For some bizarre reason even the houses are painted grey!
As soon as you venture any closer to the edge of this great continent the fog roils and its wispy tendrils soon envelope the unwary traveler - such as us.
We had approached the trip as somewhat of a reconnaissance mission - a scouting trip to see what was there. Now we know - overpriced accommodation, limited (very limited) beach access and poor tourist facilities.
|$150 a night for a small room (shower only, no bathtub) with an beautiful ocean view - of the fog!|
A hard act for any coastline to follow.
The trip from Bodega Bay(made famous by Hitchcock's movie - The Birds) to Manchester, California is 70 miles of fairly uniform cliff top driving. It's the utter repetition of the same scene that loses me. The land dips down where the Russian River meets the sea, but it's pretty much a straight line, as if God cut the edge with a hand saw and forgot to finish the job having left his jig-saw in Ireland or at the Fjords of Norway or Southern New Zealand.
|Seals and pelicans lounging on a sand-bar at the mouth of the Russian River.|
The tourist facilities were simply limited. The locality didn't seem too keen to attract travellers - a fact that bemuses me in this economy. However, I was charmed by the tiny general stores that popped up by the occasional campground.
Gualala seemed the most welcoming of the towns we went through. The gas station there had the most beautiful mosaic that a local informed us cost $5000.
Fort Ross actually had a fort.
The armory and some of the interiors of the barracks were well furnished too. If I were in charge, this would have had a mock up of life in its heyday with food tastings and people in costume and a wee coffee shop and possibly some vodka for sale! But the rangers talk was all that was on offer, and she seemed to have a good idea of what went on.
Whilst I have been scathing in this report, I just feel that California can do better. And the coast line does have its moments - even if they are few and far between...