Lost on the Lost Coast

(check back in a few days for photos, until then check out flickr)

I’m in the middle of nowhere… literally… I found a little dirt road off of highway 1 about twenty miles north of Fort Bragg. The road meanders through Sinkyone State Park. If it was paved I’d probably have kept driving until I got to a proper campsite, but my good fortune, it’s not. So I found a little spur of the dirt road and back the van into my instant free camping spot. I arrived a little after sunset, another reason I didn’t keep driving on the heavily forested and very dark dirt road. I still got a couple decent shots of the campsite and the fading colors after the sunset.

Tucker’s first task was to start munching down on random animal droppings that are around the site. I stopped him hid chomp on the first one, but then when I wasn’t looking he found another and chomped down on that… Yuk… So he got a through toothbrushing (with his toothbrush, not mine) and a Greenie (which is green dog bone that is supposed to clean teeth and freshen doggie breath). Hopefully I won’t have shit-breath breathing on me on the first night in the van.

Today was a eventful day. I let Jon and Stef’s about 9 am and headed out of Orinda towards the bridge from Richmond to An Rafael. While crossing the bridge I reached for my camera to take a picture of the Golden Gate shrouded in fog, only to find that the 1 foot drop of my camera bag jammed the lens cap into the end of the lens and it was stuck. Unable to safely unwedge the lens cap I set the camera down until I reached an exit on the far end of the bridge where I could pull over and remove the lens cap. Much to my dismay when I finally got the lens cap of I found shattered glass. Bikes! Fortunately it was ONLY the $45 UV filter that was damaged and my $1000 lens was completely unharmed. I then typed “camera” into my handy dandy little GPS navigator and drove to the nearest camera shop where I purchased a new $45 UV filter. I was adamant the day I got my new lens, a Nikkor 18-200 DX VR by the way, that I immediately put a UV filter on it to the extent I drove to two camera shops to find on that fit. Wow am I glad I did.

Camera back in action and having detoured south toward Mill Valley I took the opportunity to go to Mir Woods. I’d thought I’d skip it in favor of making northward progress directly out of An Rafael I thought it would be a nice break for Tucker since Mir Woods allowed dogs on the trails… only they don’t any more. Damm the national park system. I few years ago Tucker and I did hike around Mir woods, but no more… Saddened we keep driving until we got to Stinson Beach. Stinson Beach is a dog town, in fact everyone in Stinson Beach loves dogs with the exception of the National Park Service that operates the beach… except for the very very north end that is actually a county beach where dogs are allowed… yean! Whether it’s officially leash less or not I don’t know, but Tucker had a fabulous time, way better than he would have at boring old Mir Woods.

From Stinson we kept heading north on HWY 1, past Point Reyes, past Bodega Bay, past the Sea Ranch where the book Honeymoon with my Brother (a fun read) began, going going going…. all the way to Fort Bragg, which is where my phone rang. How my realtor managed to call while I was getting gas and during the 5 minutes I actually had cell phone service is a miracle, but he did. Good karma.

He called because I got an offer on the house and they wanted a prompt response, which required me to receive the bid documents, sign them, and then fax them back ASAP. Not the easiest thing to do when your living out of a car and driving highway one up northern California’s coast. Fortunately Fort Bragg is one of the biggest town between the north end of San Fransisco Bay and Eureka which is still another two or three hours north. I found internet access, thanks to a cool little program from Jiwire that searches a database for WiFi location even when you’re offline. The Mendocino Cookie Company had free access, so with a cookie and a chai latte I checked my email for the bid docs my realtor had sent. Only I still needed to print them out, then sign them, then fax them back. The staff at the cookie company were helpful in pointing me across the street to another cafe, that was also a full fledged (albeit small) internet cafe. They miraculously offer both printing and faxxing. Printing was 15 cents a page for B/W, 20 pages. Faxing was $2 for the first page and $1 for each addition page… ouch… The very nice young woman agree however, upon my begging, to discount the faxxing for so many pages. I ended up only needing to fax back 13 pages. Total for printing, faxxing, etc… $10. Of course I’m skipping over my excitement that I finally have an offer on the house.

I’m a little mixed about it. I had to lower the price a lot to finally get an offer. I think I could probably hold out a couple more months and get more money for it, but after waiting 6 months for this offer I’m just going with it. The relief from the stress of it all is worth whatever extra profit I’m not making. I try to keep in prospective that even at this drastically lower price, I’m still selling it five years after buying it for 185% of what I paid for it, instead of the 200% I was originally asking. I’m just hoping my karma holds out through close of escrow and nothing goes wrong in the next few weeks.

So tomorrow I’ll head out early with plans on getting at least to Crescent City. Maybe I’ll even make it to Oregon. I still haven’t decided if I’ll continue up the Oregon coast a way, or cut over past Crater lake and start making my way east but can decide that tomorrow night.


  1. I was so glad to see you are wriitng regularly. I was disappointed not to find anything early Saturday morning and I hadn’t checked back until today. Keep it up, I’ve done much of the travels you are doing and I’m anxious to see it again, from your perspective.

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