the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Mendocino to Eureka

 Mendocino Botanical Gardens —

The only botanical gardens in America looking over the ocean.




Glass Beach, Fort Bragg —

We heard about this famed Glass Beach in Fort Bragg.  Supposedly, years ago, residents used to throw their bottles and glassware into the ocean.  Mother Nature fought back and spit the glass back onto the beach, but the glass was now chiseled like stones. 

We went out searching for this beach, visualizing sparkling glass stones covering a large area.  But we could not find it anywhere.  We couldn’t find any signs pointing us in the right direction.  Finally, we found a sunken area between two hills that had some glass piece strewn around. 

“Is this it?” I asked.

“It must be,” said Sophia.  “It’s not very impressive.”

We bent down and examined the historic glass pieces.

“Well I guess it is sort of interesting.  Maybe collectors took the rest of the glass.”

Then we noticed that there were a group of tourists in the distance combing over another area of the beach.  We were not on “Glass Beach.”  We were simply admiring the broken pieces of glass of a Budweiser bottle that some drunken idiot must have broken last night.

Frankly, the real Glass Beach wasn’t any better. 

Here are some of the “real” glass stones, and the nice view.



Boat Junk Yard, Fort Bragg —

So ugly it was beautiful.




“Avenue of the Giants” —

We took tons of the typical touristy shots.






Sophia’s idea for a photo, not mine —


And thank you again for all your birthday greetings!


  1. Bice

    That last one looks like the mighty green penis. Oh the stories it could tell if it could talk like your penis can.

  2. better safe than sorry

    we have a beach similar to that one, but i never think of it as a glass beach, to me it looks more like shiny sludge.
    greats pics!

  3. Caron

    Your road trip has been lots of fun to follow. Thanks for sharing with us. Hope it’s a great birthday!!

  4. Marilyn

    Happy Birthday! (You haven’t even gotten the ‘real’ redwoods yet…) 😉

  5. Juliness

    Happy Birthday! Your trip looks amazing and really makes me miss CA.

    Loved the pics of the boat graveyard! Bittersweet.

  6. alissa

    Happy Birthday Neil!

  7. Ariel

    Many happy returns Neil! I’ve dreamt of seeing those trees all my life, your pictures are the next best thing… Thanks for the escapism.

  8. margaret

    Happy Birthday Neil!!! Are you growing a stache? looks very grown up

  9. Pearl

    You’ve picked some wonderful, pictaresque spots to visit. Thanks for sharing.
    Happy Birthday to you today. Hope you have a great one!

  10. justrun

    Nice photos! Looks like you guys are having a great time!

    Happy Birthday!!

  11. Shelli

    Happy birthday! Here from Finn’s.

  12. BA

    Happy Birthday Neil!

  13. Churlita

    Happy Birthday! I couldn’t do the carnival thingy because my computer was dead until just the other day, but I wanted to.

    I love the boat graveyard.

  14. Rhea

    Happy birthday! I wanna do your road trip next time I am on the West Coast.

  15. wordgirl

    Happy Happy Birthday, Neil! Cool people have March birthdays. You, Steve McQueen, Harry Houdini…and me (3/24). Have a great day and…I hope you get some.

  16. ms. sizzle

    Two of my favorite bloggers have the same birthday- how awesome is that!? Happy Birthday!

    Those pictures are awesome- I am particularly fond of the boat graveyard one.

  17. Booda Baby

    Happpy Birthday to Yooooou. They’re all good, but there’s having one in motion and on the road makes it so much more adventure-ish. Dashing, you know? So. Dash away. (Somehow, a birthday and Christmas got mixed up. Oh. No. That’s Dasher. Never mind.) Happy birthday.

  18. AnnieElf

    Happy Birthday Neil. I just discovered you through my good friend Tara’s blog. I’m loving what I’m seeing. Excuse me while I happily go off to explore your blog.

  19. Erin

    it looks like you guys are having fun! FYI, that is basically the same trip Tim and I took on our honeymoon, we even stayed at a dodgy hotel!

  20. Not Faint Hearted

    Happy Birthday, Neilochka. xxoo

  21. kapgar

    That’s a big flippin’ tree. And I’m a huge fan of sea glass. Shame that’s just a bottle that’s been recently broken or I’d be jealous.

    Happy birthday, Neilochka. Enjoy the yoga stuff.

  22. Finn

    Happy Birthday!

    Are you growing a mustache or is that just a shadow?

  23. Ms. Annie D

    Happy Birthday, Neil.

    Purple’s your color.


  24. Neil

    Yes, Happy Birthday Alissa too!

  25. lizardek

    Hippity Happy Birthday Neil!

  26. Dana

    happy Birthday, Neil! Enjoy the rest of your trip.

    I love your photos of the Boat Junk Yard. Eerily evocative.

    While in the woods, did you see any of the famed yellow “banana slugs”? They’re awesome–like something out of sci-fi.

  27. kristen

    Happy Birthday Neil!! I love the photo of Sophia peeking thru the azaleas and I think the last photo is perfect and made me laugh.

  28. Hilly

    Happy Birthday!

    I cannot think of a better way to spend it than touring the coast!

  29. Essie

    Glass Beach was a dump in the early 1900’s they citizens of Fort Bragg recently cleaned up the beach due to the amount of rusting metal pieces burried in the sand. Several thousand tons of glass and metal and car parts were trucked away. I know I live nearby.

  30. Lefty

    Oh my God, a giant redwood fell on Sophia!

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