather resulting in a constant haze over the shoreline making crisp, bright landscapes an impossibility. Perhaps a trip here a little earlier in the year would yield some better results.