Lighthouses & Waterfalls...

Today was all about hiking, sunshine and exploration. Just five miles south of the Fort Bragg City Limits, Point Cabrillo State Historic Park and nature preserve is one of the most complete (restored) light stations in America (1909).

The 100-year-old lighthouse – with its British-built Fresnel Lens operates as a Federal Aid to Navigation and was built to protect lumber schooners plying the coast.
We learned a great deal about a lightkeeper's life as we explored a restored 1909 home.
The Aquarium center showed us the nature side of the Light Station. We got to see up close Gray Whale baleen and undersea beauties.

Russian Gulch State Park was our chosen hiking grounds. Russians who established Fort Ross in 1812, were probably the first white men to explore and chart this area. It is believed that U.S. government surveyors later gave the name "Russian Gulch" to the area 50 miles north of Fort Ross to honor these early pioneers.

Fern Canyon Trail (5.4 miles round trip) had us meander along an old logging road. It was absolutely breathtaking.
My goal was to see one of these guys. Banana slug is a common name for three North American species of terrestrial slug in the genus Ariolimax. Go UC Santa Cruz!

Evidence of yesteryear's lumber practices were everywhere on this trail. This groove is where a springboard was positioned to be able to cut higher up in the tree. Redwood was considered excellent material for railroad ties, and Russian Gulch produced many of the ties used on the transcontinental railroad. Shingles were also produced here . One of the first redwood shingle mills in this part of the country was built on the site.
I'm a goal oriented hiker. While the water wasn't following as it would be at other times, this 36' waterfall had us delighted.
Wonderful things grew in this canyon. Stopping to look at them all made the hike longer but certainly more memorable, too.

The Mendocino Coast is like none we have seen before. It's scary and majestic all at the same time.
Barbecuing dinner on the dock of Sportsmans' RV Park, watching the fishing fleet return from their day, was a pretty sweet way to end ours.

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Denise said...

We camped at Russian Gulch on our honeymoon many many moons ago. We loved it.

Denise said...

Hm I need to change my name to Denise1 when I comment so people don't think I am you, Denise2. Don't know how to do that though.:(

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