Thursday, August 5: Long drive (250 miles) from Monterey to Elk (a small town on the coast in Mendocino County). We stopped in Petaluma for a bite and a coffee, then took the circuitous 128 through Boonville and Philo, ending up on the Philo-Greenwood Road, where we saw wild turkeys, ptarmigan, and many switchbacks.
Elk was a bustling town at the turn of the century... a logging and timber mill center. Now, however, there's very little here... two bona fide restaurants take turns being open rather than fight over the small available base of clientele... the gas station was all out of gas, maybe more next week.
Here is a view of Elk Cove. It was a very busy, built up area 100 years ago, but there's little evidence of this today. The town was called Greenwood in logging days.
Friday, August 6: We went up to the town of Mendocino for a look around. Ben had his 5th straight Caesar Salad! We had a rest, then went to the town pub (Irish) for a bite to eat.
Saturday, August 7: There was an event marking the 90th birthday of the Cabrillo Lighthouse... we went there to join in the festivities. On several occasions, we could hardly control our excitement!
We went to Fort Bragg, about 30 miles north of Elk, where they had a nice street market, with several streets blocked off... they had live music featuring an interesting selection of local talent.
The Elk Cove Inn was a pleasant place, with a great view of Elk Cove.
Outside, there was a gazebo. A very pleasant place for watching sunsets.
Sunday, August 8: Robyn and Dan take a horseback ride! A couple hours along trails in the coastal mountains, at Ross Ranch.
At one point, Robyn's horse got a bit too close to Dan's -- and Dan's horse bucked, kicking Robyn and leaving her with a horseshoe-shaped souvenir on her left shin.
But that's just the way it goes... other than that, it was a pleasant ride. Robyn took it all in stride, so to speak.
Robyn's horse was Camilla. Dan's was Dally (as in dilly-dally). Along the way, we stopped to pick berries... meanwhile, Ben and Jacquetta read books, relaxed, picked berries, and talked.
Later, we went down to Elk Cove to explore. We played paddle ball, went for a walk up and down the beach... lots of hidden caves. There was a dead seal which could be detected by smell before being detected by sight.
That evening, we had dinner at the Greenwood Cafe (their turn!). One of the singers from Ft. Bragg was there, entertaining both tables!
Elk was a quiet, restful place... cooler and overcast. Not a holiday destination for city types or sun-seekers.
Monday, August x: Preparing for our longest drive of the trip, we left around 7AM, before breakfast. Skirting San Francisco, stopping at a Denny's in Concord, we made our way to Yosemite.