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NorCal: Fortuna and Centerville Beach

Fortuna Fog

The morning view a couple of weeks ago in Fortuna, California — a little bit of greening ground, a sunlit tree, and a fluffy strip of fog between us and the hills beyond.

Looks like Spring in Fortuna

It looks like spring in Fortuna. Many of the plants we have on the east coast won’t be as far along for a couple of weeks or more. Plum is in full bloom, with a few dark red leaves beginning to peek through.

Blooming Rosemary

Outside the hotel’s breakfast room (and everywhere in California) a prostrate rosemary blooms. Is this one ‘Golden Rain’? Mmm it smells nice.

Fortuna Riverwalk

After breakfast we walk along the river just across the street.

Fortuna Sky

The sky is always changing in Northern California. During a moment of brilliant sunshine (and 70° temperature), we decide to go to Centerville Beach.

Ferns on a Sandy Cliff

Even though the trip is just ten miles, the temperature drops ten degrees! And the clouds are no longer overhead, but on the ground …

In the Fog

… and we are inside them!

Burning Through the Clouds

This is not a Carolina beach.

Centerville Beach

Putting aside any notions of what a beach is, the fog and the cliffs and the dreamy quality of everything is exciting and beautiful.

Shorebirds in the Surf

Can you believe this is a color photograph? Even when the sun begins to burn through, color is slow to return.

Walking on Centerville Beach

There is not a shell in sight on Centerville Beach, but many of the stones are pretty and interesting. It turns out that waves and lots of time have the same effect as that rock tumbler your parents let you run in the storage room when you were a kid.

Looking for Fire Agate

If you’re lucky, you might find a fire agate here. That’s my son taking a shot at it.

Beach Stones

Centerville Beach has a long history of earthquakes and landslides. Layers of past events are evident all along the beach.

Sandy Cliff

Redwood burl tumbles in the surf along with the rocks, making huge pieces of driftwood.

Driftwood on Centerville Beach

Sun breaks through the high clouds, but the surf is still completely hidden by fog. It’s a fog that has often been deadly. More than 350 shipwrecks occurred off of this small bit of California coastline between 1850 and 1950.

Edge of the World

Facing west from this sunny shore, it would be easy to believe you’ve reached the edge of the world.

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