(click pictures to enlarge)
Today's exploration was to the Pacific Coast north of Fort Bragg and the Point Cabrillo Light Station.
|This was the view out my door as I was heading for the coast. Those are two very tall Redwoods. The one on the right has a burn scar. With some of these living to be 2,000 years old, it is anyone's guess as to when the fire happened. It is surprising how many have those types of fire scars. Also notice the smaller trees growing around the big one. Those are the offsprings of the big ones. Life begetting life. Nice.|
|This part of the coast has steep cliffs with very little, if any, beaches.|
|The things in the water is remnants of the land many centuries ago. The cliffs are constantly eroding and sliding down into the ocean. The softer material dissolves easily but the hard stuff stays around a long time like what is in this picture.|
|The triangular rock has a hole in the middle with waves crashing through it.|
|Looking south, there was a light fog or haze hanging over the land giving it a somewhat eerie look.|
|Pretty views from many of the turnouts along the road.|
|This was close to being called a beach but you had to climb down to get to it. Notice the RV's boondocking in the roadside park.|
|The clouds added a special something to this picture. This is looking south so you can still see the haze/fog.|
|Before getting to the town of Fort Bragg you drive through these coastal trees. (I still haven't found their name)|
Fort Bragg in California really isn't a fort and it never was a fort. It started back in 1857 as a place to garrison soldiers to aid in the creation of a nearby Indian Reservation. It is named after the same person as is the real Army base in North Carolina. The man was Braxton Bragg and he held military positions in both the Union and Confederate Armies. Although rising to the rank of General in the Confederate Army, he had a very lackluster career and lost more battles then he won.
Fort Bragg in California was named after him when he was still a Captain in the Union Army. The Lieutenant that was sent to establish the garrison decided to call the place Fort Bragg after his former commanding officer. The name sort of stuck, even without it being a true fort. Some years later, the Army abandoned the fort as well as the indian reservation. The land on which the reservation sat was subdivided and sold for $1.25 per acre. Although several individuals bought some of the land, most was bought by timber companies to harvest the pine and redwoods. Ships full of the trees were sent south to be used to build San Francisco. On the return trip, the ships were needing ballast to keep from riding too high in the water, so they would bring bricks back to Fort Bragg to be used to help build it's city. This went on for many years.
Now-a-days, Fort Bragg is a tourist destination with many shops and motels. The tourists come to see the coast and visit the redwoods. It is a pretty nice little town, even though they don't have a Taco Bell. :)
About 6 miles south of Fort Bragg is the Point Cabrillo Light Station. It was built to warn ships about the reefs immediately in front of the point. The ships during that time would hug the coast as close as possible to avoid storms and strong currents. Many wrecked on the reefs and rocks prior to the building of the lighthouse. The "first light" for the lighthouse was in 1909 and it is still being used today to warn ships away from the reefs. It is located on a bluff that is about 60 to 80 feet high. One of the good things about having a lighthouse is the lighthouse keepers logs. They kept very good records about the weather and such. On at least 2 occasions the keepers noted waves crashing over the bluffs and going through the first floor of the lighthouse. Along with the waves, there were 200 pounds boulders thrown around like dice landing near the lighthouse and further inland. It is unknown what caused these very large waves. They did not seem to coincide with any earthquakes or other natural disasters that are known to cause large waves.
Today, you have to park 1/2 miles away and walk to the lighthouse. It isn't too bad going to the lighthouse since it is downhill, but dang, coming back uphill wasn't fun for a fat old man. I'm kidding, it really wasn't too bad at all. I enjoyed the walk, even after getting winded on the return trip. The weather cooperated with temperatures in the lower 60's.
|I found this "thinking bench" on the way. That is the lighthouse in the middle.|
|A cove like the one on the right is also on the left. Sooner or later the lighthouse will be cut off from the mainland.|
|A view from in front of the lighthouse.|
|The clouds and the waves put on a great show. It was spectacular.|
|There weren't any benches close to the bluff but this picnic table did the trick for me. I sat for a while, hoping to see a migrating whale, but alas, no luck.|
|Although I didn't see any whales at sea, I did see this seal in the cove next to the lighthouse. That is him laying on the rock, sunning himself in the left side of the picture. I thought he was dead for a while until he moved some.|
|The last look back as I began the walk back to Freedom.|
I emptied my tanks when I got back to Liberty and I will be moving tomorrow to Crescent City. Maybe they will have a Taco Bell.
Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.