Mendocino in the Fall

Fall in Mendocino means mushrooms.  Mendocino is surrounded by ocean, redwoods, and hills therefore the fall colors do not blaze as brightly here as they do on the drive through the wine country to get there from Sacramento.

Mushroom hunting

My husband and I dream of owning property here one day.  But, in the meantime it really does not get any better than camping at MacKerricher State Park.  It is $35 per night and one is surrounded by Redwoods, ocean, Cleone Lake, mushrooms, curious seals, deer, wine cork stealing bunnies, and even a Giant Whale Skeleton on display for kids.



She is smart enough to sniff and walk away!

Looking for seals or wayward sailors


After realizing she looks a lot like a seal with legs

MacKerricher is my favorite campsite in California located in one of the prettiest areas of California.  MacKerricher sits just north of Fort Bragg.  Fort Bragg is a tough old logging town which is finding its footing with breweries, shops, and tourism.  Fort Bragg has newly renovated its famed Glass Beach formed from years of waves crashing against an old garbage site.  My favorite place to visit in Fort Bragg is the Mendocino Botanical Gardens.  It is and will remain my happy place.

Just a hop, skip, and a jump down the road is the village of Mendocino.  This iconic village is where Eric and I got married five years ago!  (Happy Anniversary to us!)  We relived the big day by having dinner at our favorite restaurant 955 Ukiah Street Restaurant.  The next day we picked up a baguette from Cafe Beaujolais and picnicked on the ocean.

Just north of MacKericher is a beach near Pacific Star Winery where the tide pooling is stellar.  A nice little blue grab game out to assert his domain.


Mr. Blue Crab


Not that you can tell with the iPhone but those are seals out there lounging in the sunshine




Low tide allows for shenanigans like this

The amazing part about the Pacific Ocean is that we left weather in the 40’s and found clear weather in the 60’s on the ocean.  The weather is typically the opposite of what is happening in the Sacramento Valley.

Happy Fall everyone. I am trying to hang on to the last bit of it before winter takes hold.  Is it cold and wintery where you are already?

Remnants of an old dock at MacKerricher

For further Mendocino and Mushroom adventures click here.

Winter Camping on the Beach in California

I have likely mentioned in previous posts how glorious living in California can be, politics, traffic, and just general weirdness aside. One reason California is awesome is that it affords us the opportunity to winter camp on the beach. Those outside of California will probably visualize me with braids in my hair and a flower crown. The reality was I was in rain boots, a Northface beanie, long underwear, and a rainproof jacket pretty much 100% of the time. Choose the visual you would prefer friends.

We tried something new this year and went to Doran Beach in Bodega Bay for crab season. Normally we camp at Wright’s Beach but we decided to shake it up a bit. Doran was delightful with a flat, dry, and convenient camp area. The ocean is on one side of the camp site and Bodega Bay is on the other. The ocean break wont break your neck on this beach so kids and dogs can play in the water if they are brave enough to tackle the cold.

Friends took over multiple campsites and had a good old fashion crab feed in the rain. Mother Nature was kind enough to make the days dry and the nights a sailor’s nightmare. The foghorn tooting every five seconds grew tiresome but eventually one fails to hear it any longer. Regardless, my rain boots and I had a great time getting out of town for some post-Thanksgiving camping.