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Friday, April 24, 2015

Up to Fort Bragg

Rows of Oaks on rolling hills

I'm on a little sojourn with my friend Barbara. We drove north to Fort Bragg. Instead of  my usual route north on Highway 5 from Sacramento - a boring-as-hell stretch of freeway - got to Woodland, there picking up Highway 16. That highway rambles through a v. scenic route along the agricultural Capay Valley. 

Stopping to stretch our legs, we stopped to stare at the Capay hillsides. Barbara and her Boxer doggie Chori took a little stroll.

A Capay hillside lined with pale yellow Lupines
Yellowy Lupines
Hidden in the lupines were a few purple lupines I've seen in flower guides, but haven't previously found. I thought they might just be imaginary.
Not in any focus, but Eureka: Chinese Houses!
Along the way we stopped so Barb could take a phone call. I took the dog for another walk. I found a wonderful Mulberry tree, chock full of ripe black juicy mulberries. Um.... I ate them right off the tree, but didn't take any pictures and more's the pity.

All in all, I now have a new scenic route to Highway 20, that leads to Highway 101, and bonus: Bear Valley Road, a well known wildflower haven.

Cattle corral on first mile of Bear Valley Road
Chori ran up and down Bear Valley Road

After viewing what wildflowers were left in the pastures a mile in, we got on Highway 20 headed west & north. A few hours later, we arrived at Jo's house by Fort Bragg. Jo is doing well, which is saying a lot as her husband Sean passed on last year. HUGE void left when that guy left. He was so cool - a long time Ranger in state parks and in my opinion he was quite the artist, but more on that later.
Jo in her front garden
To fill up a teeny bit of her aching heart, Jo adopted a little shaggy white poodle mix, she calls 'Finn'. Mr. Finn is a cutie pie and reigning indoor wee-wee king, but hey, we can't all be Lassie. When introduced to Chori, it was touch and go if the 2 dogs would get on, as Boxers aren't called boxers for nothing. Chori bats at her playmates with her paws and it can freak a small dog out. Miraculously, happily the two soon played like long time friends as the 'humans' in resident chatted until the proverbial cows came home.

We are visiting with Jo for about a week. We'll continue talking 'til we're hoarse, and we will also visit the town of Fort Bragg and it's attractions (actually that'd be the Botanical Garden's gift shop) and maybe the nearby hippy town of Mendocino, all to the south. Suspect I'll be staring out the window doing lots of casual birding in Jo's garden and in the nearby pond.

Senioras Jo and Barbara enjoying Italian food at Fort Bragg's Cucina Veron

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