The space between

In a previous post I wrote about our recent drive up Highway 1 as far as the Point Arena Lighthouse; but there were a few other, less well-known spots between Gualala and our ultimate turnaround point where we made brief stops for a quick look around. I’m sure we could have happily spent a lot more time at each one of these locations, and maybe one of these days we’ll get the chance to go back and do more exploration. For now, I’ll have to be content with a few photos and my memories of each of these stops.

I had never heard of Moat Creek before, and I didn’t get much chance to scout around. Our main reason for stopping here was to use the toilet facilities. I only got a quick look at the beach, but we did notice a surfer taking a break on the shore. The parking here is free, and it looks like a good place to start a hike.

Pelican Bluffs is another trail head with free parking. There were three or four other cars when we pulled in, but we saw only one hiker with her dog. I only had time to snap one quick picture with my phone before we were back in our car and moving on!

The last spot was the most curious; about 2.5 miles north of the Lighthouse Road junction we noticed another “Coastal Access” sign and turned left onto Stoneboro Road to see where it led. The road was less than a mile long and ended in a cul-de-sac, with a couple of trail options presenting themselves. Our first surprise was an interpretive sign introducing us to a creature we’d never heard of before, the Point Arena Mountain Beaver.

Although there was one other car parked in the small lot, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. We set out along the trail that seemed to lead toward the ocean; in fact, this trail will eventually take you to the south end of the beach at Manchester State Park. The problem was that we weren’t entirely sure how long the trail was. On top of that, we were trudging over a succession of sand dunes that gave us a serious workout. Although the ocean sounded tantalizingly close, it seemed to keep moving farther away before us as we struggled up one sandbank and down the next. We finally gave up and turned back to the car — but we definitely got our exercise that day!

The only flat part of the trail

From the top of a dune, looking north

So near, and yet so far

The only way back

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