Fort Bragg, California

We made our way from Petaluma to Fort Bragg yesterday afternoon. As a military brat, I always had in mind that Fort Bragg was the name of a modern Army base. As it turns out, Fort Bragg was founded as a military garrison prior to the American Civil War, but there is no military in evidence today. It's just a beautiful beach town along the California coast. You can read more about it right here.

We drove through a much prettier part of the state yesterday, passing mile after mile of vineyards

and more than a few barns.

We traveled US Hwy 101 most of the way, but then turned west at California 20, a narrow winding road that led to the California coast.

Eventually, we started seeing California redwood trees. These aren't the huge trees one seen in the state and national parks, but what they lacked in girth, they made up for in height.

At first, we saw just a few, but then traveled through a veritable redwood forest. We have a nice private campsite at a densely wooded RV park. It's quiet and the kitties have spent nearly all their time here on the catio. Smitty has been out for a couple of walks, but he seems to prefer the safety of the catio.

Once we were settled in and Mike had his post-drive nap, we took off to find the glass beach. There are lots of free maps lying around and the signage was good. In short order we found it, but whoa!

This sign brought to mind a t-shirt I saw once that said something like this:

See Dick
See Dick Drive Drunk
See Dick Die Driving Drunk
Don't be a Dick.

"Don't be a Dick" is always good advice. The sign went on for quite some time about the many ways one could die if one behaved like Dick. We even found a pamphlet littering the beach in case someone forgot the many ways of dying here. We considered the necessity of such a pamphlet. I suppose if a person were considering doing something stupid, they could always check the pamphlet to see if the desired behavior were something that could get one killed. As for us, we just strolled along slowly.

There was this pretty cement bench where you could sit and enjoy the considerably beautiful view. I believe those tiles were hand-painted, but I couldn't find any information about them.

Eventually, we came to the trail leading to the Glass Beach. Which way do you suppose we went?

Even if it weren't for the glass, the beach was stunningly beautiful, and we were fortunate to have warm and clear weather to enjoy it.

The glass wasn't quite what I was expecting, but it was interesting nonetheless.

Some of it was large.

But most was quite small. It's probably only a few decades away from being completely pulverized.

Much of the colored glass has been picked up by treasure seekers and taken away, but if one looks closely enough, one can still find a lot of color.

We learned at the Beach Glass Museum just down the road that coastal cities traditionally dumped their garbage into the ocean. It's incredible in modern times to consider such carelessness, but still true that with smaller populations, less garbage, and much other twisted reasoning, this was considered harmless in its day. Here, there appears to be some large barrel or garbage can...it's hard to know whether this was dumped here or washed ashore. In either case, it's been here so long that it has become a permanent part of the landscape as tidal powers have encased it in rocks and sand.

Our shadow selves wanted to see the beach, and so we brought them along with strict rules about their behavior. We were determined that no one would die today.

And then there was this guy, who seemed completely out of place among the rocks, sand, and ocean waves.

The wildflowers on this trip have thrilled me to no end.

I wondered if someone had dumped an old potted mum plant along with their garbage. If so, it took hold and grew into this patch of flowers.

Here's more of the ice plant I've talked about. As I said earlier, it is ubiquitous in California.

After spending some time at the beach, we drove down the road to the Beach Glass Museum. It was free to visit the museum, but visitors were encouraged to purchase some of the hand made jewelry that could be found inside. I considered some earrings, but they were much too expensive, and so I passed. Just outside the door, visitors were instructed to read the FAQ below before coming inside and bothering the resident owner with their stupid questions. (Actually, "stupid questions" weren't mentioned, but they might as well have been.) I'm hoping you can read this because it explains a lot about the beach glass and the three dump sites that operated in Fort Bragg into the 1960's.

So we've made a couple of discoveries since arriving. For one thing, there was a quilt shop! A good one! It's a rarity to find a quilt shop in such a small town. I've already been and spent the remaining money in my pocket. I'll tell you about that in a separate post.

Also, while perusing the map looking for the Glass Beach, we discovered the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse is just across the road from us. We'll be visiting that today. It doesn't open until 11:00 a.m. (a very civilized hour), and so we're having a leisurely morning.

There is no cell service at our campsite, although there is a strong signal in town. We're on a rather slow wi-fi system here. I'm actually quite surprised I was able to upload my pictures this morning. It slowed to a crawl for a while, but when I tried it later, it was moving along quite zippily. (Yes, I just now made up that word "zippily." I believe it is self-explanatory.)  So, all of that to say that if you don't hear from me for a day or two, it's because the slow wi-fi frustrated me. We'll be home on Monday, and so there are only a few days left in our trip either way.

