A Landing a Day

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Fort Bragg, California

Posted by graywacke on December 30, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48). I call this “landing.” I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near. I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –   I landed less than two miles from a road I’ve driven on.  Considering that it’s a back road on the west coast, that’s pretty strange!  But more importantly, I landed in a long-time USer . . . CA; 86/98; 5/10; 4; 153.5.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to the Pacific Ocean, Ft. Bragg, Caspar and Mendocino (and CA State Route 20):

So, back in the 70s, Jody [my wife] lived in San Francisco, then Willits, then Eureka.  Seven or eight years ago, we were out visiting her old haunts (less Eureka, which was too far north given our schedule).  We drove up to Willits, and then took Route 20 over to the coast.  We drove up into Ft. Bragg, but didn’t stay long.  We then headed south along Rt 1 to Mendocino, where we spent the night at the Mendocino Hotel.

Here’s my broader landing view:

Here’s an oblique GE shot.  You can easily see Rt 20:

Here’s a broader GE shot, showing the coast:

About Ft. Bragg from Wiki:

In 1855 an exploration party from the Bureau of Indian Affairs visited the area looking for a site on which to establish a reservation and, in the spring of 1856, the 25,000 acre Mendocino Indian Reservation was established at Noyo (just south of today’s Ft. Bragg).

In the summer of 1857, First Lieutenant Horatio Gibson, then serving at the Presidio in San Francisco, established a military post on the Mendocino Indian Reservation approximately one and one-half miles north of the Noyo River. He named the camp for his former commanding officer Captain Braxton Bragg, who later became a General in the Army of the Confederacy. The official date of the establishment of the fort was June 11, 1857. Its purpose was to maintain order on the reservation.

Braxton Bragg was a career military guy, who was a leading commander of Confederate forces, mainly west of the Appalachians.   Here’s a picture of this rather intense-looking individual:

After a somewhat checkered career with the Confederate Army, here’s what Wiki has to say about his later years:

After the war Bragg served as the superintendent of the New Orleans waterworks and later became the chief engineer for Alabama, supervising harbor improvements at Mobile.  He moved to Texas and became a railroad inspector.

Bragg was walking down a street with a friend in Galveston, Texas, when he suddenly fell over dead.  A local legend holds that there is a mysterious light near the place of his death, which is called Bragg’s Light.  He is buried in Magnolia Cemetery, Mobile, Alabama.

“Braggs Light,” eh?  Very interesting.  Moving right along, here’s a picture of Noyo (just south of Ft Bragg), with the Noyo River and Bay.

Speaking of the Noyo, I landed in the watershed of the S Fk of the Noyo R (my first hit); on to the Noyo (also my first hit).  The S Fk and the Noyo itself are my 1046th and 1047th rivers.

Of interest in Ft. Bragg is a place called Glass Beach.  From FoxsOceanGreenHaven.com:

Glass Beach is one of the most unique beaches in the world, not because nature created it that way, but because time and the pounding surf have corrected one of man’s mistakes.

Beginning in 1949, the area around Glass Beach became a public dump. It is hard to believe these days, but back then people dumped all kinds of refuse straight into the ocean, including old cars and their household garbage, which of course included lots of glass. By the early sixties, some attempts were made to control what was dumped, and dumping of any toxic items was banned. Finally in 1967, the North Coast Water Quality Board realized what a mistake it was and plans were begun for a new dump away from the ocean.

Now, over 30 years later, Mother Nature has reclaimed this beach. Years of pounding wave action have deposited tons of polished glass onto the beach. You’ll still see the occasional reminder of it earlier life, such as a rusted spark plug, but for the most part what you’ll see is millions of pieces of glass sparkling in the sun. (sorry, collecting is not allowed).

Glass Beach also has a very interesting array of tide pools to explore. Crabs, mollusks, and many aquatic plants make their homes in these ever changing environments. It is very easy to spend your whole day poking around the tide pools and watching the busy little worlds that go on inside each one.

Sounds like a very cool spot.  Here’s a picture:

Continuing south on Route 1, one comes to Caspar.  Caspar is an old lumber mill town.  Here’s a cool Nat Geo shot from the late 30s (caption below):

The Caspar Mill in 1938 : photo by B. Anthony Stewart © 1939 National Geographic Society.  The “big splash” is the result of a log hitting the millpond after sliding down the chute.

Moving further south on Route 1, we come to Mendocino, where (as mentioned above), Jody and I spent one night at the Mendocino Hotel.  Here’s a shot of the town (the Mendocino Hotel is the yellow building towards the right):

Here’s a close-up of the hotel.  We stayed in the front corner suite on the second floor.  The second floor balcony you can see was ours (very cool).

Here’s a shot of the Mendocino coast when the ocean’s a little angry:

And this, of some round boulders near Mendocino.  Remember my Selfridge ND post about Cannonball Concretions (where I shared pictures of dozens of very round rocks)?  Anyway, these seem like more of the same.

Here’s a classic Northern CA coastline shot (near Ft. Bragg):

And I’ll close with this Ft. Bragg sunset:

That’ll do it.



© 2009 A Landing A Day

3 Responses to “Fort Bragg, California”

  1. Spagets said

    That was very interesting about Glass Beach, I can’t imagine people dumping garbage into a beautiful ocean, shame on you….

    • Debra Goleman Leighton said

      People didn’t know back then what they know now. at least our streets were clean. I remember as a child on Sunday afternoons, taking the trash to the dump. all of us kids would pile into the back of the pickup truck(sitting on the edge of the truck bed, no seat belt laws yet, oooooh, it was an event, the dump spot was always smoking and burning, even with the waves rolling in on it. had it not been for the dump, all of you tourists who decided to take over our home town of Fort Bragg would have never had glass beach to enjoy, sooooo, it was a good thing after all.

  2. Jim Keaton said

    The Oregon coast is much more prettier

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