Tag Archive for 'McKerricher Park'

An Enjoyable Road Trip to North California

We were out on the road for 3 days , covering about 800 miles with two night halts at Fort Bragg from 6th Oct to 8th Oct to explore the Northern part of California. The scenic beauty of this part of California – mountains  with thick foliage interspersed with  a number  vineyards and wineries  between and the rugged Pacific Ocean on the western side dotted with many beaches , provides a great panorama of the nature . There are many lakes , two major rivers – the American river and the Russian river [ name connected with the Russians who worked for the American – Russian Company here way back in 1800 ] providing irrigation and adventure sports in this sector. The Redwoods Forest area is a major attraction to unwind and enjoy the nature in its purest form . Two major towns – Fort Bragg and Eureka on the Ocean front are rich with history and provides some very good restaurants and hotels for stay . While Fort Bragg  in the Mendocino County has its origin before the American Civil war as a military  garrison , Eureka in  the Humboldt County caters for the timber trade from the Redwood Forests and later with the Gold Rush during the 1850 and beyond. There are many tourist attractions near these port cities. On the way , we can also enjoy the scenic beauty of two small townships – Petaluma and Santa Rosa – mainly catering to the farming community of this area.

We started from San Francisco in the forenoon , passed through the Golden Gate Bridge and traveled through Route 101 to Petaluma where we had lunch . We had to take a diversion before reaching Petaluma due to a traffic jam and this provided us with a good drive through some farm lands enjoying the village scenes on the way.  After a good lunch at Cafe Zazzle ,with sea foods and salads , we proceeded to the Bodega Bay and got back to Route 101 via Guerneville in the Russian river valley of Sonoma County. Here again, we could witness some rustic village life with many farms and vineyards around . However, the prolonged drought conditions in California was visible in the mountain slopes all around and  chance of forest fires are more now in this part of the countryside.

Back on Route 101 , we proceeded to Willits and from there cut across via a winding road for 30 miles to reach Fort Bragg on Route 1. We stayed for the night at the beautiful Ocean View Lodge which offered an uninterrupted view of the ocean . At night , we had dinner at the Tap Room of the famous North Coast Brewing Company and tasted some of their popular beer. In the morning , we took off to Eureka and beyond to get a good feel of the Redwoods Forest . The best part of this tour was the drive through the famous Avenue of the Giants , the road going through the forest reserve with very tall redwood trees on both sides with a rich foliage all around. It was a memorable experience !

We got back to Fort Bragg for the night halt at the Holiday Inn Express . On the third day, we visited the beautiful McKerricher  State park overlooking the ocean and got back to San Francisco by late evening. What was noteworthy during our stay in Fort Bragg was the community spirit displayed everywhere during our interactions. During our breakfast in the David’s Deli  , we found the entire hotel staff and the guests present there joining the birthday celebrations of a veteran dining there.

Before I could publish this post , a great tragedy happened in the North Bay area centered around Santa Rosa and Napa Valley where Forest Fire created havoc for 48 hours on the 9th and 10 th of October , causing 21 deaths, complete damage to 2000 properties and displacing more than 20,000 people.About 23,000 acres of farm land and vine yards got in the fire. The situation is still serious when I write this post!