Hanging out in Fort Bragg…by amber west

July 1, 2010 at 4:38 pm 1 comment

I thought I would talk a little bit about local area things to do.  My In-laws were just here for the weekend and so where to take them and what to fill our days with is on my mind.  My partner is a California State Park Ranger, and so we usually end up doing lots of park-related activities.  The greater Fort Bragg area is home to some of the most unique and beautiful State Parks in California.  On Friday, I took my father-in-law, Robert, hiking at Jug Handle State Natural Reserve.  We hiked the 2.5 mile Ecological Staircase Nature Trail that features five different  terraces formed by glacial, sea and tectonic activity that built our beautiful coastal range.  It’s pretty amazing.  Basically though you may only hike a few hundred feet, the soil from one terrace to the next is 100,000 years older.  This means that the soil composition is totally different, therefore changing the plant and animal life.  There are five different terraces,  each very fascinating; starting with the ocean and Coastal Grass Prairie, then to a Coastal Bog, then a Closed-Cone Pine Forest, up and into a Redwood Forest and ending finally in a Pygmy Forest where the soil is so depleted of nutrients that sixty year old trees look like anorexic saplings.  It’s an easy hike with lots of informational plaques along the way.  We had a good time.

Then we stopped at the Guest House Museum (which happens to be downtown, right next to Living Light) where we learned a bit about Fort Bragg’s local history.  Later that evening we met up with my husband, Alex, and his mom, Christine, and we biked the historic Haul Road that runs from the north side of town for 7 miles up the coast and through the beautiful MacKerricher State ParkThe Haul Road (also known as the California Coastal Trail) is no longer in use as a logging railroad, but instead has been converted to a pedestrian walkway.  It runs

Alex and Christine on our Tandem Bike

right along the rugged Pacific coastline and is dotted with little beaches, nooks and grass plains wherein California Ground Squirrels, foxes, bunnies, Black Tailed Deer and many species of birds may be found.  We bicycled, wiggled our toes in the sand, frolicked a bit in the water and finally enjoyed the beautiful sunset.

MacKerricher State Park is a pretty cool place to hang out. It is an abundant home to several of the world’s endangered species; the Western Snowy Plover, Menzies  Wallflower, Sea Palm and Howell’s Spineflower.  It has a large Harbor Seal Rookery, where during the spring months you can come and see baby Harbor Seals be born into this world and follow their progress through the first few months of their lives.  It also has the largest sand dune complex in Northern California. Alex and I are very lucky; because he is a Park Ranger assigned to MacKerricher State Park, we are actually able to live inside of the park.

On Saturday we headed to downtown Fort Bragg, meandering the local shops and galleries, looking at local artwork and perusing the goods being  sold.  Then we took the historic Skunk Train for a ride into the Redwoods and through times past.  Fort Bragg’s rural nature has kept so much of its ocean and woodlands unpolluted and preserved.  It’s just beautiful!  I think my in-laws had a good visit, and I know that I had a lot of fun playing tourist.  These are only a few of the many things that one could do on their weekends in between taking classes at Living Light, or if you’re the lucky winner of the Hot Raw Chef Video Recipe Contest!

Get out and breathe some fresh air today……..Amber West


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. A Reason to Rhyme by kristin « RawFoodChef  |  July 23, 2010 at 10:34 am

    […] the photo with Hilloah are friend Chelsea and Amber West, whose blogs you’ve read here. Amber is moving to the Bay Area, so she won’t be on the […]


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