It’s been over a year since my last trip to Sea Ranch. My mom and I went up to the vacation home neither of us had been back to since my dad had been diagnosed with cancer last May. It was an emotional trip but also comforting to be in this soothing, familiar place that is another home. Mom wanted to return for her first time up there without Dad but she didn’t want to go alone. My sister would be arriving a day after my mom and I suggested I go along, following in my own car. We would provide company for each other and I could help with Molly who, though she loves being at Sea Ranch, hates the ride up the twisty parts of Route 1.
We went through fog in Bodega Bay. I usually visit in the early spring when the hills are green and dotted with cows, sheep and lambs and wild iris and other wild flowers are coming into bloom. As we neared Sea Ranch, the fog cleared to a warm, sunny afternoon. The summer landscape is tawny with golden-yellow meadows of dry grasses. Once we get to the house, we take a walk down the path to the bluff and beach. On closer look I started to notice the different colors.
Soft purple flowers grow almost hidden in the edges of the meadow, lower than the surrounding grass.
These large, lacy clusters remind me of cauliflower but prettier with white and pale purple blossoms.
A wild rose is a spot of pink.
Thistle bloom in a rich magenta.
Unripe blackberries are an eye-catching red.
Deep-orange nasturtium grow up a fence.
A cluster of yellow flowers have a toe-hold in the rocky face of the bluffs.
A large group of harbor seals are resting on a beach. If you look carefully (or click on the photo for a closer look) , you can see a pelican is hanging out with them. This link has some great close-up shots of harbor seals at Sea Ranch.
It’s lovely being by the ocean and breathing in the salt air.
In our walks that afternoon and the following morning we saw several driftwood structures.
Playhouses for kids enjoying the Fourth of July holiday.
Or architectural artwork created by adults.
Seaweed marked the tide line.
Walk On Beach was wide and welcoming.
Molly found a rope of kelp to chew on.
Mom and Molly – a poignant reminder of my dad walking on the beach with Molly.
I love the variety of beautiful if subtle textures and colors the beach offers.
Although the sun is out and we’ve shed our sweatshirts, neither of us is interested in a dip in the ocean but this woman and her dog seemed to be enjoying themselves.
We climb the three flights of stairs from the beach to the bluff trail and head back to the house. We catch our breath and look back at the beautiful beach and ocean.
A flock of pelicans is going the other direction.
Back at the house, Mom gave Molly a quick rinse and towel dry to get off the sand and salt water.
That afternoon I was back on the road, heading south and home. I varied the route slightly by going up Meyers Grade – when I pulled off to take this picture of the fog coming off the ocean. I’m looking down the coast towards the mouth of the Russian River and Bodega Bay.
Across the road I saw my first ever Pirate Cow. Aaarrr! Moo.
One last shot of the road twisting down the hillside back to Highway One and then I turned my attention to my drive home after a short but satisfying visit to Sea Ranch.
Thanks for coming along.