Fine site, but again, no solar
This is one of my all time favorite areas. The campground does not surpass Wrights Beach status, because the sites themselves are dark and have no views to speak of. But the park is in close proximity to the town of Fort Bragg, and it boasts a very nice beach overlook, with boardwalks and trails down to tide pools. It has it all, with the only downside being that it takes a commitment to get to.
Highway 1 between Navarro Beach and Fort Bragg is exciting!
When we came here with the van, my chief complaint (that I basically sustained through the entire stay) was that I felt trapped and unable to get to town to enjoy its fun things. We actually really factored that into the following and rapid fire crazy decisions to: 1) put in the order for Dory2, not knowing when she might be ready, and 2) buy a used Alto to get us through the wait time and serve as a backup should anything happen ever again. The van was fun, you see, but a pain in the ass to pack up and move if you want to take a little trip somewhere. And we didn’t have my bike with us on that trip, so I couldn’t even do that. This was an excellent do over.
Look who remembers how to ride a bike
Just when my pretty blue bike was feeling hopelessly abandoned, we found a place that was the absolute perfect application for it. It is a short ride from the campground down to the beach, so that became our first order of business upon arrival. I recognize that we are not in Buffalo, NY here, but we were super cold and had to pull out all the winter things in order to endure staying out to watch the sunset. Well worth it for sure. There are lots of tide pools with an abundance of hermit crabs and little fishies. And way out on the horizon there was at least one, but probably more than one, whale! We think they were Grey Whales because someone with a fancier camera than my iPhone was able to get a great shot of the dorsal fin. We saw periodic spouting and surfacing, and that was loads of fun.
Absolutely gorgeous day!
The next day we really put my seldom used biking ability to the test. There is a multi-use trail that runs something like ten flat miles along the beach, all the way to the south side of Fort Bragg. There are a few places where you can turn off the path and go into town, but otherwise, it is just an endless coastal cruise with spectacular views the whole way. This is also a must do for anyone visiting the area, even if it means you have to rent bikes in town.
We did poke around town for a while with two specific missions in mind. Mission #1 was to check out Cowlick’s Ice Cream Shop, since I had earned some calories. They have mushroom flavored ice cream, which I was not brave enough to try. Richard got a taster and said it mostly seemed like maple. I got a Black Forest, which was chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks, bing cherries, and almond extract. OMG YUM.
Surprisingly successful Mission #2
The second mission was to see if there was any kind of fun souvenir to bring back to our daughter. We often pop into weird looking, crystally type shops to see if they have little dragons or D&D dice. Mostly the answer is no, but there was a music store that also had every sort of Ultra Gaming Nerd accessory that one could possibly imagine. And many options for dice. While we do not fully understand the need to have more than one set of dice, especially if you solely play D&D online and thus have no need for physical dice, we appreciate the fact that it is a thing. The store guy said that he has a “stupid number” of dice sets himself, so we were talking to the right person. Mission #2 accomplished.
And unplanned Mission #3
We also wanted to check out the Sea Glass Museum. That is located inside of a big building that houses multiple shops and businesses, including an actual physical video rental store. I did not know any of those still existed, but there you are. I did not see evidence of ancient video tape technology, but their DVD selection was impressive. The Sea Glass Museum was cute and small, and featured collections by color that had been curated over a lifetime of combing Glass Beach.
Lots of sea glass on Glass Beach
Richard was convinced that Glass Beach would not have any glass left, but he was so wrong. There is something about the tides that makes this stretch of shore particularly perfect for collecting all sorts of sea glass. Everyone who goes there seems to know the drill. You crouch and sift and pick up little pieces of glass, keeping an eye out for anything that seems unusual or rare. But in honesty, none of us has any real idea of what would be considered rare. Someone said lavender is rare. We did not find anything lavender. But we did find little camouflaged fishies, and more hermit crabs, and a nice sunset.
This satisfied my unfulfilled pizza craving from Booneville
We could have eaten out at any number of places in Fort Bragg that seemed fun. But I was content with a Mushroom Grilled Cheese with a pear and mixed greens salad. We cut into our apple pie too, to get a head start on Thanksgiving. And it was amazing.
Whales at sunset!
I would come back to this campground in a heartbeat. And after sending photos of the dice selection in town, combined with the information that it never gets hot here, our daughter has decided Fort Bragg is definitely the place she wants to some day live. We would certainly not mind coming to visit. Of course, she would need to get some kind of job or something. Maybe the dice guy is hiring.
Sea plants that look like perfect homes for Sneeches
This area rates a ten out of ten in my book. It is fun and right by the ocean. I did about 12 miles of flat, easy biking on the multi-use trail, and was able to get to town and back with no problem. We even got some shopping done to top up the milk and paper towels. The campground is perfectly situated and has other loops that were closed for the season. I didn’t see any jaw dropping premium type sites in our loop, and the ones that would have gotten solar were also pretty non private. Ours was fine, just dark. The dual lithium batteries are holding up well, but we will need to do some generator charging on our next stop.
And lots of sunset opportunities just a short bike ride away
Total miles from Hendy Woods: 45.0, 18.0 mpg, 1 hour 55 min. Site 71. No solar, no hookups. Ok dump but fresh water is on the wrong side. Our hose reached, but it was close. Ok cell service for ATT, not so great for Verizon from the campground. Super cell service in Fort Bragg.