Tuesday, June 30, 2009


We spent four days in the Mendocino coastal area, and it was my favorite part of the trip. The coast is unlike anything I've experienced before, a truly beautiful place. Our first two nights were at the Stanford Inn by the Sea, which ranks as my favorite hotel/lodging of all time. The room was great, the rate included a remarkable breakfast at Ravens, their vegetarian restaurant -- everything was wonderful. This is a view from our balcony, overlooking the organic gardens. You can just see the Pacific through the hazy air:

Mendocino itself is a small village crouched on the Mendocino headlands, which jut out into the Pacific. Years ago the fields and cliffs surrounding the town were preserved as Mendocino Headlands State Park, so you have this great little Victorian-esque town with a great oceanside park surrounding it. Nothing quite like it. We spent a few days hanging out in town and walking through the fields and along the cliffs.

The headlands are surrounding with cliffs and trails. Here's a sample.

Barrie on one of the trails. It was very windy and chilly.

It seemed to be peak wildflower season, and the fields and cliffsides were covered with unfamiliar Pacific coast flora.

Looking back from the cliffs across the fields to the town proper.

Two churches caught my eye - the above was a bank, with a couple of battling lesser angelic types on top. It appeared to be a celestial mugging of sorts. Did I mention this was a bank?

A nice, colorful transformation from church to organic grocery.
Happy hikers on the headlands.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Kinetic Museum & Avenue of the Giants

Leaving Eureka, we headed south a bit to Ferndale to visit the Kinetic Museum, a small but cheerful place dedicated to traveling artwork that competes in the annual Kinetic Grand Championship race from Arcata to Ferndale. Folk art on the move! Here's a few of the vehicles housed in the museum:

Following that, we continued down the Redwood Highway en route to the coast near Mendocino. Running parallel to the Redwood Highway, a zippy quick four lane, is the old road that meanders between redwood trees and the Eel River in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

A typical stretch of the road in the Avenue of the Giants.
Zoom goes the automobile, your intrepid photographer gleefully capturing pixels from the passenger seat.

The visitor's center at the state park featured this truck (the "Travel-log") carved from a single redwood trunk.

Back door of the Travel-log.