Mendocino was settled by some New Englanders who had come out with a logging company. With a population of less than 1000 even today, it certainly could have been a New England town—except for the vast Pacific Ocean bordering two sides of it.
Tucker and I walked up and down the road (one of five east-west streets in the entire town proper), referencing my alltrails map, trying to find the start of the Mendocino Headlands trail. I walked down a dirt driveway to a parking lot and found two people carrying supplies from their car to the meeting room of a church (lots of churches—just like New England.) I asked if they could direct me where to go, and the man said he’d show me after he put down his supplies. His gregarious Anatolian Shepherd was lumbering about, and Tucker made fast friends with her—as he does with all the canine locals. She seemed excited to show Tucker the trail she herself often spent her days on.
The gentleman and his dog walked us through the back field, and there, sure enough, was a narrow trail that I never would have found for fear of trespassing.
The trail led out to the cliff’s edge where through trees, we could see the beaches below.
But I am still grateful to have had a chance to explore this particular coastal work of art. Nature is diverse in her genres, and I appreciate all the medias she works in. It's just that some of her pieces I feel more connected to than others.
Tucker and I bid farewell to the Californian New England town and headed back north For our final night, we watched the sunset from our little beach and then sat beside the fire again.
Day one was bustling and active; day two was like walking through an art museum. Day three would be whatever adventures we could find along our route. We would leave the sea behind, thankful for getting to experience its beauty, and head east, back to Nature's art gallery where I feel most at home: the redwood forest.