Friday, September 20, 2013

Mendocino Coast–Manchester Beach KOA

We took our time taking off this morning partly due to a last minute run to Safeway to get more fresh fruit to get us through for the next week.  Don’t know why I did not think of doing that yesterday, we did go into Fort Bragg to find the church.  Regardless, we finally got on the road around 11:30 to make the 40 mile drive southward to Manchester Beach.  I knew that it was going to take us a good 90 minutes to get there, longer since we were going to stop for lunch along the way – but who was in a hurry anyway?


The views we saw today were amazing….and only a few areas where we could pull over to photograph them.  But we will be taking a ride back up to Fort Bragg on Sunday, and we are hoping for weather which will allow for more coastal pictures to be taken along the way or way back.


From the same area that we took the first picture, we could look back at this beach where a person was sitting enjoying the view…until I took a close up and discovered that it was two people on the beach.  Thank goodness they had clothes on, this is the Mendocino / Fort Bragg area after all.


Now how relaxing does that look?


We continued down Highway 1 and about 12 miles short of our destination we found another pullout to stop at.


The view was so good, we decided to eat lunch and just look out over the ocean.


And this picture (above) gives you an idea of the type of roads we faced today….and this was one of the kinder corners.  I lost count of how many times the corner speed was only 20 mph, but I remember at least three times where it dropped down to 15 mph.  Nope, no pictures of any of that…too busy driving.  I must have pulled over at least a dozen times to allow the 40-50 car, trucks and other RVs to pass us throughout the day.  Most of the time we got the “toot toot” thank you of their horn as they drove by…but amazingly the two times that RVs were at the front of the line, they just drove on.  Once the truck/trailer combination that was right behind us had 6 or 7 cars behind it….and he had an opportunity to pull over himself right after he passed us….but he did not.  Some people just don’t get it.


And we saw so many wonderful trees along the way, at times even driving under a tunnel of them.


And more than once we saw lines of them.  You got to wonder if they were planted this way, or part of a larger forest where each side of the line were cut away for farming purposes.  I tend to believe it is the latter.


But so many had such character to them.  I hope to get a few more pictures on our travel back to Fort Bragg on Sunday….these shown above were trees close to the KOA near Manchester Beach.


The other thing we saw were these Belladonna Lily flowers, also known as the “Naked Lady” flower.  We saw them growing along the side of the road, out in fields, and especially around houses.  The ones above were taken here at the KOA.  It is a flower which is native of Cape Peninsula in Africa, and they seem to be doing well along the coast of California too.


Here we are at the Manchester Beach / Mendocino Coast KOA .  Not much grass, but there is space between lots.  And there are LOTS of Cypress Trees throughout the park.

5b     5c
5d     5e

We have stayed at KOA from time to time, and this is your typical park.  Its best feature is the dog run, a very large fenced in area with dual doors so you can take the leash off and then send them on in.  We are right near the dog run, which I am sure the dogs will drag me over to a few times each day.  I did not get pictures of the park because I did not have my camera when I took them there earlier…will try and get that in tomorrow.

The only big “no no” about this park is that you don’t have free Wi-Fi, except for 30 minutes each day.  The cost is reasonable, but the speed is not.  We have four bars of first generation with our Mi-Fi card from Verizon, and it is as fast, faster if only one of us is on it, than the parks Wi-Fi.  There is also another Wi-Fi available which clearly is using Satellite which is way slower.  I can understand the speed situation, I have no problem with that….but to charge for Wi-Fi when you pay over $50 per night is a bit much.


  1. That is one beautiful scenic drive...there is nothing quite like the California coast. Those lilies are stunning!

    That is the first KOA that charges for WiFi that I have ever heard about...what a shame!

    Have a fun time....

  2. I think they charge for Wi-Fi to control the bandwidth. I'd rather they let you have so much bandwidth for free, then once you go over that amount slow you up even more....had that before in other parks. But one can understand the first generation situation out here where few homes exist, few people with the need for faster Internet.

  3. The Pacific Coast is beautiful no matter what the weather. The clouds bring a whole different atmosphere. But the cliffs and crashing waves are just so cool.

    1. Took the dogs out Saturday morning around 6 am, nobody moving around the KOA but in the distance you can hear the distinct sound of large waves hitting the rocks along the shore....getting out today to "explore" this area and areas to the south despite the rain which has already come, and will probably come off and on through the day.

  4. I agree with your wish for free wifi. In this day and age I wish they'd 'get it together' and try to make wifi available to anyone who wants to use it. I know the password helps keep the 'riff-raff' from taking up space; but for campers paying to camp why not give them a break? Like they don't make money on it!
    Dave, you're right about the scenery. Oregon and California coastlines have to be among the most beautiful in the world. But, some of those turns are challenging in an RV with a towed vehicle. In my present state of mind, towing-wise, I think I'm going to have to skip the coast this year. I need more practice! Happy Saturday.

    1. Oh, those turns are challenging for me too...we just take them nice and slow and easy, and we are willing to pull over for those behind us anytime there is a paved pullout/turnout.


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