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Campsite Photo Trip - 2013

Angry Birds

We get more Northern California State Park campgrounds and run into a few angry birds!

Real angry. But that comes later.

When I am on the road I keep a sort of schedule. About once a week I process photos of all the campgrounds I have visited and write a blog post. I back up all the photos to portable hard drives just to be safe.

But I did things a little out of order while camping at MacKerricher last weekend. I organized all the campground photos on Saturday, but that afternoon I walked the park and took pictures. Then I wrote the blog on Sunday.

Here is MacKerricher.


A large campground with 143 sites, it sits just north of Fort Bragg. I stayed in site 90.


Most of the sites are like that. Number 87 was a big one.


The group area comprises sites 1 – 20.

I rode my bike down to the beach.

Mac-kerricher-Beach-2 Mac-Kerricher-Beach-1

Clouds were building on the western horizon but the weather had been great for the past couple of days. There is also a small lake next to the beach, Lake Leone I believe. It even had a boat ramp of sorts.


Just paddle through the marsh to reach the lake.

The temperature dropped as the clouds became thicker. I made some comfort food and retired to my tent.


Cheesy goodness with a dash of habanero sauce to keep me warm.

The plan for Sunday was to make a day trip to visit two more State Parks so after writing and posting the last blog I headed out.

I popped the flash card that I use for campsite photos into my camera. I formatted it like I always did when everything has been processed and backed up.

As I was driving south a sickening thought hit me. The MacKerricher photos were on that card. Rats!

I pulled over. I remembered that I had a free file recovery program on my laptop. I ran it and it said the flash card was empty. There was an option for a deep scan so I tried that. 20 minutes later it listed the files it had found. MacKerricher was all there.

The program is called Recuva. Get the free version. It can recover pictures from a formatted card as long as they are not overwritten, meaning that you have not taken new pictures with that card yet.

Anyway, I was feeling better as I made my first stop.


A nifty little coastal park with 30 sites. I was digging number 25.


That tree sort of drapes over the picnic table.

There is a beach next to the campground under a bridge. I walked out on the headlands to get this view.


Looks cold. Turning around, this is what you see.


I think I will pass on the swim.

I continued south a few miles.


Same deal. A campground in a canyon with a beach.


There are 74 sites here like number 18.


Along with a little creek and a visitor center.

Van-Damme-Creek Van-Damme-Visitor-Center

I headed back to my campsite as the rain began to fall. It was still raining in the morning. I kept hoping it would stop but I finally gave up and packed up soaking wet.


I headed about 170 miles south to Bodega Bay with one stop on the way.


There are 41 sites here. The loop closest to the beach had some good ones like number 40.


The sun was trying to break through so I crossed my fingers and kept heading south.


I arrived at Bodega Dunes and set up camp.


Sort of...


Tuesday I awoke to the sun and as I write this on Monday it has been sunny ever since. Yippee!

I went for a short hike. There is a trail from my site, number 28, off into the dunes.


I followed a deer.


I heard the waves crashing all night so I figured the beach should not be to far away. After about a mile of twisty trail I topped a ridge.


The beach can wait. I want some breakfast. So I headed back.

Bodega-Dunes-Landscape Bodega-Trail-3 Bodega-Trail-4

I figured that pancakes would hit the spot.


Even my tent was happy to be in the sun.


There are 98 sites here and depending on your preference you can have sun, like my site number 28.


Or shade, like number 26.


It's all good.

After walking Bodega Dunes I drove 3 miles north to Wrights Beach.


This is a small park with only 27 spots. So why is it always full?

The beach.


Several sites are right on the sand. Check out number 8.


Here is another view.


Beachfront property for $35 per night. Make your reservations early.

Wednesday I drove south a whopping 6 miles to Doran Park.


Following the State's example they doubled their prices recently to $32 per night. Thanks.

Doran is located on the south end of Bodega Bay, actually on a spit of land that ends at the jetty.

There are 128 campsites here. I stayed in number 5 for two nights.


Roughly 10% of the sites are first come, first served. The rest you can reserve online or by phone.

I stayed topless.


Loved it.

Here are some views of the beach and jetty.

Doran-Beach-View-2 Doran-Beach-View-1 Doran-Picnic-Area

After walking around the campground on Thursday I drove around the bay.


And checked out the boats.


I like fishing boats.

Fishing-Boats-1 Fishing-Boats-2

I even found one I could possibly afford.



Be aware that it does get windy here. Some of the locals call it Blowdega Bay. The winds pick up in the afternoon and the two days I was there it reached about 35 mph.

The only real issue I had with the campground was the condition of the road.



I used my charm and the next day they put up this sign.


Good. I like it when people listen to me instead of running away with scared looks on their faces.

Friday morning I continued south another 150 miles.

Drove over this.


Passed through this.


And ended up on this.


Big Basin State Park was full on Friday and Saturday nights so I found a county park that had an opening. For $35. Is that the new going rate to camp around here?

Anyway, I spent Saturday processing photos and arrived here at Big Basin on Sunday. But those pics are for the next blog.

But back to the Angry Birds. I ran into a pair of them at Doran.

They were circling around each other, flapping their wings and calling each other rude names. I decided to help.

I got them separated and had a talk.

The first one's name was "Araack". I think. It's hard to tell.


The second one was "Squawk".


They were fighting over who had first dib's on the unused bait the fishing boats would toss over the side upon returning to port.

I said that there are a lot of fish in the sea, maybe they could share.

Araack told me to stop using such worn out clichés and Squawk just pooped.

I continued on, undaunted.

How about alternating who eats first, I told them. Alternate days.

They half-heartedly agreed. Good, I said, we are making progress. Now how about hopping up on those two rocks and acting like friends.

They did, but it was not what I was hoping for. They turned their backs on each other and Squawk hunched down his shoulders.


I had had enough of them. I started walking away but Squawk reached out.

He said he appreciated what I tried to do and invited me over for dinner.

"I am in space 107", he said. "I've got a couple of half-full bags of chips and a few dead herring. You can't miss my place. I even have a red kite flying out the back. But don't take too long as I have a hot date tonight".

I assured him I would be there as soon as I finished walking the campground, which only took another 20 minutes.

I found his place but was astonished to see him leaving already. He said I took too long and mumbled something about stupid humans.

I snapped a quick pic as he left.


Well, I learned my lesson. Never trust a gull with a hot date.

Regards, Park Ranger


I sense your trip is coming to an end? Excellent information! How is the foot you drilled a hole in?!?

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