With cold weather nipping at our heels, we had a beautiful drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to our next stop in Fort Bragg, CA.
Fort Bragg was a VERY cute town which we enjoyed very much. There were lots of independent shops and one of the best visitors guides we had ever seen, with a map showing all of the shops and restaurants along with the distances between areas of town. Whenever we travel we play the “Could we live here?” game, and while a move to Fort Bragg is definitely not in our future, it ticked the boxes for the kind of town we could see ourselves living in some day.
Roundman’s Smokehouse and Butcher Shop had this in the shop which made me laugh:
While we enjoyed Fort Bragg itself, what wasn’t as enjoyable was our our camping neighbors who kept waking up all night to smoke pot, resulting in coughing which in turn kept waking US up all night. We were supposed to stay in Fort Bragg for three nights, and after the first night I surreptitiously looked at the tag hanging from their rear-view mirror to see when they were leaving. Phew. They were leaving the next day. We could suck it up for one more night.
After our second sleepless night we woke up relieved, knowing they were leaving that morning. After they made no signs of breaking camp, I took another look at their tag. Damn! They had added another day. I said to Jeff there was no way I was putting up with another night of this, and with 30 mph winds expected to arrive that afternoon heralding even colder temperatures, it was an easy decision to leave one day early and try to make some tracks south. With a hastily booked motel room in Santa Cruz, we put our pot-smoking neighbors in our rear-view mirror and enjoyed another scenic drive down PCH.
The next day we set up the tent at New Brighton State Beach, just south of Santa Cruz. We were noticing that the farther south we went the dustier the campsites were getting, and the temperatures weren’t getting any warmer. We couldn’t seem to get ahead of the cold. It was cold during the day, it was colder at night, and the fun-to-suck ratio was WAY off.
So, consistent with our philosophy of never hesitating to change our plans when needed, after five weeks of tent camping we pulled the plug. It was time to get warm again. We still had two weeks to go until our San Diego AirBnB reservation began, so we cobbled together a few different stays with a combination of friends and relatives in Los Angeles and San Diego, and a hotel in Palm Springs. By the time we checked into our AirBnB we were warm and refreshed, and I had decided that I had zero interest in ever tent camping again!