Walking Pt Arena Stornetta Public Lands

Coves and stacks

Back in March, we were delighted that the cows had given away another part of the California Coastal National Monument, where people could walk along a beautiful stretch of the Mendocino coast.

Pt Arena lighthouse

We had tried before to find a trailhead to this new area without success – there is little signage. Today we were more detectives, looking for parking and signs. We carefully moved off the pavement to roadside. (After we were here a few minutes several more cars stopped.)

Stornetta trail head

No real ‘trail’ is marked yet except for a double wheel track, too far from the ocean. So we just headed out. We both took pictures of this fence. Mike’s won. We started to see great slabs of earth slanting up, similar to what we see at Salt Point but without the tafoni erosion.

Fence ends

Mike headed down one slab and I made my way along the cliff edge. He saw a forest of sea palms.

Sea Palm forest

I was looking for sea lions on Sea Lion Rocks – I saw lots of cormorants.

Stornetta public lands

I was mesmerized by the waves. Mike was too – I fretted as he seemed to forgot that you don’t turn your back on the ocean. We had scheduled the trip for sunny fall weather and low tide – but…

Small waterfall

We wandered along the cliffs edge taking tons of pictures and trying to remember to look. The cliffs were fascinating looking south or

Crumbly cliff and path

looking north

Stornetta cliffs

And looking south.

flat rock and island Stornetta

The cliff top is fairly even, but looking at the stacks and cliff walls you can see how fragile it all is.

Sea Stacks

The ocean is always majestic and created some interesting patterns behind the island.


Farther along the bluff’s meadow – former cow pasture is carved by water running down from the hills to the east.

Forming ravine Stornetta

Sinkholes, are just starting or already connected to the ocean.

Through Sinkhole

When we looked away from ocean we saw a wide meadow. Many young pines were coming up – no longer eaten away by the cows. In a few years this might be more pine forest than meadow – if they make it past the brutal winter ocean winds and have enough rainwater.

Open space

Coming back to where we parked was the best place to take pictures of the mountains to the east.

View to Mountains

I have no recommendation on ‘trail’ – make it up. Please be careful near the cliff’s edge and be aware of the sinkholes.

Directions: To find the trailhead, go out Lighthouse Rd from Hwy 1, north of Pt Arena. Before the turn in the road to head to the lighthouse is a small roadside parking area.

Amenities: Portapottie. No water.

If you need it, bring it back out with you. This is a no frills location – but it is most wonderful.

No bikes, no horses, & dogs on leash.

Please see one of our Mendocino posts and scroll down to find Pt Arena Lighthouse. More walking area is on the other side of the lighthouse from where we walked. This part goes to the Garcia River.

Trailhead near lighthouse

We stopped for an excellent lunch at Rollerville, at the intersection of Hwy 1 and Lighthouse Road. Across the road was a trailhead – but no parking. There is another pullout and opening in the fence between here and where we stopped.

Rollerville entrance

Thank you all who made this possible. Property is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Map. There are 1665 acres. We only walked about a mile out and back.

We’ll come again. We kept wondering what wildflower show there might be in spring. A few plants were struggling now in September.

See you on the trail!

Words by Lynn Millar, pictures by Lynn and Mike Millar – available upon request.

Shore Pine

Thursday’s Song: As She’s Walking Away

I don’t often go country, but here’s Zac Brown and Alan Jackson singing As She’s Walking Away.

Do you have a song with “walk” in the title you’d like to hear? Leave a comment.

If you get this via email or phone you might need to click in post heading to get to song.


More Oregon: Wineries, One more Bridge & Florence

Mike chose a couple of wineries to visit on our Oregon trip. Last year we visited Valley View Winery near Jacksonville, this year we first stopped at King Estate. Leaving Cottage Grove, we circled west on Territorial Hwy. From our route around the valley, we could see King Estate on a distant hill. It was a bit like looking at Oz, as it appeared so big. Sorry, phone doesn’t do distant pictures well, so these pictures are from the winery looking back down the valley.

King Estate Winery steps

Apparently, they are prepared for bicycle traffic

King Estate Winery cars and bikes

and you could charge your electric car.

King Estate electric cars

They have a beautiful dark wood tasting room and a busy restaurant with patio dining. We tasted a few and chatted with the knowledgeable server. I was distracted by the wonderful smells from the restaurant while Mike purchased several bottles. Okay, I rather like the NxNW varieties – but who wouldn’t want something called North by Northwest? They grow grapes here, but also buy them from the Columbia River Basin.

As did our next winery, with only 17 local acres. We stopped at Lavelle Vineyards on our way west to Florence. Rising from the Willamette Valley in the small town of Elmira, we felt we were entering the woods, when we turned onto a gravel drive. Then we arrived at the tasting room.

Lavelle Winery woods

Lavelle is proud of their Oregon-style chardonnay made without oak. Okay, it’s different, but we’re enamored with Sonoma County oak barreled wine. Great setting though. We loved Catalpa, chardonnay from Argentina (Lavelle has an agreement with them).

Lavelle vineyard

Have to go again to walk the labyrinth (didn’t realize at the time of our visit, they had one.) They don’t have a restaurant, but you can bring a picnic or have your wedding here.

