Trip Start Nov 11, 2004
17Trip End Dec 02, 2004
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About an hour into the trip (following the South Fork of the Eel River) I came upon a place called Benbow, where the river gave a huge bend, almost back on itself and I got a great glimpse of some pretty high hills on the other side
Then I started winding down the amazing California coast. Weather was wonderful (to an interior BC er - any sun at this time of year is great). Most folks were in winter jackets or coats; I was in a t shirt and fleece <g>.
I was amazed at the constancy of the Pacific sea views on my right.
and also at the ever changing land views on my left. I had no idea of the variations of the cliffs, grasslands, hills, colours, bays, plants, birds or that there were so many ranches down the California Coast. Don't know what I expected but it was not that <g>.
I'd arranged to stay at the Super 8 in Fort Bragg and as I’d arrived a bit early, took myself out to the McKerricher State Park and walked along the dunes and sand of a washed out logging road to a tidal lagoon (Cleone Lake) and creek (Mill Creek) which fills it. The park website (http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=25200) indicates Many shore and water birds visit the lake. Mill Creek, which feeds the lake, is a winter stopover for ducks and geese. Bird-watchers will enjoy the mile-long walk around the lake.
I did indeed and while there saw one of the oddest geese I have ever seen. I thought it was somehow deformed because it had this huge protuberance on its’ head; however, on further review, it turned out to be a breed of domesticated goose – an African Goose. Although wikepedia says (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_goose) they have a more docile temperament than a Chinese Goose (its’ close cousin), this one was making a huge fuss about something and was rather scary.
Stay at the Colombi Motel http://www.colombimotel.com/index.html was a trip in itself. In a residential area, it has been a family owned business (motel and Colombi grocery store about a block away where you check in) since about the 1950s. While it shows its' age a little on the outside, inside it is as clean and comfy as any 5 star hotel: each unit has a full kitchen and small eating area. Cars are parked between the units so it is nice and quiet. The exterior of the buildings are fresh, each unit has a little bit of colourful garden in a box, the picnic area has more colourful plants or bushes and it has the feel of a real home. Really excellent value for the money. I'd stay here again for sure.
Where I stayed
What I did
McKerricher State Park