Mendocino & Me . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, March 30, 2010

For a long time now, I knew that I wanted to take a trip by myself once the right opportunity presented itself. It took awhile, but this past week, I took off for Mendocino on a solo journey meant to clear my head after I fought hard for a few weeks off between leaving my old gig and starting on a new one.

It's a rare thing indeed when something you have built up in your mind actually exceeds your expectations, but my trip was even better than I imagined it could be.

I chose Mendocino because it's a small town flanked by the ocean, and surrounded by a wealth of national parks and trails to hike through. If you do it right, there are more trees than people by a wide margin, which is exactly what I was seeking. And that's what I found too.

A typical day looked like this:

7 a.m. - Wake up

7:15 a.m. - Grab cup of Nitro coffee at Moody's & walk down to a stump by the Headlands National Park that opens up to the ocean and traces the perimeter of the town

7:15 - 8:00 a.m. - Drink coffee & watch the sun rise & the fog burn off the trees to the East while the waves crashed against the cliffs below

8:15 a.m. - Back to the room to read the San Francisco Chronicle provided by the lodging.

8:45 a.m. - Eat large, delicious breakfast provided by proprieters inside my room. Drink more coffee.

9:30 a.m. - Drive in rented convertible Mustang with top down to hiking trail close to town.

9:45 a.m. - 12:45 a.m. - Hike through huge redwood trees and the utterly silent forest and see a grand total of 2 other people the entire time.

1 p.m. - Drive back to town.

1:30 p.m - Sit outside in the sun on picnic tables at Mendo Burger and eat a burger w/ pepper jack cheese & bacon with a side of fries doused with cajun seasoning and a root beer.

2 p.m. - Pick up another cup of coffee at Moodys & Drive to another hiking trail or park.

2:30 - 4 p.m. - Hike.

4:30 p.m. - Back to town, shower.

5 p.m. - Drink glass of wine from several bottles purchased a local wineries early into the trip & read a book in the garden in front of the place I was staying.

6 p.m. - Eat dinner at Mendocino Cafe or the Moose Cafe.

7:15 p.m. - Watch sunset & walk around town.

8:30 p.m. - Glass of wine & read until fall asleep from exhaustion.

Rinse and Repeat for 5 days & that is what I did & it never grew old - at least not for me.

I needed a complete brain purging, and a frontal lobe enema is exactly what I received. It helped recharge the batteries. It forced you to rely on yourself for entertainment. It allowed you to drop out of the world, if only for a little while.

I never once got on the Internet during my stay. Nor did I watch any television. It wasn't necessary or wanted. But now, I'm back and trying to catch up since just because you drop out of the world, it doesn't mean that the world stops wanting a piece of you.

My main take-away was that I can't wait to fall out again: when the time is right.



  1. Heff Says:
  2. You left out all the pissing from drinking all that coffee.

    Nice shots !

  3. Heff - You're spot-on right. I meant to mention that one of my favorite parts was being able to use the bathroom whenever I wanted - the whole outdoors is like one giant bathroom. It was great. Ha.

  4. I'm glad you're feeling refreshed. Have you started the new job yet? Good luck! I'll be honest, I missed Quick Hit Friday.

  5. Even when you drop out, the world tends to find you and rell you back in. Convertible mustangs and hiking. Good combination. Sounds good.

  6. Linda Says:
  7. Sounds like an amazing trip. I love northern CA, what a great way to recharge. Convertible Mustang was a nice touch. Good luck on the new job!!

  8. Boxer Says:
  9. Impressive. Many think about doing these kind of trips, not many actually do it. It's always a great time between jobs to really feel free and kudos to Mrs. 2$ for greenlighting such a great and restorative journey. I've been to that part of the country and it's glorious.

    MAJOR KUDOS for internet or TV.


  10. Native Minnow - Thanks on both accounts. I definitely feel better, although somewhat behind even though I don't start the new job for another week or so. Ha. Pitiful. And QHF will return this week as I missed it too.

