The Road to Mendocino, scary, scary scary

20130907 027

The Coastline near Ft. Bragg

We continue our trek south along the California coast.  The Crescent City/Klamath area didn’t have the rugged looks of Oregon, but we did enjoy the Redwoods.  Now we were headed to coastal Mendecino. I had called the Casper Beach RV park where we were staying and the manager had suggested we take HWY 101 south to SR 20 west to get to the coast. She thought the alternative, taking SR 1 south along the coast was narrow and twisty and not for an RV.  We couldn’t imagine how bad SR 1 might have been, because SR 20 was scary enough. Narrow, winding, S-turns, 15 and 20 MPH swithchbacks, 6% grades up and down; it was 34 miles of white knuckle driving. Its only saving grace was that it had no sheer drop offs and it did provide lots of turnouts for letting the other car’s pass us.

Fortunately we had three days to relax after our harrowing drive, and what a lovely place to do it. We were in Casper Beach RV park, which sat on a small cove, surrounded by cliffs and our first night presented us with a beautiful sunset to end the day.

A lovely sunset at our cove beach

A lovely sunset at our cove beach

Mendocino, population about 800, is as pretty a town that you could find.  Nicely preserved old homes and cute shops, water towers, gardens and inns, all sitting atop a cliff jutting out into the pacific. The entire town is on the National Registry of Historic Places and it looks like a movie set. In fact it was. Remember Murder She Wrote? It starred Angela Landsbury and it took place in Cabot Cove, Maine? Typical Hollywood, it was filmed in Mendacino. No wonder they never showed  a snowy, Maine winter.

Well preserved buildings and cute stores

Well preserved buildings and cute stores

Water towers and gardens

Water towers and gardens

Charming B&B's

Charming B&B’s

My favorite, though,  was the coastline. Caves, arches, rocks and crashing waves. What more could you ask for. I spent a lot of time up at Point Cabrillo Light Station, taking photos of the waves and coastline from the cliffs and enjoying the sounds of the pounding surf.

Point Cabrillo Light Station

Point Cabrillo Light Station

Can you hear the ocean roar?

Can you hear the ocean roar?

It even looks good in black and white

It even looks good in black and white

This is rugged coast....

This is rugged coast….

It was a relaxing few days and now we were ready for a change of scenery…six days on Lake Berryessa and Napa Valley. If only we didn’t have to go back over those scary roads to get inland.

About JudithC99

Wanderer. Writer. Artist. Photographer. Learner. Traveler of the Red Roads


  1. Those hairy drives do take some chillin’ time in their wake, don’t they?

    Your Point Cabrillo shot is a real show-stopper! Wow!

  2. Gorgeous, gorgeous ocean shots!! The Pacific is so beautiful.

    We’ve never done that road in the MH but only a motorcycle. It was hairy at times on the bike, but definitely built for the two wheeled vehicle. Glad you made it safely.

    • Thanks, coming from the east and being used to the Atlantic I can’t get over how unique the Pacific is. Somehow in planning this trip I wasn’t thinking coastal mountains, we had more fun getting over to Napato be continued

  3. The picture with the picnic tables is enough to lure there, gorgeous.

  4. Colorado has plenty of those harrowing drives. I still get nervous and there are roads we won’t take with the RV. Glad you found a great place to relax and enjoy 🙂

  5. Pingback: Vineyards, Mountains, Lakes and Fires: Napa Valley | Red Road Diaries

  6. Nice to see our old stomping grounds. Great pictures of the Pacific Coast. I cant imagine driving the MH on highway 1, the twist and turns are never ending. I got car sick when we drove there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: