Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday, 10 September

Got a slow start this morning.Since checkout wasn't until noon, we decided to do laundry. While that was happening we took a walk on the little beach.

Finally got under way at 11:58 and headed south to Mendocino. This is a village on a bay that still has many of the 19th century buildings still in use. Many of the building still have attached water towers (I assume they now have city water).

Right in the middle of downtown is an old Masonic lodge.

  It has a steeple with this sculpture on top. No one outside the lodge seems to know what it means.

After a delicious lunch, we continued on down Cal-1, heading for Ft. Ross. While much of the road is very twisty and runs along, or very close to, the cliff edge, there are occasional sections about a quarter-mile inland. Along these stretches we were driving through dry grasslands, with the hills in the background. There were a number of small towns, and several cattle operations. In fact, some of the area seems to be open range, with cattle guards across the road. We even saw one steer browsing along the side of the road --- right after a curve.

About 4:20 we arrived at Ft. Ross State Park, only to find it closed. It is only open from 10:00 to 4:30 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Major disappointment. A man who opened the gate to let two trucks out said we could walk in and take pictures. So we parked out of the way and did just that.

Ft. Ross was a Russian-American joint venture that ran from 1812 to 1841. Besides hunting seal (with Eskimo hunters) the purpose was to raise food for Alaska (which was still in Russian hands). They didn't raise enough food due to the California climate and gophers.

Everything was closed, but we walked down to the fort to see what could see from the outside. Not much.

One of the interesting buildings, which is also part of the outside wall, is the chapel. It looks about as Russian as you can get considering the primitive construction available.

Growing next to the fort is the biggest eucalyptus tree we had ever seen.

We then headed on to Bodega Bay, where we checked in to an RV park. To save money we elected to camp without hookups (dry camp). As it turns out, their rate is cheaper than the state parks.

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