    Getoffmylawn - I thought why not? If you're going to do something, you have to do it right, eh? Or at least as close as you can get it. Ha. And yeah, the world tends to grant you only minimal reprieves before it crashes back down on you. Unfortunately.

    Linda - It was pretty great, and exactly what I wanted and hoped to find. I'm also a big fan of northern CA as this is my second trip, and will be back again when the timing allows for it. Thanks on the new job & I thought I'd be way behind on movies, but there's not too much out there right now. Ha.

    Boxer - I'd been thinking about it for years, and finally had the oppotuntiy and so I pounced on it. And was really glad I did. And yeah, Mrs. $2 was very gracious and accomodating and happy for me having the opportunity, which only made it better. Glorious is a good word for that part of the country for me too. And the TV was relatively easy since I was Tivoing shows back home, and I didn't have one in my room where I was staying. I did get on the Internet once, but only at the local Cyber cafe to print out my boarding pass to come home.

  11. BostonPobble Says:
  12. Beautiful and well done. A clearing of the attic before starting the new venture was definitely the smart move. The fact that it's been a dream for years just makes it that much better. While the whole thing sounds amazing, the wine, reading and garden time sound just about perfect. Welcome home.

  13. my goodness, that place looks refreshing. I could seriously use a mental break from life and all that goes with it. But for now, I can live vicariously through your photos!

    I have an interesting video up today, come back when you get a chance and let me know what you think about it. :)

  14. nobich Says:
  15. Well glad you're back- it sounded wonderful..

  16. BostonPobble - Thanks Pobble. It was great, and yeah, I loved every bit of it. The nightly read in the garden was the perfect way to start winding down the day & just relax. I wasn't reading anything too heavy either - The Tourist & Cities of the Plain.

    Kymical Reactions - I'll be over later today or tomorrow as that is an intriguing thing about the video. Ha. And live away as I got loads of good shots since it is hard to get bad one out there. I love all the giant trees and the rocky coastline and the ocean. Great stuff.

    Nobich - Thanks and it's good to be back. I think. :)

  17. JLee Says:
  18. It doesn't get much better than that. Northern CA/Oregon is the most beautiful scenery I've encountered in this country. I love the photos, especially the sunset one. Good for you for getting to be one with nature for a while. :)

    I was going to tease that your itinerary could be a coffee commercial. lol

  19. Miss Ash Says:
  20. That sounds like heaven!!

    I'm horrendous with geography, is that anywhere near Caramel by the Sea? Someone once told me that Caramel CA was amazing!

    Was it pricey to stay?

  21. Gypsy Says:
  22. I dream of a break like that and one day I will actually do it. I'm glad you got to have a break from the world before throwing yourself into your new job. Silence, nature, no people or very few.....Does it get any better than that?

    Good Luck when you start the new gig.

  23. Jlee - I hadn't thought of that, but it does. Ha. Really, it was only about 3 - 3.5 cups per day, which isn't crazy & I needed the energy to keep hiking. Really. Thanks on the photos as they were all taken by yours truly & I've gotten decent over the years about setting up cameras & their timers on various immovable objects.

    Miss Ash - It was great. And I'm terrible at geography too, but here's my take: Carmel is south of Mendocino. If you were to fly into San Francisco you would drive south along the coast to get to Carmel (maybe 3 - 7 hours, not sure). You drive north to get to Mendocino from SF. It's a 3.5 hour drive & the drive is gorgeous. Mendocino lodging isn't too bad. Mostly it's B&B's, which I don't necessarily love, but do love the one I've stayed at twice in Mendocino - Headlands Inn. Right in town & super nice people running it. I got a weekday special for $99 per night.

    Gypsy - I suggest you do it. Whenever you get the chance . . . :) Thanks on the new job as all new jobs are stressful, so for now, I"m just trying to enjoy the downtime. Nature is always good to help that along.


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