Maybe it was the weather. Sunny and fair, walking around Fort Bragg on Friday, what a happy circumstance. Then a most perfect house caught my eye. There was just something…perfect about it. Perhaps the manicured bushes and lawn.Or the perfect stained glass windows. I snapped a picture and the sign revealed it as The Guest House Museum.
I couldn’t put my finger on it, but inside it was as comfortable as an old shoe. The 1892 Victorian was built for C.R.Johnson of the Union Lumber Company. A well crafted beauty built of 67,000 board feet of old growth redwood and Douglas fir. One room is devoted to a history of the family and the lumbering business. From old timers like these:To a modern Paul Bunyan.
Kind-to-the-feet hardwood floors, carved moldings, high ceilings, some antique furnishings and rugs. No matter your rank and wealth, nothing wasted. Rag rugs made from saved fabric pieces; old clothes torn in lengths. Rugs on the floor hand braided or made on a solid redwood, 100 year-old loom. Rag rugs are made the same way today on a factory scale.
I came to this area in the late 1950’s as a competitive skin diver. I remember swimming through a forest of this type of kelp. It grows on long “tree trunks” rooted 25 to 30 feet down to the bottom and blooming at the top. Big, thick, red colored abalone were plentiful in these waters; a wolf eel in every hole in the rocks. Abalone shells that come up now are practically flat. The red abs have been over fished and signs at the beach give warning about their endangered status.
Piles of kelp lay rotting on the sand. Happily, scientists are finding use for it as a biofuel. Chances are they’ll decimate the kelp and then find out what purpose it really served as a form of beach garbage.
We poked around town; nice shops and services; restaurants; an independent book store. I happened on this beautiful sculpture in a charming square. Whale watching during migration is a popular activity out of Noyo Harbor.
The old water tender stands among the weeds, but the popular Skunk Train makes use of practically abandoned train tracks. A huge nearby mural engaged my interest because the people in it were obviously painted from real people.
You can click on these photos to enlarge them. Before the day ended, we walked out on the famous Glass Beach. I say famous because I think every 5th grade science class from California schools visits Glass beach. Someday, I expect all the glass will be gone. The glass is from years of throwing garbage in the ocean. The glass bottles would wash up and break against the rocks and become beautifully smoothed and polished by the waves and rocks.