Sonoma, Mendocino and Humboldt

Beginning our journey, October 5, again from Marin County we planned on being gone for almost two weeks. Luckily, again I was able to make reservations at Doran Beach in Bodega Bay only two weeks ahead of time. Site 13 in Shell Campground was our first spot for two nights, then we would move to site 19 for one night in the Westside campground. Arriving for the night around 5pm, the weather was a bit cloudy and windy, but our view was perfect of the harbor.

Doran Campground is run by Sonoma County and has over 127, and is usually full.

After breakfast, we decided to hike into town to have a seafood lunch and took the Bird Walk Coastal Access Trail. At times it was a bit narrow along the highway, but manageable. Later in the day, Mike and Tami joined us for a walk on the beach with their two dogs and a short visit. The sunset that night was fabulous. We also chatted with our neighbors who had been coming for 25 years and they were surprised we were able to get into the campground. They come every year and try and get all the sites in Shell Campground but are finding it harder and harder for that to happen. They have already reserved for next year!

Right out our window the quail roamed in the morning.

Along the Bird Walk Coastal Trail. it’s nice that it leads into town.

Lunch at the Lucas Wharf Restaurant & Bar. A bit spendy, but a fabulous view.

Nothing better than a sunset on the coast.

The next morning it was moving day over to the Westside Campground. This is quite a different campground with mainly pull through sites, and a different perspective of the harbor. After lunch we drove up to Bodega Head and took the Bodega Head Trail which is a 1.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail depending on the weather. It was a bit windy at times, but the views made up for it. That night we enjoyed the low tide and watching all the birds (so many) migrate into the harbor area.

Now on the Westside in site 19,

Looking south towards Tomales Bay from the trail. There are some sheer cliffs on this trail.

Looking back towards Bodega from the trail.

Doran Beach Campground from the trial. We never did explore the end of the campground we realized when we saw it from here.

Low tide at the Westside Campground.

I have never seen so many different birds during low tide as I did here.

Next on our spots to see were the sites of Boonville. Staying at the fairgrounds for two nights allowed us to have water and electric and replenish our batteries. The site we chose to camp was in the dirt field where we had a great view of the goats at Pennyroyal Farm and their routines. We walked around Boonville and then settled in for the evening.

Pennyroyal Farms goats had quite the routine. They would come out of their pen all at once, hang out for about three minutes and then all go back in. They did this quite often.

Saturday morning, we made plans to go visit Hendy Woods SP and the surrounding areas, then come back and hike to the Anderson Valley Brewery for lunch. Unfortunately, after visiting Hendy Woods and thinking it’s a bit to dense for our liking, we walked to the brewery only to find out they only serve beer. So back in the truck we drove to Lemons Philo Market and got sandwiches. Later in the afternoon we walked over to Pennyroyal Farms and checked it out.

We drove through the campground, but found it a bit dark and the sites were not very large for a 25 foot trailer.

Stopped quickly for some bubbly for New Years.

It’s a nice walk from the fairgrounds to the brewery. And since our local brewery has food we though they would too, but no. We did get some beer and had it back at camp with lunch.

Visited quickly to get some goat cheese and their wine. Both of which are very good. the grounds are gorgeous.

Last night in Boonville under a clear sky.

Leaving on Sunday morning with a full tank of water we drove Highway 128 to Navarro River State Beach for two nights. We had sunny but windy weather and watched some tent campers struggle to keep their tent stable.

There are only 13 sites here and you must bring water. It was super windy while we were here, until the morning we were leaving.

Another bad ocean sunset.

On Monday we drove into Mendocino to take in the sites, shops and to have lunch.

Monday and all the lunch places were open. Mendocino was having a tragic water supply problem.

Navarro River meets the ocean.

The colors of the sky and the ocean are perfectly perfect.

Tuesday, we traveled to Van Damm SP hoping to have a site (19), and to listen to the Giants game. We lucked out and without reservations we decided to stay two nights. Around 2 pm we decided to hike the Fern Canyon Trail from our site. We chose to not do the loop section due to time but found the 4-mile section we did do beautiful.

Some family history in this park so we needed a picture.

Even though the site was a bit dark, we did see the sun, and managed to get the Giants on the radio.

Fern Canyon in Van Damm SP is so cute with all the bridges that are on the trial.


Opened the truck doors, turned on the radio, had a campfire and listened to the Giants.

In the morning, we drove up to the Big River Estuary and hiked along the old logging road that parallels Big River. Next time we will need to kayak this, as the water was super inviting. We stopped for lunch again in Mendocino and walked around town and went to the museum.

I bet this place is busy in the summer!

No filter!

Had lunch at Patterson’s Pub which was the only place open on Tuesday due to water issues.

Hopeful that this issue is resolved for all soon!

Since the Giants were in the playoffs, our next day’s journey took us to the KOA in Benbow for the first time. We had wanted cable so we could watch the final game of the series. After a drink at the Benbow Inn, we watched the Giants loose to the Dodgers and end their season, happy they had gotten this far.

The famous Benbow Inn, which is just a quick walk from the KOA.

Our spot for the night at the KOA.

Cable hookups to watch, unfortunately, the final game for Buster and the Giants 🙁

Our final night was in a campground on the Avenue of the Giants. This campground, Ancient Redwoods RV Park is small and very new. We have stayed in almost all the campgrounds around this area so wanted to try it out. We had site 35 and had sun until around 4:30, so decided to walk to Holmes and check it out. There was a cute veggie stand open and we chatted with the owners about the area and told them we would return in the morning for some of their homemade apple fritters before we left to go home.

Parked out on the Avenue of the Giants so we could go into the Visitors Center.

This campground was closing for the season in two days.

So nice to chat with the owners about the area that we once lived in. We knew a lot of the same folks, and the apple fritters were good too!