Lesson : California Coast #1 - Fort Bragg is Worth Bragging About


We decided that it was time to take a trip up the California coast this summer.  Though our primary target was Eureka, we decided to stop in Fort Bragg en route.  Fort Bragg is on the Mendocino coast just north of the rustic town of Mendocino.  We decided to stay one night in Fort Bragg because we were invited to have dinner with friends who live there.   In addition, I thought that this little town had some interesting things to see.  And besides, I did not want to drive the whole way up to Eureka in one day, which is roughly 275 miles away from Oakland if you take the highway.  I am not fond of very long drives.

We chose to take Route 101 north initially, and then veered west on Route 128 to head towards the coast.  Route 128 is a long, winding road, and so driving can get tedious fast.  

After we arrived in Fort Bragg, we went directly to our hotel.  We stayed at the Best Western, which is a national budget hotel chain.  My expectations were low, but fortuitously we were assigned a room that had a view of the ocean, with Pudding Creek Beach and the Pudding Creek Trestle Bridge in the foreground.  

The bridge was originally part of the Ten Mile Railroad.  The Union Lumber Company constructed the Ten Mile Railroad in 1916 to bring logs from the Ten Mile River drainage area to the mill. The line extended north from the mill, and over the Pudding Creek Trestle Bridge.  In 1949 the railroad ceased using the bridge, and so the rails were removed, and the trestle was reinforced so the bridge could be used by very large logging trucks. 

After we settled into the hotel, we drove to our friends' house in the southern part of Fort Bragg.  They call it their villa away from the Bay Area. They decided to stay there until the COVID situation settles down.  They built much of the house themselves, which we thought was awesome.  It was unique and very well done, and even has a Japanese style room with tatami mats.  The dinner was delicious, and afterward we all sat around the fireplace.  We had a very nice visit. 

The next morning we checked out the hotel and drove across the highway to the parking area adjacent to the bridge.  As you walk the bridge, one of the things you might notice right away is all the padlocks linked to the steel cables that hold the bridge together.  Many of the locks had names and dates written on them.  But why?  Later, after a little investigation, I discovered that the locks signify everlasting love.  Apparently this custom was made popular in Paris, France, but in fact originated long ago in Asia.  

picAfter we walked the bridge, we wandered around the trails on the bluff that overlooks Pudding Creek Beach.  The bluff provides a great view of the rugged coastline.  We walked on the trails overlooking the beach, and was able to take some marvelous pictures of the beach and ocean.

Then we drove into downtown Fort Bragg to see what it had to offer.  There was one museum that I wanted to see called the Guest House Museum.  The museum was originally built in 1892 by the Fort Bragg Redwood Company as a private residence for the Johnson Family, who were owners of the company.  The Guest House served as a showplace for Union Lumber wood products. It was built using the finest old-growth redwood.  The home was donated to the City of Fort Bragg in 1985. Unfortunately, due to COVID, it was closed!

So, we took a quick look at the rest of downtown Fort Bragg, and while my wife did a little shopping, I hung out at a local cafe called the Headlands Coffeehouse, where I had a cappuccino and bagel, both of which were exceptional.

My wife came back with her shopping haul, and we were soon off to Eureka.  There are some things that we wanted to do in Fort Bragg but did not have the time for.  We'll do those on our next trip up the coast. 


Vocabulary Flash Card Drill

rustic     素朴(そぼく)
  • The newly married couple dined at a little rustic house beside the lake.  
  • 新婚夫婦は湖のほとりの小さな素朴な家で食事をしました。
veer     進路(しんろ)()える
  • The plane veered off course suddenly, alarming the passengers.  
  • 飛行機は突然進路を変え、乗客を驚かせた。
fortuitously     偶然(ぐうぜん)
  • Mark fortuitously selected all six winning lottery numbers.  
  • マークは偶然にも6つの当選宝くじ番号すべてを選択しました。
padlock     南京錠(なんきんじょう)
  • The rusty padlock looked like it would fall apart if I yanked it.  
  • さびた南京錠は、引っ張るとバラバラになるように見えました。
bluff     絶壁(ぜっぺき)
  • We stood on the bluff that overlooked the city of Los Angeles.  
  • 私たちはロサンゼルスの街を見下ろす絶壁に立っていました。
rugged     (けわ)しい
  • The astronauts had a difficult time navigating the rugged surface of the moon.  
  • 宇宙飛行士達は、月の険しい表面を航行するのに苦労しました。
tedious     退屈(たいくつ)
  • The data entry job I took this past summer was so tedious I had to quit after only two weeks.  
  • 去年の夏に行ったデータ入力の仕事はとても退屈で、たった2週間でやめました。