The Point Arena Lighthouse

lighthouse and birds

The Point Arena Lighthouse – in Mendocino County – is located at the westernmost point of the continental USA.  It is a short drive out from the town of Point Arena.  I have been here twice, never getting any closer to the lighthouse than in this photo. The entry fees are stiff – and this last time it would have cost us close to $30 to get any closer to the lighthouse. So we didn’t.

The Point Arena lighthouse is – at 115 feet – the tallest lighthouse on the Pacific coast. Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse, and if you are so inclined, you can have an event or wedding there – or even spend the night in some of the old buildings.

It was a foggy overcast day = not unusual for the coast.  It did not stop some intrepid surfers who were making their way back to the their car just as we arrived.

surfers at Point Arena LIghthouse

We stayed long enough to take some photos and were soon on our way back down Highway 1 for lunch in Sea Ranch.

A long weekend in Mendocino and Fort Bragg

It was time to go to the Mendocino This post is about a long weekend spent on the Mendocino coast.

Of course there is a cancer story that goes along with this. Lately there is a cancer story involved in everything I do. Perhaps one day I will go on a trip with no cancer story, but that is a different life and I am not there yet.

Cancer story: Had my three month PET scan. The oncologist called me after the scan and asked me if I was breathing OK. (I was breathing fine until you called me, doctor! Now I can’t breathe at all!) Diagnosis: new tumor on the aorta. A call for a surgical biopsy including removing part of the rib to reach the tumor, several days in the hospital, several weeks of recuperation, during which time I was requested to schedule a bone marrow biopsy. Treatment? Most likely chemo again. We don’t need to dwell on the ensuing drama.

Two weeks later a phone call from the oncologist. “Never mind, it was a mistaken diagnosis. An unusual case of something else mascarading as cancer. My bad!”

via Destination:TBA | Exploring the beautiful and the bizarre.

Yorkville, Boonville and Philo on CA State Route 128

A sunflower in the garden of the Boonville Hotel

A bee visits one of the sunflowers in the Boonville Hotel vegetable garden

It’s been a long time since I took a road trip up to Mendocino County.  A long dark rainy winter was followed by chemo and its aftereffects, making road trips a challenge.  I have every belief that better times lie ahead.

That said, I am lucky enough to be surrounded by people who love road tripping and I often hitch a ride.  A few weeks ago, I headed up to Mendocino County with a friend, exploring some of the little towns on CA State Route 128.

Labor Day 2011. Joshua decided to take a few hours off of work and came by to pick me up for a road trip. We deliberated over a couple of options and finally decided to go to Mendocino County and visit Boonville on CA State Route 128. After looking at the map we thought we’d drop in on the neighboring towns of Philo and Yorkville, as well.

via Destination:TBA | Exploring the beautiful and the bizarre.

Covelo: Blackberries, Street Dancing, Camping and Grieving Spirits

covelo, eel river

Cairns in the Eel River, near Covelo

Last year I spent the night in a campground near Covelo.  We came for the Blackberry Festival – we got so much more….

During 2009, I spent a lot of time in Mendocino County, which gave me an opportunity to discover new places and unique events. One of those places was Covelo and the event in question was the Blackberry Festival. The man I had been with at the time had promised to take me to the festival and then without a word decided not to at the last minute. It was one of the many disappointments that characterized the situation I was in at the time.

via | Destination:TBA.

My First Published Travel Piece

Am totally thrilled. My first published travel piece is appearing on Trazzler, an online travel site. They ran a contest on Mendocino County. How perfect is that? I wrote three pieces, but the one on City of 10,000 Buddhas is the one they chose to put on their permanent archive. Someone else won the contest, but that’s OK. The other person did a terrific job and I am glad for them. In the meanwhile, here is my entry:

Liberating the Soul in Ukiah, Calfornia

Liberation of the Animals at the City of 10,000 Buddhas | Destination:TBA

Liberation of the Animals Ceremony

In July, I had a rare opportunity to witness a Buddhist ceremony at the City of 10,000 Buddhas, located in Talmage.  Click on the link below for the full story on the Liberation of the Animals.

Over the last 18 months, The City of 10,000 Buddhas has become my “go to” place for serenity. Located in Talmage, California near Ukiah, it is an easy ride north from my home in Sonoma County. In spite of my naturally social nature, I tend to go to the City of 10,000 Buddhas alone, finding that the peaceful drive up the 101 to The City already sets the tone for a contemplative experience. While there, I walk the grounds and look at the organic gardens. I spend some time in the reading room and incense scented Jeweled Hall of 10,000 Buddhas. Sometimes I have lunch at the vegetarian restaurant, Jyun Kang. When I head back home, I am at peace.

via Liberation of the Animals at the City of 10,000 Buddhas | Destination:TBA.

A Morning in Mendocino

Downtown Mendocino

Downtown Mendocino

Our 4th of July adventures continued after our night in Fort Bragg.  Click on the link below for the full story.

After our night in Fort Bragg, we headed seven miles south to the small town of Mendocino. It was 4th of July morning, clear and warm, unusual for this coastal town. After a hot cup of tea for me and coffee for Teresa at Moody’s, a local cafe, we went to explore. The whole town was setting up for an afternoon parade. Flags and bunting were out and flapping in the breeze.

via A Morning in Mendocino | Destination:TBA.

A Night in Fort Bragg

Hidden Pines CampgroundMy friend Teresa and I took a road trip over 4th of July 2010 weekend and one of the nights was spent camping in Fort Bragg.  Click on the link below for the chronicle of our adventures.

Our adventures began when we left Eureka for Fort Bragg. On the way up north on US CA 101, I had seen a sign pointing out a shortcut to Fort Bragg, so I figured we would take that on our way to the Mendocino Coast. Plus Teresa had her GPS system, so what really could go wrong?

via A Night in Fort Bragg | Destination:TBA.

Harpin’ Boont: The Lingo of Boonville

Check out this recent article about Boontling by Jemetha Clark Cosgrove of The Backyard Traveler (  Here’s a teaser – click on the links at the end for the entire article, including glossary:

Boontling refers to the language (ling) of Boonville (Boont). Based on English it was an elaborate jargon that made the people of Boonville unintelligible to even the residents of Philo, just six miles away. It most likely started from young men working in the hops fields as a way to have private conversations amongst other people and, more specifically, to freely use nonch harpin’s (objectionable or “dirty” words). In the forty years (1880-1920) that the language was prevalent it spread through much of the community. It wasn’t considered “proper” in formal places like church but it was spoken so much that some Boonters (speakers of Boontling) had a hard time speaking plain English on command.

via Harpin’ Boont: The Lingo of Boonville – Backyard Traveler – Petaluma 360 – Petaluma, CA – Archive.