The best thing I can say about the drive to Fort Bragg is that it’s over.
We took off around 11:30 and drove up to 12 and then over to Highway 101, stopping in Rio Vista for lunch at the Black Bear Diner. Highway 12 has the nickname of Blood Alley because of all the deaths that have occurred. Because of that, there are now barriers and speed registers along the way. They are very determined that you will go the speed limit.
TBG seemed distracted for much of the drive and nearly made me miss our first turn off and the to turn the wrong way twice because of vague instructions… sigh… usually he’s a much better navigator. Anyhow, it took us about an hour to get onto Hwy 101 and then we had 96 miles to go on it before hitting the turn off for Fort Bragg.
We were about 20 miles from Ukiah when the low tire light came on. I pulled off and TBG checked them to find that the right rear tire was low. I was very careful until getting to a service station. There TBG filled the tire and then the car, while I ‘unfilled’ me at the bathroom. :D
Then we started the adventure that was Hwy 20 into Fort Bragg. It took us nearly as long to get from Stockton to Willits as it did Willits to Fort Bragg (and it was only 33 miles). A gorgeous, but twisty road up into the coastal mountains and then down the other side. Wow, what a long ass ride, but finally we arrived in Fort Bragg at 4:34.
We checked into the Harbor Lite Hotel and found our room. It had a great view of the Noyo Harbor and it very spacious and comfortable. We could see the restaurant where we had reservations at 6:30, it was literally less than 100 yards away, but straight down off the cliffs. We decided that driving would be a better option.
Dinner at Silver’s was fun, but very different from the last time we were here in 1981. The restaurant was tiny and atmospheric. Now it’s huge and looks like it handles quite a crowd. It’s right on the water, but of course we couldn’t see anything at night. They offer lots of seafood, so we took advantage of that, starting with Dungeness crab cakes, then I had a salad, TBG had clam chowder, then I had a rock cod paupiette (a fancy word for wrapped fish, I think) and TBG had calamari steaks, which he insisted was abalone… He had abalone on the brain – he used to dive for them here. Anyhow, we finished with a black berry cobbler and while I know the wine folks would shake their heads in dismay, I brought along a nice melbac to have. TBG surprised me by having two glasses. He never drinks wine. Thankfully the road was short and the night was long. And bed felt very good.