Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Road to Mendocino (Post #2)

Speaking of roads...the Pacific Coast Highway aka the PCH aka the Coast Road aka the 101 aka about twenty other monikers depending which state you're in and which section you're on was a pleasure to travel. Viewpoints or vistas as they're called are very well marked and many stops have restroom facilities of some sort available too.

My propensity for motion sickness has been well documented here on the blog, and after reading about how winding the coast road was in several sections I wondered if I'd enjoy a week in the car. Hubs has traveled with me a lot so he drove like a regular guy, we had little to no traffic, and we stopped often because there was so much to see. We drove a total of 1057 miles in the course of a week, but broke it down into manageable chunks thanks mostly to the helpful guidelines I found on the blog I mentioned in my previous post, and which is worth mentioning again-California Through My Lens. 

Okay, back to Day 2-San Francisco to Mendocino, 196 miles (If you missed Part 1 click here)

We'd spent a fair amount of time at the Golden Gate Bridge on our way out of San Francisco, and another fair amount of time standing awe struck at the Muir Overlook so by the time we hit Hog Island Bay (near Marshall CA) we were ready for lunch.

Hubs and I both say this little spot was one of our favorite afternoons of the entire trip-Hog Island Oyster Company. It helped that the weather was perfection and the oysters superb.

We shared a dozen pulled right out of the water behind us, along with a cheese plate and a really delicious glass of rose. Honestly we could have stayed right here all day but there were places to go and people to see, case in point this-

Every great road trip includes car snacks and this one lasted us over 1000 miles and across three state lines. Get the caramel and I promise you will not be disappointed. Also get gas because gas is not all that prevalent on the coastal highway. We topped up each morning before traveling to avoid arguing having to hunt for it later.

We carried on northward enjoying the scenery along the way, stopping next at Salmon Creek State Park for our first real up close and personal look at the beautiful Pacific Ocean.

We marveled at how wide the west coast beaches are, and how cold the water is. There were people surfing though because surfers are crazy.

We wanted to make it to the Point Arena Lighthouse before they closed at 4 PM, and we did except on this particular day they had an evening program happening so were closing early. Boo. We couldn't go up in the lighthouse, but were able to walk around the grounds which were rugged and beautiful.

This is where I had my first Sea Lion sighting as they sunned themselves on the rocky ledges down below.

Hubs and I both thought this lighthouse and the point it sits on looked familiar and read later it was used in filming the movie Forever Young with Mel Gibson. If you've seen the movie you'll recognize this spot from the last scene.

We'd been on the road about eight hours at this point and decided to call it a day. We drove into Mendocino where we'd booked a room at the Mendocino Hotel (it was a little tired, but so were we) then walked to dinner at a nice little restaurant called Flow on Mendocino's charming Main Street. Sunset and seafood were the perfect way to wrap up an almost perfect day.

Had I managed to snap a picture of the sunset we could have called it a completely perfect day, but still... was close.



  1. Wonderful photos. Looks like you had some fun stops. Back in 1986 we bicycled with 2 other couples from wine country to Mendocino and then down the coast to the Russian River. I was always at the end of the pack. We stayed the night in Mendocino but not at the Mendocino Hotel but I think we might have eaten there...

  2. Oh, Joyce, this trip!! Your photos are brilliant and I know you will cherish the memories of your trip up the Pacific coast for years and years to come. Looking forward to your next installment!

  3. Great photos and yes I saw the movie. How wonderful to be able to get those shots.

  4. Sounds like another awesome day. I am jealous you were at Hog Island, it has been too long since I have been and I love that spot so much!

  5. Looks like a wonderful time. Love the places that you stopped at.