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Saturday, August 06, 2011

Visiting in Fort Bragg

Lovely Marin County Fog - COOL in every sense

As long as Barbara and I had driven all the way to northern Marin, we figured might as well drive over to Fort Bragg for a visit with Jo Beach. She used to teach elementary school with Barbara back in the day. Aside from catching up with Jo, there is the joy of smelling that lovely coastal air and those cool, cool temperatures that I for one can never take for granted.

Jo planted a classically beautiful 'cottage garden' in the front yard

Get a better view of Jo's cottage garden visit Gulag Garden post HERE. Mother Nature currently decorated the whole field surrounding the house with tiny yellow daisies, quite picturesque.

I had an unexpected treat at Jo's place. Her husband Sean is a retired State Park Ranger. They were entertaining a pair of guests who arrived only an hour or so before Barbara and I got there. A former lady ranger and her 15 year old son.

Now I, being a nit, never got the kid's name, but he is a highly gifted birder. I was in 7th heaven! The child is like David Sibley in minature. I had fun torturing him... I mean, having him go through the 300-something photos of North American birds on my iPhone. Honestly, the kid identified birds most adult birders would miss, even those in crap photos. He has already birded some birding hot spots such as south Texas and the Dry Tortugas. At his age I didn't know a Western Scrub Jay from a hole in the road. Meeting an ace birder in fledgling form gives me hope for America's wildlife.

Someone else enjoying Jo's front yard

After loads of chatting, we absconded with Jo, heading off to the Noyo Harbor for a nice lunch at a Bay side restaurant. I'd eaten there years ago, and the view hadn't changed - still often fog shrouded and the waters full of recreational boaters, harbor seals and the occasional loon.

Noyo Bay Bridge

After lunch, the three of us were attached by a fit of naughtiness and we visited the Mendicino Chocolate Company. Lord love a duck, I love me some dark chocolate drenched marzapan!

Late afternoon we delivered a chocolate-infused Jo Beach back to her husband and house guests after which Barbara and I found our way to our motel. I had to laugh; when I reserved the room, I requested a quiet corner of the grounds. Our luck, when we got the room - and the motel was jammed with summer travelers - a group of fifty b'jillion holiday fishermen were in the midst of a tail gate party in the parking lot by our room. Happily, the rooms had no windows facing the parking lot so the noise was minimal. Whew! Quite a narrow escape we had there.

Must laugh - over the years my luck with rooms in Fort Bragg often involved non smoking rooms, with windows and or/patios on which happy men smoke HUMONGOUS cigarettes, if not stogies.

We toyed with the idea of staying a second night, but decided not to press our luck. For a one night visit I must say we got our money's worth in Fort Bragg.

Jo's Calico kitty chows down:
how's this for a country comfort scene?

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