| Breakfast: ||A fluu buffet breakfast in the Garden Room.|
| Morning: ||We board the motor coach for field trip to Pt. Cabrillo Lighthouse, Mendocino Botanical Gardens and Fort Bragg. The Mendocino coast was home to hundreds of sawmills. The demand for lumber became even greater after the 1906 earthquake and conflagration in San Francisco, and that same year Congress appropriated $50,000 for a lighthouse on Point Cabrillo. Construction on the station, which was considered one of the most desirable assignments in the district due to its proximity to supplies and a school, began in 1908.
The combination lighthouse and fog signal building resembles a small church with a 47-foot octagonal tower attached to the eastern end of the small one-and-a-half-story fog signal building. Two eighteen-horsepower engines housed in the building ran an air compressor that powered twin sirens protruding from the western end of the roof. A third-order Fresnel lens, manufactured in England by Chance Brothers, was installed in the lantern room. To produce a white flash every ten seconds, the four-sided lens was made to revolve three times every two minutes, using a weight suspended in the tower.
Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, the only public garden to front directly on the Pacific Coast, was founded in 1961 by retired nurseryman Ernest Schoefer and his wife,Betty. Ernest's keen eye spotted the ample supply of water augmented by the mild coastal climate and quality soil essential to acid-loving plants like Rhododendrons.The Grand Opening of the Garden was in 1966. By 1992, the Gardens had been purchased with grants from the California Coastal Conservancy and transferred to the Mendocino Coast Recreation and Park District.
| Lunch: ||In prehistoric days, the area now known as Fort Bragg was home to the Native American Indians, most of whom belonged to the Pomo tribe. They were hunter-gatherers who lived close to the land and sea along the northern coast of California. In the summer of 1857, First Lieutenant Horatio G. Gibson, then serving at the Presidio in San Francisco, established a military post on the Mendocino Indian Reservation approximately one and one-half miles north of the Noyo River. He named the camp for his former commanding officer Captain Braxton Bragg, who later became a General in the Army of the Confederacy. The official date of the establishment of the fort was June 11, 1857. Its purpose was to maintain order on the reservation.By 1867 the reservation and military outpost at Fort Bragg were abandoned. By 1869 small lumber mills were being built at the mouth of every creek. Ranches were settled. By 1873 Fort Bragg had an established lumber port at Noyo. Fort Bragg was incorporated in 1889.
We enjoy a picnic lunch at MacKerricher State Park. MacKerricher State Park offers a variety of habitats; beach, bluff, headland, dune, forest and wetland. Tidepools are along the shore. Seals live on the rocks off the park’s Mendocino coast. More than 90 species of birds visit or live near Cleone Lake, a formal tidal lagoon. During winter and spring, the nearby headland provides a good lookout for whale watching.
| Afternoon: ||After lunch we take a walk along the park's boardwalk with a knowledgeable local instructor. We have a chance to observe the harbor seals, grey whales depending on the season and many species of shore and pellagic birds.
We board the motor coach and continue our field trip to view the Pygmy Forest with our instructor.The Pygmy Forest in Van Damme State Park is truly Lilliputian. Sixty-year-old cypress trees are but a few feet tall and measure a half-inch in diameter. Our walk takes us along a nature trail, built upon an elevated wooden walkway, looping through the Pygmy Forest.
The Pygmy Forest is truly unique with mature, cone-bearing cypress and pine trees the may stand six inches to eight feet tall.|
| Dinner: ||We are served a plated dinner in the Garden Room.|
| Evening: ||We watch the 1956 American Comedy movie "The Russians Are Coming!" which was filmed in Mendocino.. Based on the Nathaniel Benchley juvenile novel, The Off-Islanders, it was adapted for the screen by William Rose. The movie tells the Cold War story of the comedic chaos which ensues when the Soviet submarine, Спрут (Sprut, Squid), accidentally runs aground near a small New England town.