Northern California Coast


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Published: May 4th 2009
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Bodega BayBodega BayBodega Bay

The Bay is about a mile from the Pacific Ocean and is protected from the wind coming off the ocean but is affected by tides. It looks quite different when the tide is in as it is here
I arrived in Bodega Bay in a cool drizzle. Thankfully the next morning the clouds had cleared and the sky was blue again. The little town of Bodega is tiny; its claim to fame is that it was the location for Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” Bodega (pronounced “Bodayga”) Bay is about 5 miles from Bodega. The inhabitants of the Bay are quick to let you know where they are from; some of them even have a car sticker with BB on it as if it’s a country of its own! Needless to say there is a lot of fishing, crabbing, as well as all kind of water sport activities ongoing. I spent a good hour watching some guys windsurfing and kite skiing (I think that’s what it’s called.)
I left my beautiful sea view spot for Cloverdale which was about 40 miles north-east - an easy drive. Cloverdale is located on the Russian River, and my parking spot was in an RV resort with full amenities. This are attracted Russian, Swiss and Italian immigrants who knew the soil and climate was good for grapevines. Surrounded with wineries I decided I had to visit one. I really like the pepper jellies they
Bodega BayBodega BayBodega Bay

With the tide out a lot of shore birds come into the bay to enjoy what is left behind in the mud.
make with wine, pour a little over some cream cheese and serve with crackers - ummmmm!
I had noticed several things on my drive through the wine country. Some of the vines are strung out and some aren’t, some are on the slopes of hillsides, some are in the valleys. So I asked! Of course I should’ve known, different grapes, different wines. The counties here in California are much larger than our English counties or most of Texas counties come to that. Cloverdale is in Sonoma County which butts up to Napa County and there are more than three hundred wineries in Sonoma County alone. Grape vines are planted in a lot of backyards (and some front yards) just like we plant vegetables. California produces 17 million gallons of wine each year! No luck with the pepper jelly though!

My next stop would be my last in California for this trip. Right on the Klamath River in the heart of the Redwood National Forest. I have thoroughly enjoyed California from the desert with the odd creosote bush and cactus to this area with these huge trees, it is very diverse. The population is also very diverse. I have been
DunlinDunlinDunlin

There were hundreds of the flocks of these little birds. When a decision was made to move they all moved in a wave, it is a mystery that they don't bump into each other.
very careful to avert my eyes from time to time, like when I saw a guy in San Diego with his shopping cart full of his worldly good and his pet crow sitting on his head. Hair comes in all colours and all styles. Lots of the younger folks have multiple--multiple piercings and tatoos. Hard not to look when you see a young man completely covered in tatoo art with pink and blue hair and about 18 studs in his face and mouth. Ugh!

California is the second largest state in area in the U.S., but the largest population. The state covers 163,707 square miles and 48 million mostly happy—some decidedly weird, people live here. I am not sure that everyone who is able to really enjoys or appreciates their good fortune. The scenery is breath taking and the weather is generally pleasant year around, with about a 20 degree difference between winter and summer.


Additional photos below
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Coastal SceneCoastal Scene
Coastal Scene

All along the coast these beautiful little ice plant flowers colour the cliffs. They come in lemon and purple colour and as the flowers die off the foliage becomes bright red.
Purple Ice PlantPurple Ice Plant
Purple Ice Plant

As the flower dies the foliage turns bright red, dies off and then turns green again, the flowers bud and the cycle starts all over again. Several times a year I'm told.
Pride of MeridianPride of Meridian
Pride of Meridian

These wild flowers come in blue and purple. Folks don't seem to groom their gardens, but are lush with lots of native flowers and shrubs.
ProteaProtea
Protea

These aren't as big as what we enjoyed in South Africa but are nevertheless beautiful
GreenGreen
Green

This is obviously the best time of the year to visit this area. I never thought I would see the hillsides this green outside of the British Isles
Potter's SchoolPotter's School
Potter's School

The old school in Bodega was used in Hitchcock's "The Birds" movie
St TeresaSt Teresa
St Teresa

Still a functioning church the Roman Catholic was also used by Hitchcock.
UMC SebastopolUMC Sebastopol
UMC Sebastopol

This cute little town is about 20 miles from Bodega, the Mexican influence on this United Methodist Church is obvious
Lake SonomaLake Sonoma
Lake Sonoma

I drove from Cloverdale out to the coast--about a 30 mile drive. Lake Sonoma was on the way.
Zinfandel VinesZinfandel Vines
Zinfandel Vines

The grape vines that produce the juice for zinfandel are gnarly. I was amazed to see how fast they grow, while I was in the area the vines went from sprouting to being fully covered in growth
Episcopal ChurchEpiscopal Church
Episcopal Church

Cloverdale is an old community. I attended services at this cute church each Sunday I was there. The church had seating for about 50 but there were only about 15 there when I attended.
GeyserGeyser
Geyser

The Russian River Resort was on Geysers Road so I went to look. Known as California's Old Faithful it was quite impressive, erupting every six-ten minutes.
Klamath RiverKlamath River
Klamath River

Taken from my spot in the Klamath River Resort.
Klamath River-PacificKlamath River-Pacific
Klamath River-Pacific

The Klamath River Resort is just a mile from the Pacific Ocean, from this spot I could see where the river enters the Pacific Ocean and watch whales foraging for krell
Redwood ForestRedwood Forest
Redwood Forest

The Redwood Forest National Park is vast. There are three types of redwood trees. The giant trees that I saw last fall, these Coastal Redwoods and some that have been found in China. Known as Sequoyah they were named for a famous Cherokee Indian who believed that the white man had a huge advantage becaus he could read and write. He developed symbols for the 85 sounds in the Cherokee language. Soon the Cherokee had their own newspaper and Bible.
Chain Saw CarvingChain Saw Carving
Chain Saw Carving

With a ready supply of wood chain saw carving is everywhere. How these artists achieve the end result is a mystery to me.
SnoopySnoopy
Snoopy

I couldn't draw with a pencil what these guys do with a chain saw!
Family TreeFamily Tree
Family Tree

This Sitka spruce was on view in an area known as Trees of Mystery. It is called "The Family Tree" because it has seven seperate trees growing from its branches.
Last FlowerLast Flower
Last Flower

I have no idea what this is, it was deep in the shade of the redwoods.


4th May 2009

nice pics!
Great photos Mom! It all looks beautiful!
5th May 2009

Hiya
See ya sometime this month in Bellingham. You are doing a heck of a job with your travel blog. Who would ever hear about Bodega Bay with out ya?

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