Sunday, April 14, 2019

detour: headlands

My preferred detour: the ocean. Spending the weekend with ocean smells and views, cold wind and warm sand is good for my spirit. The first stop was in Bodega Bay, out on the spit of land simply called the Head.
Bodega Bay turning into mud flats as the tide goes out

The trails on the Head can be cold and wintery, all year round, but were pretty perfect the day we were there. And just easy, rolling trails with blue sky, gray sea and green grass views. The Bodega Marine Laboratory is on government land out there, not open to the public, except special days. I spent a few weeks there one summer as a teen, and learned I did NOT want to be a marine biologist (but it was fun anyway)! I'll re-visit another time. They do have a webcam in the cove that is fun to check out!

the laboratory below on horseshoe cove
For as vast as the northern California coast is, these parts are very lacking in trails. Sometimes it is because it in inaccessible, or they ran Highway 1 right on the cliff, or it is private land. But sometimes it all comes together, and I was happy to explore the new Jenner Headlands Preserve, recently opened by the Wildlands Conservancy.

car looks tiny, Russian river, Goat Rock views
This area is north of Bodega Bay, in Sonoma County. They have a nice, small parking lot, informational panel, and even a map! The trails that were open started off pretty steep! I'm not sure if they did more than drive a tractor over them and call it a trail (I'm sure they did, but they're a bit rough, and sometimes hard to find!) but the views were worth it.

this is just to the first overlook, complete with telescope
one of these things is not like the others! top row: tufted poppy, bowl tube iris, golden eggs suncup. bottom row: rosy sand crocus, baby blue eyes and a native succulent (my best guess at identifications)
keep going…

There were wildflowers, and we even found a deer antler! In all my miles of hiding and riding I've never found one, assuming they are usually gobbled up by critters or hidden in shrubbery. I'll be back to explore more of the trails (a few were closed for treacherous conditions), because we didn't get even close to the highest point!

The fog was creeping in, and the hiking day was done. The sunset decided to put on a great show over Bodega Head.

the fog comes on little cat feet…

crazy cloud sunset

The next day, hiking along morning sand, it was almost time to go home. Almost too cold for bare feet, but here was a sand dollar, and let's just take a few moments more…

non-native Pride of Madeira is still an awesome plant

left behind

simple ways to remember


  1. You are so fortunate to live near the ocean! Those photos are beautiful, and I love the last one.

    1. Thanks. I don't think I ever want to live too far from the ocean, I love visiting so much. I currently live about 2 hours away, and that is far enough for me!