a warm family welcome
The next day found us again in no hurry with our goal a coastal meeting with my cousins and yet another brewery to stop at on the way. It was a gorgeous day and drive through an area that many visitors to the state miss with undulating golden hills and small quaint towns dotting them. I had been to craft beer legend Anderson Valley Brewing some 15 years earlier and though not high on my list of priorities, it would be tough to drive right by especially at lunchtime. It had moved from a small pub in town to the outskirts for expansion purposes but they had built a nice tasting room. They did not serve food but they conveniently had a very charming garden in the rear and we relocated there with our beers. I fetched some of our leftover picnic supplies from the car and we soon had the makings of a great and less expensive stop. It was one of those perfect California days, full of sun, warm but not too hot, no humidity. Sitting under the trees was paradise.
Tearing ourselves away to meet my cousins was no easy task but we were soon back on the road to Van Damme State Park where they had been camping all weekend. The truth was if it were not for them being there, it would be next to impossible to camp on the coast in California on a summer weekend, let alone the 4th of July. We arrived to find them out and about, a note on their picnic table explaining they would be back shortly. Rather than look for them, we settled into what was admittedly a stunning camping spot, set right in the dense coastal forest.
They soon arrived and welcomed us warmly. It had been 15 years since I had seen them and their little boy was now in college and towering over me. We enjoyed a few of our Bear Republic beers and though I was ready to cook, my cousin insisted on taking us to dinner at, you might have guessed it, another brewpub. I guess my reputation precedes me. (concluded below in Fondest Memory)
This beach is a part of the...
This beach is a part of the Mendocino Headlands State Park but it's missed by many visitors. Of course, many visitors don't have the good fortune of having beach weather when they're here. If you happen to be here on such a day though, definately take a walk down to the beach! To get there, go behind the church on main street and follow the stairs down.
A Village The Way It Was
"Main Street - beads on a necklace"
Mendocino is a village - a 19th century village, that is. Located along the rugged northern California coastline, it hasn't changed very much since it sprang into being iin 1850. The shops and houses along Main Street face south and front the Pacific Ocean. There were only 824 people enumerated in the last U.S. Census (2000).
"an old, but 'young' church"
Perhaps the oldest church, aside from the Spanish missions, in California holding weekly services. Many Hollywood movies have used this church during its 137 years. Community activites are held in Eidseth House, to the right. The church and social hall have been the village's gathering place from its earliest days.
Aside from the church and gas station, and the State Park headquarters, Main Street's buildings all face south, scanning the rugged coastline and the Pacific Ocean. Artists are to be seen along the stretch of unimpeded bluff, attempting to put on canvass the pristine beauty of this place.
LizC's new Mendocino Page
I've read so much about the beautiful Mendocino coast, and longing to go for quite a long time, and finally I get to see it for myself, it's vast, rugged, wind swept rocky shores and coves, makes you want to paint, or take endless pics everywhere you turn.
The trip up the coast from San Franciso is so beautiful and almost free of trafic. The most scenic drive that I would like to repeat time after time.
Califdweller's Mendocino Page
Mendocino is still my favorite California destination....the northern coastline is one the most awesome sights I have ever seen....Our pictures show our Panorama shot of Mendocino's Main Street looking out towards the Pacific Ocean...and the other is the Wind and Weather WaterTower which has been converted into their store..fascinating place full of windchimes....
Mendocino has wonderful restaurants...Cafe Beaujolais (excellent) and I can personally recommend the whipped cream fudge at Papa Bears Chocolate Haus on Main Street!
Don't forget to visit the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens too. Springtime is best because that's when the rhododendrons bloom. Also visit Mendocino Headlands State Park...and walk along the flat fields of the headlands down to the ocean..so beautiful and can be breathtaking on a windy day!