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Day 198 - North Past Ft Bragg (Photo's Added)

We finished Hwy 1 and started up Hwy 101 - rugged, winding and steep, but very beautiful driving.

sunny 57 °F

Last night we stayed only about a mile from the Lighthouse at Point Arena. I felt we needed to make tracks so didn't drive out to see it up close - but we had a decent view from the beach nearby. I can't help noticing how different the west coast lighthouses are from the east coast. Sometimes it's because of the terrain, west coast lighthouses often seem to be up on bluffs, so don't also need a tall base for the light. This one has a tall base, but it's not especially pretty, so maybe they went for lower cost?

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Very beautiful driving today, I stopped occasionally for coastline scenery.

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We stopped in Elk/Greenwood to go to a post office and ended up staying for breakfast (well, brunch by the clock anyway). Very small town (208 people), but claims two names! It seems there were two Greenwood brothers who went on to found towns after helping rescue the Donner party. The mail kept getting messed up between the two Greenwoods, so the Post Office decided to call this place "Elk" at least for mail. The townsfolks continue to use Greenwood also however, so it's either Elk or Greenwood or both.

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Mendocino County has a nice little overlook for the coastline. To me, it seems like the rocks in Northern California have a lot more seaweed on them. If I remember right (which is always questionable) in S. CA they were more baren? In any case, there are a few Harbor Seals who like to hang out here also.

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We stopped briefly at the Big River near Mendocino. I took a few pictures and Mom collected some sand.

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Mendocino looked like a lovely little town but for some reason neither Mom nor I felt much like stopping there. I thought I'd take a picture anyway as a reference of someplace I might like to go back to someday?

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In Fort Bragg, we actually saw a regular supermarket - first one in several days! This was my 'keep moving' day however, so I didn't stop for much sightseeing. For some reason, we've been feeling a need to get home lately - however it doesn't seem to affect me from stopping at beaches and overlooks.

Shortly after Fort Bragg Hwy 1 turned inland. It looked like a short hop to Hwy 101 on our atlas. In reality, it was a very winding, steep and narrow road over the coastal mountains!

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We made it just fine, but I had to drive pretty slow. Fortunately there were very few cars out on that stretch of road today so I didn't have to pull over very often. It was a very beautiful drive but I only found one overlook that wasn't completely screened by trees.

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After a long, long time - we got to Leggett - which I think has maybe a gas station, store and post office? But it does have a drive through redwood tree! This is called the Chandler Tree, it is 315 feet tall, has a diameter of 21 feet at the base and is estimated to be 2400 years old. Our RV was too big to drive through, but we enjoyed watching cars squeeze through and took pictures just the same - very impressive tree.

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Mom remembered a place a little farther north on Hwy 101 called Benbow Lake State Recreational Area which sounded like it would be fun to camp at. When we got there however, it was closed for the season (seems strange since it was such a nice day out today, not as windy as the last couple of days anyway). While the State campground was closed, a private Golf Course/RV Resort at the same exit was open. They looked a little too fancy for my wallet, but Mom convinced me to stop in and ask. To my surprise, their winter rates were quite reasonable (or at least in line with most other RV campgrounds) - so we're camped comfortably for the night, with wi-fi, electricity, water, etc. etc. etc.

Hope to make it to the Oregon border tomorrow - if I can restrain myself from stopping for every pretty tree we pass... It's supposed to rain pretty solidly for the next week or so however, so maybe we'll make better time than we think.

Logistics:

Miles Driven - 105, Cumulative - 18,635
Camped at Benbow Valley RV Resort & Golf Course

Provisions Obtained - Gas $36.61 for 10.103 gallons at 128,478
Redwood brick a brack at Chandler Tree Gift Store

Posted by jl98584 21:32 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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My internet is finally up again. We are well. I have been following the blog at work, just can't answer at work. Northern CA is beautiful. I wish I was with you enjoying the redwoods. We'll need to make that trip someday. Sound like things are going well. I do remember all the trips we took to that area as kids.

by rllomas

Bob and I also drove through that area on our honeymoon--through that famous tree, etc. And I'm not sure we've been back to that part of CA since--in recent years, the few times we've gone from north to south there, it's been either by plane or by I-5. It would be fun to visit there again.

We had a computer consultant here for 3.5 hours yesterday. Apparently my Outlook problem is an Outlook problem, or a deeper computer problem. He switched all my e-mail files to Outlook Express, and I'm adjusting. And I'll probably need a new computer before long. How I wish James were here, especially after paying the bill--though this guy is reasonable as such go.

by msj

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