There is a plethora of dog friendly places, but the lodging business was kicking off the new year with extraordinary prices. The most dog friendly place was $400 for just one night. Seeing as we’d be spending most of the time on the trails, that was a waste of money. I was already out a week of pay due to the hiatus; I didn’t want to go further into the hole.
Luckily Shoreline Cottages, a cute little motel/cottage establishment, seemed right up my alley. Not deserted enough to be creepy (as other low price venues were), but not bustling enough to make me feel like too many people were around. Not only did they have individual cabin/cottages, they had a fire pit and a private beach.
So on the first day of the year 2020, Tucker and I packed up and our trusty steed whisked us away on a three night, three day getaway to the Northern California Coast.
The day was rather rainy, and the journey across the valley to the coast up north took its toll on me. By the time we reached the shoreline, we could see no sea nor no shore. There would be no use trying to watch the sunset at the beach, but that’s okay. Tucker evidently was already worn out and wanted to prepare for a good adventure in the morning, so he made himself at home.
The next morning, I had my grand plan to hike to Chamberlain Falls in the Jackson Demonstration Forest. I drove over to the fire station that gave out maps for such a task. Standing behind a couple who were getting their permit to go mushrooming, I heard all about the forest and closures—and how long it takes to get places. After speaking with the ranger who said their beach rivaled Mendicino, and her tip of, “Well the beach is right there if you wanted to check it out first,” I threw my plans out the window.
With the redwood waterfalls hike being at least a two hour drive away, I instead got back into my truck and drove 300 feet to MacKerricher State Park. The ranger was right: it was stunning.
Caspar Headlands wasn’t much headlands. It was a short jaunt through the woods along a road...
There is no parking next to the lighthouse; it’s a good mile walk from the parking lot down to the lighthouse, so let's call that our second hike of the day. There was a shortcut… but really, was it a viable shortcut?
Once outside, we ventured south along the bluff.
We hurried back up the two lane road to the cottages and got walking directions to the beach. A rather precarious journey involving going over a narrow bridge with traffic made me uneasy, but once to the trailhead of the beach, all was well.
There was one couple, and then there was Tucker and me.
After chewing on some tasty seaweed sticks, Tucker settled in and together we watched the sun set.
Dinner, wine, and Tucker fed, we went out to the fire pit to enjoy some warmth and community. A day with alone with Nature is always topped off nicely with a return to civilization.
Tucker got in some people attention, ate some treats, and enjoyed the fire.