Lavelle winery view

Back on Hwy 126, we stopped off for one more covered bridge about halfway between Eugene and Florence. Across Wildcat Creek, this bridge was built in 1925.

Wildcat Creek Bridge

Wildcat Creek feeds into the Suislaw River. Our destination, Florence near the ocean is on the Suislaw. The old town part of Florence is charming with shops and restaurantsFlorence Street Oregon pocket parks along the river

Mini Park Florence Oregon

a wildlife park-lette.

Florence wildlifeAnd a marina and boardwalk.

Florence boardwalk

This is one beautiful town. We were fortunate because coastal Oregon, like the Sonoma Coast is usually foggy in summer – but on our visit it was sunny and warm. We’ll try it again next year.

See you on the trail!

Words by Lynn Millar, pictures by Lynn and Mike Millar

Suislaw River at Florence Oregon


Wednesday Walking News: Free National & NY Parks

National Parks are free this Saturday, Sept 27th.

Free Entrance Days in the National Parks

America’s Best Idea – the national parks – is even better when it’s free!Mark your calendar for these entrance fee-free* dates in 2014: Click Free Day
Photo of Arches National Park, courtesy of Jacob W. Frank

Arches National Park is a red rock wonderland with amazing landscapes of contrasting colors, landforms, and textures unlike any other in the world.

Photo by Jacob W. Frank


New York: 6 under-the-radar (and free) parks to explore

September 23, 2014 Posted in: New York Sights

Although located in Central Park, Conservatory Garden feels like a place apart. Photo: gigi_nyc
Although located in Central Park, Conservatory Garden feels like a place apart. Photo: gigi_nyc

The early planners of New York understood the necessity of green spaces in their burgeoning metropolis, and it takes little more than a lazy summer afternoon in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow to know that they were right. From the wilds of the High Line to the urban oasis of Bryant Park, New York offers green spaces galore for recreation and relaxation.

But scattered in between and just beyond the city’s major parks are a number of other “secret gardens” that tend be shorter on people and long on charm and tranquility.

For those moments when you need to rest your feet, take a breath or just want to feel “in the know,” here are six secret gardens of New York.


More Oregon Walks: Dunes, Lakes and Darlingtonia

North and south of Florence, Oregon are huge dunes and several lakes – which seem like an odd mix, but there you are.

Sutton Creek Overlook

About 6 miles north of Florence at the end of Vista Rd off Hwy 101 is the Sutton Creek Overlook. Here, I can appreciate the vastness of the dunes. And the water that makes its way to the coast.

Sutton Creek overlook Continue reading

Thursday’s Song: Take a Little Walk with Me

This is what I always say to people – maybe not quite the way he means it.

Robert Lockwood Jr. singing the blues: Take a Little Walk with Me

Do you have a favorite version of this tune?

If you are getting this via email or phone, you might need to click on post heading to access the video.


Wednesday Walking News: Cellphones, Beer & your Imagination

As usual, click on headings for more information. If you’re walking, put your cellphone away and starting looking around you.

No Cellphones! Chinese Walking Lane Separates Phone Addicts

Distracted driving laws have sprung up around the world to cut down on drivers who text behind the wheel. That was not enough for one Chinese property manager with a sense of humor. Last week, pedestrians in the city of Chongqing discovered a designated cellphone lane to walk in while they played Candy Crush or talked on WeChat. “Cellphones, walk in this lane at your own risk,” read the lettering on the ground. The lane next to it explicitly banned cellphones. It was not the work of overzealous government officials; instead they were painted by the property manager, who told the Associated Press they were ironic and were meant to remind people of the dangers of walking while fiddling with their phones.



Try walking to learn about beer and the places they’re made. Beer makers get inspiration by walkig and you can take the walks too.

Beers Made by Walking

Beers Made By Walking is a program that invites brewers to make beer inspired by nature hikes and urban walks. Each walk is different, each beer is a portrait of that landscape. The program happens in multiple cities each year.

Thursday’s Song: I Walk the Line

I walk the line, because you’re mine. Oh yea. Johnny Cash:

If you receive this via email or phone you may need to click on post heading to get to You Tube link.

Anyone with a “Walk” or “Walking” in a song title? Leave a comment and let me know. Thanks!

Wednesday’s Walking News: Fat Dogs, Tolay Lake & James Joyce

I know, it’s an odd collection this week. But they come as I find them, which is not necessarily as they find the light of the Internet. I won’t even hold it against you if you go to one of these events the same day, I’m at Ragle Ranch.

For more information, click on the headings.

Walk Events Combat Pet Obesity (and Overweight Owners)

Walking to the Heceta Head (Calendar-Icon) Lighthouse

Last year we zipped down the coast of Washington and Oregon, hardly having time to look. This year we decided to spend two days in Florence, a small town on the Siuslaw River at the ocean. North of town (13 mi.) is a gem of a lighthouse, that the fog prevented us from seeing in the long view. This is last year’s picture.

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Heceta Head Lighthouse 2013

This year we made the short climb up. Continue reading


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