Archive for the ‘picnics’ Category

State Parks Offers Summer Programs
Friday, June 19th, 2009

Docent Led Hikes at Jug Handle State Reserve
Join California State Parks for guided Ecological Staircase hikes every other Thursday this summer.  Hikes are scheduled for June 18, July 2, July 16, July 30, August 13 and August 27.  All hikes start at 10:00 a.m. and end at 2:00 p.m.  Meet at the Jug Handle State Natural Reserve parking lot on the west side of Highway 1, about 3 miles south of Fort Bragg.

Summer Programs at MacKerricher State Park
California State Parks announces free, guided interpretive programs at MacKerricher State Park.  These programs will be presented every week through September 6, 2009. All programs are led by park staff or volunteers.


Mendocino Outdoors is the premier guide to outdoor activities on the Mendocino Coast

Mendocino Outdoors, the premier guidebook for outdoor fun and adventure on the Mendocino Coast, was recently updated as an ebook for the 5th Edition. You can buy a copy at Smashwords.com, the Apple iBooks Bookstore, Amazon’s Kindle Books, and Barnes & Noble's online store.

Fall Colors at Goldeneye in the Anderson Valley
Friday, October 19th, 2007

If you’re driving on Highway 128 through the Anderson Valley on your way to or from Mendocino this weekend, plan on taking some time to stop at some of the many tasting rooms to enjoy the fall foliage in the vineyards. Bob Nye, Operations Manager at Goldeneye Winery, called me the other day to remind me about coming down to see the fall colors on the grapevines, so I made it down on Wednesday. Although the weather guys had predicted showers that day, it turned into a warm day with clouds racing through — perfect for walking through the vineyard. I’ve always admired the colors on the vine-covered hills, but this is the first time I’ve had the chance to walk through the middle of it.

Across Goldeneye Vineyard in the Anderson Valley

As you can see, the colors ranged from green to yellow to orange to deep red from one plant to the next, making for swaths of color below the hill. You can still find the occasional bunch of grapes that was missed in the picking. These were pinot noir grapes, and while the resulting pinot is excellent, they weren’t particularly tasty in the raw. I love the deep almost-indigo blue in contrast to the wild yellows and reds around the grapes.

Pinot noir grapes among the fall colors

The Goldeneye tasting room is a charming building nestled between several restored apple-drying sheds. They host group events on the patio outside, with its barbecue grill and Dutch oven and fabulous view. Out in the middle of the vineyard on a manicured path, they’ve placed a pavilion with picnic tables. What a spectacular place to enjoy a picnic or some cheese with a fine wine!Pavilion and Tasting Room at GoldeneyeWalking the rows of grapevines, in and out of the sun


Mendocino Outdoors is the premier guide to outdoor activities on the Mendocino Coast

Mendocino Outdoors, the premier guidebook for outdoor fun and adventure on the Mendocino Coast, was recently updated as an ebook for the 5th Edition. You can buy a copy at Smashwords.com, the Apple iBooks Bookstore, Amazon’s Kindle Books, and Barnes & Noble's online store.

Favorite Picnic Spots: Gualala Point Regional Park – Riverview
Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Gualala River overlook

One look at this photo says it all about Gualala Point Regional Park as a great picnic spot. Visible is the Gualala River with the town showing on the right.

While a coastal community, Gualala is part of a “banana belt” that seems to exempt the area from the fog which often shrouds towns north from Elk to Wesport in late spring and summer.

About the Name
From Gualala.com: “some people call it gwa-LA-la, but the natives call it wa-LA-la, from the Kashaya Pomo Indian phrase, “ah kha wa la lee” which means, “Where the water flows down”, which makes sense–for the river goes out to the ocean right across from the center of town, right by that big sand bar where the whales stop for lunch every year.”

Oh So Cool …

The downside is the wind. Cooling ocean breezes are present alot as you might expect on a hill high above the Pacific. Still, it also can be t-shirt weather. In any case, come prepared for any weather, but also be prepared for a wonderful picnic. And forget to check out the park museum.

