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Old 08-10-2011, 12:20 PM   #1
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California's Mendocino Coast

We set out on our first week-long trip with our Airstream on Saturday. We had chosen a spot in Westport that claimed to have beachfront sites that would "turn your RV into your own beach front home." The photograph on the website showed a spacious ocean-facing site with a woman gazing at the sunset. All of you more experienced Airstreamers know where this is going. It was too horrible for words. A dirty, weed-covered pit with wall to wall RV's and, needless to say, no ocean view. That's the beauty of having an Airstream. We hitched her up and headed south. Since we had never been to the "it sounds too good to be true" place in Westport, I had done some research about a potential "Plan B." We found a lovely place in Fort Bragg called "Pomo Campground." Large, private sites in the trees where we can actually keep our door and blinds open without anyone being able to see in. Just across the road is the Pacific Ocean- we can hear a fog- horn. And I might mention that although this coastal area is notorious for being shrouded in fog, we have had three days of perfectly clear skies day and night. Another learning experience. Having an Airstream isn't effortless. It requires a commitment and a spirit of adventure. And if you persevere through the bewildering mechanical puzzles and bad campgrounds, you are rewarded with the experience of having your home with you in a place of unparalleled beauty. I am going to love having an Airstream.
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:40 PM   #2
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Nice! Thanks for the report! We would like to explore more of the northern california coast as well... Enjoy your travels

Steve
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:58 PM   #3
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We love the drive along the coast.

Mendocino has 2 campgrounds in the vicinity. The private one—northeast of the town near the coast highway is crowded. There is a state park nearby, but we needed hookups, so we went to the crowded one. We didn't like it, but didn't have much of a choice that day if we wanted to go to Mendocino. If we do it again, we'll take the trailer into town, park, walk around, continue along the coast.

Gualala has great pizza at Upper Crust Pizza. We stayed at a campground along the Gualala River just north and east of town. We were in the woods and it was cool and verdant.

At Olema we stayed in a campground right along the coastal highway. Nice place, as usual I can't remember the name. It was on the west side of the highway and right on top of the San Andreas Fault. Point Reyes National Seashore is there and may separate from the mainland along the fault in the next Big One (partly did 100 years ago) and this would be an interesting campground to be in then.

We had planned on going to the coast this September, but realized we didn't have enough time. It's pretty hard to camp anywhere overlooking the ocean. Most campgrounds are near, not so near, or in a river valley near the coast. Outlets of streams and rivers have sandy areas around them with access to the highway, but I don't think you can camp there although it seems some people do. I'd also be concerned about sinking into the sand with the trailer. Land along the coast is too valuable for a private campground to afford, and parks generally make sure the dunes are protected and campsites are back from the dunes.

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Old 08-10-2011, 05:41 PM   #4
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Here is one place you can camp right on the beach- no hook ups, though. We boondocked here for the weekend in July: Wright's Beach near Bodega. There are about 6 or 8 sites fronting the beach. Thank you for the reports on Olema and Gualala! We are planning to try both of these places in September.
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:48 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tip on Bodega. I'll try to remember that for our next trip to the coast.

If we survive the Big One at Olema, we have a chance for a tsunami at Bodega. California is always an adventure.

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Old 08-10-2011, 06:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steverino
Nice! Thanks for the report! We would like to explore more of the northern california coast as well... Enjoy your travels

Steve
Http://mackenzi.net/blog
Hi Steve
Love your blog! We have a dog named Lucy, too.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:22 PM   #7
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My mom grew up in Westport, went to a one room school house until high school when she bussed into Ft. Bragg. Her cousins used to own the "beachfront" campground there, not anymore tho.

Mendocino is lovely, and not so remote as Westport!

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Old 08-10-2011, 10:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. Bale
We set out on our first week-long trip with our Airstream on Saturday. We had chosen a spot in Westport that claimed to have beachfront sites that would "turn your RV into your own beach front home." The photograph on the website showed a spacious ocean-facing site with a woman gazing at the sunset. All of you more experienced Airstreamers know where this is going. It was too horrible for words. A dirty, weed-covered pit with wall to wall RV's and, needless to say, no ocean view. That's the beauty of having an Airstream. We hitched her up and headed south. Since we had never been to the "it sounds too good to be true" place in Westport, I had done some research about a potential "Plan B." We found a lovely place in Fort Bragg called "Pomo Campground." Large, private sites in the trees where we can actually keep our door and blinds open without anyone being able to see in. .
Even experienced streamers run into sites like that.

Thanks for the review and the lead on Pomo!
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:30 AM   #9
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Enjoyed your pictures and thoughts on these locations.
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:45 AM   #10
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Pomo's a great campground, been there several times. Always a good stay.
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