Fort Bragg California07 Jan 2005
I had broken my golden rule and I was paying for it! It’s the middle of winter and I’m not in the tropics; the first time in four years. It’s dark by five, the ground is frozen in the mornings, and it’s rained for a week.. I was over getting rained on in the Bay Area and I had a long weekend. I was ready to get rained on somewhere else. Not wanting to face travel complications on a holiday weekend I opted to avoid the airports or the roads east to ski areas and instead headed north to Fort Bragg.
It was a blustery winter day as I winded my way along US route 1, a road that clings to the cliffs and snakes it’s way along the Pacific shoreline. The rain came down with a violence that was matched by the waves’ assult on the rocks and beaches below. Occasionally I’d reach a particularly scenic overlook, the rain would abate slightly and I’d be able to snap a few pictures. In a few moments a new rain cell would blow in and continue the downpour with renewed vigor and I’d continue along my way.
After a full day’s drive I reached Fort Bragg, a quiet town of a few thousand, a ghost of it’s self when the town was the regional hub for logging the redwood forests. Now the massive sawmills that seperate the shoreline from the city are all skeletal abandoned structures withering in the summer sun and winter rain.
In this sleepy town the only place that a stranger could get in on the new years festivities was a biker bar called the tip-top. Even the biker bars in Fort Bragg are a bit sleepy. I met a couple from Pittsburg (you came all the way from the east coast?? Hah, Pittsburg California!) who spend their winters running youth dirtbike racing. They also got the bug to just ‘get away’ this weekend and Fort Bragg is their favorate place to do that!