Day 28: Coastal & Inland Northern CA

A very productive day despite it being over 100 degrees in places. There were lots of Highway 101 stops down into Santa Rosa. I think this was a more efficient route than zigzag-ing over to I-5 which was the plan. I did enough mountain treking in the past couple days and couldn’t bear it today — though that’s what my list had told me to do. I’ll have to go back & grab that portion of the trip very soon. It’s about a 5 hour drive up to Yreka from the Bay Area so I might do that at night tomorrow or the next day so as to not waste sunlight hours when I could be shooting. It’ll mean skipping the Flickr/blog portion of my evening & then catching up the next night.

The dogs got to play in a number of rivers today (the Eel, the Russian, etc.) and very dry grass (the stuff of brush fires). I had hoped to end the day with the ocean for them after my last stop way up in Sea Ranch. I went to one of the numerous “Beach Access” detours. The two barefeet symbols with the signs were very inviting. But I must have made a bad choice because part of the trail was closed (probably the one that led right to the water). So the dogs and I followed the other trail for what must’ve been two miles and there was STILL no beach access. These were the kind of cliffs you couldn’t cheat on — super steep and leading directly to water not sand. So we had to turn around. Grem & Nik were pretty exhausted from pulling me the whole way on leash anyway. Grip & Fixie had a good time being free since they are the well-behaved members of the family that do pay attention to my whereabouts. Although it could have been disastrous since, almost back to the van, I could see wild turkeys and DEER above the grass and the dogs’ eyesight — only about 100 feet away. That would’ve been an awful and scary sunset adventure getting them back if they took off after wildlife.

Whew! I was really long-winded last night — well, SOME of you are interested in the doggie portion of this trip anyway. On with the photos!

Lots of redwood-related roadside attractions up in the PNW. I don’t know if this Redwood Tree House is still open. It was too early for me to really tell. There were two doors in the base — one looked pretty permanently closed:

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Cement figures on the side of the road just south of Willits gave me a chance to test Sparkle’s brakes:

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The Ukiah Saw Shop is now vacant. I hope this building will survive all the development going on around it. I don’t know anything about this building which is embedded with various sized rocks:

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I stopped at the Solar Living Institute — mostly to check out their unique hand-carved, solar-powered carousel. But there were lots of other eye-catching things. Wish I’d had more time to investigate the place. This huge neat thing sprayed water below and had a fountain underneath. I’m sure it was all recycled water and solar-powered. A very good thing in this part of the country. I think it was 101 degrees and not even noon.

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Canopies of grapes around the place — this is Mendocino County after all — wine country:

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This incredible statue stands near the entrance:

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I had a chance to check out the “weird restrooms” while I was there:

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The sign said the doors were made from recycled prescription bottles:

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A bit more about the place and what you can do to lessen your impact on the earth:

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In stark contrast, I witnessed landscaped of toppled trees everywhere. It was very sad and shocking — like looking at dead bodies:

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There was lots of artwork in Santa Rosa and Sebastopol to cheer me up. A goofy cow in the middle of a real cow pasture:

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A huge doggie in front of the Sonoma County Humane Society. It looks like he might have been mostly built from an Airstream trailer?

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A fun fishy dude. There was lots of public artwork in Sebastopol — I think mostly from this same artist.

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The Sebastopol Foster’s Freeze was incredible: a vintage stand with intact signage. I think the nicest one I’ve ever seen. So I had to patronize. This was a “dipped half and half” (half chocolate & vanilla with chocolate coating). I had to snap this quickly before the whole thing disintegrated. Dinner! And a good choice for such a hot day.

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