July 23-25, 2004

Went up to Mendocino for the weekend with my friend Linda. The drive took us 6 hours from San Jose on a Friday after work, including a quick detour to California Stampin' in Pleasanton. We did a bit of hiking on Saturday, exploring Russian Gulch State Park which included a challenging geocache. Lunched and shopped in Mendocino and went to the Point Cabrillo Light Station. Sunday, collected glass at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, headed back to Russian Gulch to view more of the headlands, then headed to Van Damme State Park to start our kayaking sea cave tour!

Linda's Pictures

(click on image to view larger size)

Arriving on the Mendocino Coast

Dusk at Van Damme State Park

10pm, Noyo Harbor




Russian Gulch State Park

We started Saturday morning with a tranquil 7 mile hike though a redwood forest on a trail abundant with ferns and moss. The highlights of the hike were a 36 foot waterfall, being in the tall trees and seeing banana slugs!


Alien Pod


In a burned and hollowed out tree stump

Banana Slug!!

First time I've ever seen one.

Check out Linda's pic of this guy/gal


If anyone knows what this is, please let me know

Mating banana slugs

Linda's got another great pic

Waterfall along Fern Canyon Trail

A wood elf peeks out


Russian Gulch Stream

Russian Gulch Bridge

At Russian Gulch Beach

Sea Cave

More sea caves




Exploring Mendocino

After our hike through the redwoods, we went into Mendocino, a small quaint town with a population of 1000 people, to have some lunch and do a bit of window shopping. Everyone here is so nice!

Main Street in Mendocino

View of the headlands

Totem House

Mendo cat!





Point Cabrillo Light Station

What would a weekend on the coast be without a visit to a light house? The foggy afternoon heightened the sensation of an ominous coastline.

Much needed light for a foggy coast

Lightkeeper's Residence

Foggy afternoon

Chance and Julian walking with mom to the light station

Headlands at the light station





Glass Beach

Believe it or not, this used to be a dump. Well, from some of the pictures below, you might think its still a dump. But in the 1940's they actually threw all of their refuse into the ocean at this location. Thankfully, in 1967 the people realized their mistake and started cleaning up the beach as much as possible, but the polished glass remains.

Sparkling sea glass

A drier part of glass beach

Both of us collected a bag full of sea glass.

View of the sea from Glass Beach

wild blackberries along many paths on the Mendocino Coast

spark plugs imbedded into the rocks from a past era's mistake of dumping their old cars into the ocean.

unfortunately, this shopping cart isn't from a past era.



Van Damme State Park and Beach

We didn't really explore Van Damme State Park but our kayaking tour started here. Our guide, Craig, took the 2 of us through amazing sea caves and into the ocean. A harbor seal tagged along much of the time being very playful following our kayaks and even touching our paddles. We saw lots of mollusks, sea urchins and jellyfish. Saw a few more harbor seals, cormorants, a blue herring, a few baby seagulls and 2 black oyster catcher birds. There were a lot of high swells that we had to navigate through as high tide was coming in and we were fighting several currents. It was a lot of hard work but very exhilarating and one of the best activities I've ever done! I'd do it again in an instant!!


The Lodge at Noyo River

Great little B&B!! There are rumors that a ghost lives in rooms 4 and 5, and we were staying in room #4. The room had a journal of past guests entries, and some spoke of a ghost named Nathan, others spoke of a feminine ghost in a red or yellow dress. We never saw him/her during our stay, or perhaps he/she decided to stay in room #5 while we were there.

The highlight was breakfast every morning. Very peaceful on the deck, watching the fishing boats come in or go out. From the deck we could see some playful harbor seals, turkey vultures and a large sea lion.

Our room, the dormer


sleeping bee in the garden?

View of the Noyo River from one of the guest rooms

The breakfast part of the B&B


Caught her on 'film' again!

We saw this cute little harbor seal every day

Couldn't leave the computer at home, could I?

Turkey vultures

Linda's Pictures


madretz 2004