There are trails that take you along cliffs or down to the beach. Of coure, photo opportunities are limitless.
Bruce’s Best Best: take the Sea Ranch coastal access trail south for more sweeping ocean views, coves with spectacular crashing waves. You’ll cross streams along the way. A you can following trails along one stream that takes you to a small waterfall. Or bring a kayak or canoe and ply the Gualala River. While the ocean is always in the low 5o’s, requiring a wetsuit, the river in summer is warm enough for please swimming.

Supplies: two supermarkets in the four block long town have everything you need. But fish restaurants an outdoor barbecue on Main Street (Highway 1) offer tempting take-away.


Mendocino Outdoors is the premier guide to outdoor activities on the Mendocino Coast

Mendocino Outdoors, the premier guidebook for outdoor fun and adventure on the Mendocino Coast, was recently updated as an ebook for the 5th Edition. You can buy a copy at Smashwords.com, the Apple iBooks Bookstore, Amazon’s Kindle Books, and Barnes & Noble's online store.

Favorite Picnic Spots: Big River and The World of Suzi Long
Sunday, October 7th, 2007

susielong-mf.jpgPicnics can be group affairs or romantic getaways. At Big River Beach in Mendocino, on the east side of Highway 1, you can have both. You can plop down on the warm sandy beach with a blanket for two or have a group picnic with a fire. Part of the experience is wondering at the River’s edge or walking under the Highway 1 bridge and dipping your toes into the chilly water (52-54 degrees) where the river meets the sea. With binoculars you can view nesting birds in the pines and redwoods on the opposite shore or watch as canoers and kayakers make their way up the river. This day, I came up on a different kind of entertainment: a group of art students from the Mendocino Art Center painting painting the landscape with pastels.

“I was teaching a class on what to do with all those wild pastel colors in your box,” explained local artist and gallery owner Suzi Long, owner of “The World of Suzi Long” on Ford Street near Kasten in Mendocino Village.

Driftwood fires and barbecues are allowed on Big River Beach, a part of Mendocino Headlands State Park. Is there any wonder why this is one of our picnic favorites?

Location: drive on Highway 1 a couple of hundred yards south of Mendocino Village and make a left at the north end of the Big River bridge. The road takes you to a parking area along the beach and river.

Supplies: Harvest Market on Lansing or Corners of the Mouth market, Mendocino Deli and Lu’s Kitchen on Ukiah.


Mendocino Outdoors is the premier guide to outdoor activities on the Mendocino Coast

Mendocino Outdoors, the premier guidebook for outdoor fun and adventure on the Mendocino Coast, was recently updated as an ebook for the 5th Edition. You can buy a copy at Smashwords.com, the Apple iBooks Bookstore, Amazon’s Kindle Books, and Barnes & Noble's online store.

Mendocino Bay Overlook: Picnic Above Big River With Village View
Saturday, October 6th, 2007

Mendocino Bay Overlook,Picnic,Big RiverThe Mendocino Bay Overlook, four acres of bluff owned by the Mendocino Land Trust and open to the public, is a great picnic spot that you’ll likely have all to yourself. To get there, you drive to the end of Main Street in Mendocino, make a right on Highway 1, travel south across the Big River bridge and make the first right at Road 500B and then a quick left on a two lane road. The parking area for the overlook is just 50 yards down the street on the right.

Dawn’s Early Light

I got up before dawn recently to capture a photo of the bay, Big River Beach and the morning light falling on the the Village from the overlook vantage point. There are few other spots on the Mendocino Coast with so much atmosphere. Waves crashing on the rocks. People strolling on the sandy beach below. Surfers. Kayakers. And the historic village of Mendocino on the opposite cliffs.

It may to be breezy, so bring a sweater or jacket and hat.

There’s picnic food at the Mendocino Deli, Harvest Market, Lu’s Kitchen or Corners of the Mouth in Mendocino.

Even if you come just to snap a photograph or share a personal moment with a significant other, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a special place. And one of our new “favorites.”


Mendocino Outdoors is the premier guide to outdoor activities on the Mendocino Coast

Mendocino Outdoors, the premier guidebook for outdoor fun and adventure on the Mendocino Coast, was recently updated as an ebook for the 5th Edition. You can buy a copy at Smashwords.com, the Apple iBooks Bookstore, Amazon’s Kindle Books, and Barnes & Noble's online store.

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