9/10/18 – Westport to Manchester

56.4 Miles

3586 ft of Climbing

Sleep was impossible, last night. The wind was blowing like crazy–to the point that it was flattening our tents. My tent was about six inches from my face; and I was sliding downhill toward the ocean; and my stakes wouldn’t hold in the sand, so the tent fly was flapping all night long on all four sides; and it was so cold, I couldn’t get my hands and feet to warm up, and, and….. I woke up at 3:30 AM, then couldn’t fall asleep again until just before it was time to wake up. I hollered over to Karen to see how she had slept. She had had a ‘fitful’ night. We laughed.

Once breakfast was eaten and our campsites were all neatly packed away, it was time for a walk on the beach. And this was not just any walk, for me. It was a walk with my own personal marine biologist to educate and entertain me.

And what follows is some of what we may be eating in the future. The first two photos are sea palm. Yummy.

I think this is cysto sera. It has beans in those pods on the right hand. Yummy.I took notes, and now I feel like I’m failing the test. Don’t flunk me, Karen. I think this is dulse. Yummy.And this is ????? I can’t remember. I did fail my test.

We said goodbye to our private beach, and Karen hauled my panniers to the top of the hill into the park in her car, for which I am eternally grateful, and we said our goodbyes. I wish I was traveling with someone fun like Karen. We would be having a blast all day, every day.

So the day went like this. I passed more scenic coastline–miles and miles and miles of it.

The Ten Mile Beach Trail took me past all kinds of coastal habitats that are part of Mac Kerricher State Park: beaches, headlands, dunes, coves, wetlands, tide pools, forest, a freshwater lake, on one side of the trail. The other side of the trail was either more of the same or cool vacation rentals. The trail terminated at the cool mural covered restrooms below. They really know how to do it up, at some of these parks!

As soon as I entered Fort Bragg, the town adjacent to the park, one of the first things I came to was…..Denny’s!!! Amazing luck, don’t you think? I had an incredible lunch, there, and left in a state of bliss. Fort Bragg was never a military fort, it was just named after a military man. But it was a decent little town. It had a Safeway store, so I was able to resupply my groceries and Gatorade, which is always nice.Above is the Historical Society building that caught my ye. Below, a mural. You know me and murals.Down the road was this piece of property for sale. If I bought it, would it really work for me?The scenery for the rest of the day was more ocean views, then a few miles down the road from Elk, the route turned inland toward a little town named Manchester–my destination for the night.

I stayed in a KOA cabin, so I could do laundry, shower for as long as I wanted to (most campground showers are coin operated), and be guaranteed a good night of sleep. I loved my little cabin and the ‘Kamper Kitchen,’ that made it possible to cook without getting out my stove, and clean up in a sink with soap. Modern conveniences are such a treat!

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