While walking up to the Donner Train Tunnels from where we parked we were perplexed as to why there were perfectly manicured rock trails seemingly where there should not be any. We started poking around and realized we had walked right past some pretty epic petroglyphs. I say pretty epic because there aren’t a whole lot of them around this area. Apparently the area was knows as a region where various groups of American Indian groups would gather and trade. The petroglyphs were thought to have noted the meeting spots with meaningful images.
I am so fortunate to live within a few hours of our magnificent California coast. I have posted on the Bodega Bay Kortum Trail before. But, all these years of visiting and camping, I have never hiked the entire trail. I always wanted to but either wasn’t prepared or didn’t have the time. I finally decided it was time. I had hiked bits and pieces here and there but never the entire 8+ miles. Well, friends, the trail did not disappoint. In fact I could easily argue it is the finest trail in all of California. What? Yes, folks, big talk I know, since the epic Pacific Coast Trail runs nearby. The American River Bike Trail is pretty awesome too. But, 4ish miles each way of reasonably flat trail with sections of the most gorgeous coastline in the world cannot be understated. It is impossible not to be happy on this trail. Bring a snack and some water, clear your mind, and do this. The waves and bird sounds will accompany you. Do this. Right. Now. Start the trail at Wright’s Beach (free parking) and head north to Goat Rock Beach and back. There is one good stretch just before Goat Rock which is a bit strenuous and a good rise in elevation so leave this in the middle of the hike and not at the end. 😉 Your legs will thank you. Cheers!
With COVID and the California fires it was time to flee the city. We went up to the family cabin and took a short drive to visit the beautiful Loon Lake. This lake is magnificent and on this day it was showing off. Sadly, a large fire broke out nearby yesterday which has me nervous for the emergency personnel, our cabin, anyone still in the area, and of course the wildlife. It seems California is on fire again and our friends to the north in Oregon are burning up too. Fire season likely won’t be over until December… Send any spare good vibes to the West Coast please. We could use them. #2020
Sacramento continues to encourage and promote it’s Wide Open Walls art festival. This colorful wall spoke to me as I am always partial to rainbows and color flows like this. Funny enough this was shot as only part of the wall. I preferred this simplicity to the other part of the wall which had the actual substance to it. Art can speak to us in many ways.
Check out other Wide Open Walls 916 murals I have captured here and tell me your favorites!
My husband and I and friends have been camping in Bodega Bay for years and years. We typically camp on the beach in the Sonoma Coast State Parks which is pretty darn glorious. During many of those trips we hiked portions of the Kortum trail which parallels the coast for approximately 5 miles round trip. The mild and maintained trail connects Wright’s Beach all the way to Blind Beach.
Since baby made his arrival in my life two years ago we haven’t been back to the beach or the trail. So finally my Mom and son and I spent the weekend visiting the area and I took the opportunity here to show you some views from the trail. One can see magnificent views of the ocean, beautiful rock outcroppings, lovely wild flowers, seals, birds, rabbits, and sunsets. iPhone photos but hopefully I get the point across.
It frankly does not get much better than this friends.
I cut my teeth photographing Joshua Tree National Park with my first medium format Hasselblad somewhere around 2000. Looking back the photos I was so proud of at the time have a lot of flaws. But, my memories are some of the best I have ever had photographing a National park or the outdoors in general. I fell in love with this park and its unusual and amazingly distinct Joshua Trees. It breaks my heart to see that the park has been shut down due to politics. And it is even worse to read reports of damage to the park’s treasured and protected Joshua Trees. I am disappointed in the people who would do such damage to a park and it’s innocent trees. And I am disappointed in our government for not doing what it has been charged to do. It is up to us individually to make good decisions and protect our treasures. Do no harm, Leave no trace behind and take care of our parks, P.L.E.A.S.E.
Yes, yes, I know. I have posted about the Mendocino Botanical Gardens before. But, it’s sort of become my muse. (If I may humbly use that term.) Right about the time I think I might start get tired of the place I go back and fall in love all over again. We spent a four-day Memorial Day weekend up in Mendocino and spent the better part of an afternoon exploring the garden and enjoying the hummingbird wars, coastal breeze, roses, veggie garden, golden rod crab spiders (what?), and Dahlia buds. As I sit in 100+ degree Sacramento heat this week I am channeling the coastal breeze and cooler weather from Mendocino wishing we never came home…
Check out other posts I have done on Mendocino here…
While visiting Mendocino last weekend we finally stopped by the Mendocino/Fort Bragg Guest House Museum. It was a short and cute little museum. But, the fun part was the large redwood stump out front displaying rings from almost Pre-Christian times. We don’t see many trees this large anymore outside of the State Parks that care for them. But, for those of you who may never have seen anything like this before check it out and then read of the many historic events that occurred in its lifetime. I have never seen anything like this outside of California, has anyone else?
A week late but here I am. For Memorial Day we bombed up to Mendocino, Bulldog and trailer in tow. Our favorite site at MacKerricker State Park was full so we found a superb little private campground within walking distance feeling lucky we found anything at all. The weather was perfect, about 70 degrees all weekend, without a cloud in the sky. 70 degree weather gave way to over 100 degree + weather following. We enjoyed it while it lasted…
We also checked out the Mendocino Botanical Gardens as usual. So, stay tuned for more flower photos on that…
I have been camping for years now near Bodega Bay, California in the Sonoma Coast State Park area. Just north of that up the famed California Highway 1 is a little seaside town called Jenner. Some friends bought a small piece of property and are building a “tiny home” on it. They recently invited us up for a visit and we took them up on it. The drive from Sacramento took us through Santa Rosa and along the Russian River along Hwy 166 until the road dead ends in to the coast. From there you head north on a dizzyingly windy road past Jenner towards Stillwater Cove on Hwy 1. Mother Nature was kind to us providing us with a glorious view of the ocean and the rocky coastline saving her fog and haze for another day. Once we made it to the property we set out for a brisk fern lined walk through the oaks and redwoods mushroom spotting along the way.
Friends, its days like this that remind me why I live in California.