Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mendocino coast

We are at Van Damme State Park, just south of Mendocino (map). There is a campground here, on the inland side of the highway, with picnic tables and fire rings and bollard-enclosed spaces that are generally too short for Odyssey.

We are, instead, parked in the day-use lot, which is right on the beach, across the road from the campground entrance. This lot is also designated for "En Route" camping, an option available at several California state parks. It's the same price as the main campground ($20), without the extra amenities, but we have a much better view. En-route camping is only available to fully self-contained rigs, and is limited to a single night. Theoretically, en-route campers are supposed to be out by 9am as well, but, since this is also the (free, in this park) day use lot, we just became day-use visitors as of 9.

Yesterday we had a lovely drive along the Russian River, through Guerneville, Forestville, and Duncans Mills, and out to the coast at Jenner. Traffic and crowds were light for a Saturday -- tourist season is not yet in full swing. This section of the coast highway, through Sonoma and Mendocino counties, is twisty and hilly, and it was slow going, but we had a nice sunny day and the scenery was gorgeous. Odyssey's Bavarian heritage, designed as it was for the narrow and twisty alpine roads, stood us in good stead, negotiating the switchbacks with aplomb.

Today we will complete the northernmost stretch of CA-1, turning inland at the "Lost Coast" and joining US-101 in Leggett. We'll likely be in the neighborhood of Eureka tonight, where there is a Honda motorcycle dealer -- the new scooter needs some adjustments.

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