Mackerritcher State Park February 2018

On January 30, 2018 Kate, the dogs and I decided to take Buttercup to the coast now that the weather had become unseasonably dry and warm.  Our plan was to go to MacKerritcher SP, then Westport Beach SP, then maybe Navarro Beach SP.  We drove thru MacKerritcher first, then decided to drive up the coast about 15 miles to see Westport.  Unfortunately we stopped at a portion of it that was closed.   Had we continued on we would have found it actually was open.  We also checked out WestPort RV park near there which was very nice but about $68 per night with our dogs, which is way too expensive.

So we went back to Mackerritcher found a nice site and just paid by the day.  Well we loved it so much we ended up staying there five nights.  We also found out that Navarro was closed so that made the decision easy.

We met people there (Rob and Tammy), also in a big Class A, that were from Grass Valley and turned out very close friends with our across the street neighbors, Diana and Kam.  Then we met another couple (Neil and Sue) in a Class C who were from Sutter Creek on the 49, who were good friends with a long time friend of Kates from the same area.  In fact the godmother to Jamie, her oldest son.  So that was all small world kind of stuff.

Our first morning we rose at 5:15 am to trek down to the beach to see the blood moon, lunar eclipse, blue moon whatever.  It was gorgeous cinnamon color and went on for a good half hour.

The coast trail was just a couple minutes thru the woods behind our campsite.  So walking the dogs was easy and so beautiful early in the morning, sunrise and sunset or anytime.  One morning while walking the dogs I could see spouts of whales migrating south way off the coast.  The bird sounds, fresh sea air, sun peeking up over the trees, and waves crashing in the distance were just perfect for starting the day.

The only campground open was West Pinewood, which is primarily a tent camping CG, however there were several RVs in there already.  Surfwood is the prime RV CG but for some strange reason they had it closed.  We walked thru all the CGs and hiked a bit around the north side of Lake Cleone starting at the park entrance side of the trail.  The ocean side of the Cleone board walk is still under repair.

Biking was awesome.  The great bike trail  which is over a couple miles from Mackerritcher to Glass Beach is always such a nice ride.  Goes past Beachcomber motel and the trestle bridge.  Once you are at the Glass Beach you head into town.  its only a couple of miles to go thru Fort Bragg and to the Noyo River Bridge and harbor.  We went into town for lunch and exploration two days.  Even bought crab to take back to our motorhome for dinner one night.

The dogs loved it.  So much to explore.  Charlie is definitely an ocean dog.  He loves running on the sandy beaches.  I think he could smell the ocean and would pull with excitement to get down there and rip around.

Weather was perfect 70s in the day and 40s at night.  Cost had gone  up to $40 per night ($38 for us seniors).  California coastal parks are way expensive for the amenities they offer.

All in all, this was one of our best trips so far.  So much to do there and with the biking it really opened up the experience.  I have a very short video of Charlie ripping up the beach that lasts a whole 30 seconds, but not worth putting up.

Author: Geoff

Grew up in Lombard, Illinois, went to Arizona State University, worked as a CPA with arthur andersen & co, then Laventhal and Horwath, then Rolling Stones, then Heron international, then Goodby Berlin and Silverstein in San Francisco. Moved to the foothills in 1990 and traded futures and designed websites. Married to Kate Stewart living in Colfax, CA. Have on son, Zachariah Panek who lives in GA. Like camping in RV, hiking, kayaking and snow sports. Also conga drumming, photography and dogs.

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