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I've heard of the glass beach and seen pictures from family and friends who have been. Surprised to hear they still dump in the ocean as I thought California was high on conservation measures.

claudia said...

I'm so excited for you that you are in Fort Bragg! I have always held a spot in my heart for that town. I spent many months there while waiting for my fishing boat to come in with it's load of salmon. I still have lots of friends there!

Quiltdivajulie said...

You are so right about the wildflowers -- and how grand that there was a good quilt shop near this stop.

quiltzyx said...

I love the sea glass beach! I may have had a hard time walking out from over-full pockets of glass.

Love all the wildflowers too. I am so glad to see all of your photos!

Brown Family said...

That is an interesting barn at the end of the road! Those narrow windy roads are no fun pulling a trailer!

There are so many colors of beach glass in that handful They may be tiny pieces but some of them are more rare that the others! Someone told me that the cobalt blue to purple color could have come from Milk of Magnesium or Vick bottles. The lighter green could have been coke bottles, amber could have been medicine or beer bottles, and white from clear bottles. The bright green and orange i have no idea! I would love to find a glass beach and just scratch through it! The trash can has become an interesting part of the scene!

Beth said...

Thanks for sharing your lovely day! I admit that I had imagined Glass Beach to be somewhat more magical--a walk across aqua, clear, and brown glass, as far as the eye can see. The real beach is, well, more realistic, and reminded me of the fun we had when we went to Northern Cal and would come across smooth or chalky glass when we were visiting relatives in Santa Cruz. We never saw much glass down in SoCal. Did you?

Speaking of Southern Cal, it was good to see ice plant. Isn't it funny what looks like "home" when you're away? Our neighborhood in San Clemente, to which I moved with John as an adult, had houses on mini hills, so there was a lot of ice plant all around, hoping to keep the hills from slipping or sliding. We admired neighbors with healthy ice plant, and commiserated with neighbors when their ice plant started looking puny. I tromped through my share of ice plant on walks with our dog Dusty, looking for just the right spot...well, yo get the idea. I'm having a lot of fun on your trip.

Sarah said...

I've added the glass beaches to my bucket list!! Gorgeous and thanks for sharing your trip with us!
So glad no one died at the beach. LOL!

Dana Gaffney said...

I had read that you couldn't take the glass from the beach so I expected more, but it is legal to take the glass, so I guess that explains it.
I've always thought that the people who need to be warned about certain dangers are the same people that will consider them dares.

piecefulwendy said...

I'd enjoy seeing the glass beach. When we visit Lake Superior, we often walk along the beach to look for "fairy tears" - or sea glass. I don't know where that term came from, it's just what we understood it was called. That barrel is a bit concerning though; probably don't want to know what was in it when it was tossed. The flowers are lovely, of course. The views are spectacular! Looking forward to the quilt shop post!

Lana Ku said...

I'm enjoying my trip.....er I mean your trip! Lol. So interesting about Glass Beach AND that it's the product of trash being dumped in the ocean. What a crazy thought. Also interesting that they inform you it's legal to take it. I was at a beach in Dana Point about 6 years ago. There were beautiful rocks and so I started collecting some to take home when a beach park official/ranger came up to me and said I couldn't do that. My sister explained to him I was a teacher and wanted to take them for my classroom. He said ok but I really wasn't suppose to. Hmmmm I wonder if that was true now. I'm really enjoying all your pictures and information. Thanks for taking time to share. Makes me want to go explore Northern California. Hmmmmm......now if only I could find me a nice single man with a travel trailer! Lol

Kate said...

A very interesting place. Love the wildflowers, those are so pretty! Hopefully you are enjoying your last day of the trip. Safe travels for the way home.

Lyndsey said...

Love the wild flowers and the glass beach looks fun and interesting. I'm pleased you read all the safety information and passed it on to your shadow selves. If anyone gets into trouble on our trips it's usually our shadow selves. Can't wait to see what you bought in the quilt shop.

Colleen Yarnell said...

I have to laugh at the safety warning signs. My grandfather always called it thinning the herd

WoolenSails said...

I love your travels and the places you are visiting. I am so jealous of that beach, I would be carry buckets of the glass, lol. Someday I might do some art pieces when I get enough.