Is It Pomo Bluff— or Chicken Point… Fort Bragg, California

I see a massive wave like this and I remember the wise advice of old sailors: Never turn your back to the ocean. Even now when I look at this photo, I think, run! Fortunately, I was happily ensconced on a high cliff at Pomo Bluff when this big fellow came rolling in.

I laughed when I read the information sign posted up on Pomo Bluff in Fort Bragg. Sailors, fisherman, and other boaters of yore making their way out of Noyo Harbor would go out on the overlook to check how the Pacific Ocean was behaving. It could be calm and welcoming or it could be ferocious and dangerous. Checking was an opportunity to chicken out, to remember there was a cold beer that required quaffing at the local pub. Thus the name. Modern technology and weather forecasting have reduced the need to do a visual check.

We wandered around on the Bluff, admiring the ocean, checking out ice plants, watching rowdy crows, and wondering who owned the mansion hidden behind a tall fence.

In spite of the big waves, it was a beautiful day on the ocean. We watched as the charter boat, the Telstar, made its way back into Noyo Harbor. It’s available for sport fishing and whale watching. Apparently some folks had been out to try their luck. We didn’t wonder about what they caught or saw, we wondered how their stomachs had tolerated the rolling sea. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Looking back toward the entry into the protected Noyo Harbor.
A close up of the sea stack seen above.
Looking out to sea from Pomo Bluff. Go far enough and you will end up in Asia.
Peggy captures a photo.
And then goes in search of another. The sign is a common one along the coast, warning of the dire consequences of getting too close to a cliff’s sheer drop. But does this woman casually strolling along seem worried?
How can one resist when the best photos are often on the edge?
Such as this. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Ice plants provide an attractive foreground for photos on the coast. But there is a problem. It is an invasive species that replaces native plants.
I was surprised to find that the ice plant had adopted fall colors, something that I had never noticed before.
This crow took a break from its aerial display of chasing other crows to steal their food, to rest among the ice plants.
Peggy captured one carrying something delectable, like a long dead snail. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
From her perch out on the point, Peggy was also able to catch a photo of this mansion. Otherwise, it was hidden behind a tall fence.
So I took a photo of it through a knothole.
A seagull showed us the way. I liked its feet. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
And finally we came to the end. It was time to head on to our next adventure and my next post: The Point Cabrillo Lighthouse.

Reaching for the Sky: California’s Redwoods… The National Park Series

A magnificent redwood on California’s North Coast reaches for the sky.

Ronald Reagan once commented about the Redwoods, “There is nothing beautiful about them. They are just a little taller than other trees.” He was serious. Why save a tree that has been around since 500 AD, stands 305 feet tall, and has a circumference of 61 feet when it can be used to build decks that will last for 30 years?

A view of the Redwoods canopy.

My wife Peggy provides perspective on the size of a giant redwood tree.

Reagan’s statement about the Redwoods is totally beyond my comprehension. Fortunately, thanks to groups like the Save the Redwoods League, we can still visit the rugged coast of Northern California and see these magnificent trees reaching for the sky.

Peggy and I were there last week along with our son Tony and his family. We scrambled to keep up with the grandkids as they rushed down the trails at the Big Tree Wayside. A yellow banana slug, school mascot to UC Santa Cruz, caught their attention and gave us a rest. Hollowed out trees served as perfect caves that demanded exploration. Other redwoods were obviously made for climbing.

The four-year old Connor demonstrates his tree climbing ability as he works his way up a redwood in pursuit of his dad Tony.

The two-year old Christopher is caught up by his mom Cammie for a photo-op while exploring a hollowed out redwood cave.

We were camping at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, which is one of several areas set aside as state and National Parks by California and the US Government to protect the forest giants. The area is famous for it’s Elk herds as well as the Redwoods and the scenic California North Coast.

At two and four, Chris and Connor may be a little young to remember the experience. But they will have photos. More importantly, they will be able to come back. Hopefully their children and grandchildren will as well.

The Peripatetic Bone hides out in the clover at Redwoods National Park.

Peggy shows just how large the clover in the Redwoods can grow.

A final view of the 1500 year old rightfully named ‘Big Tree’ in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.