We started our first full day in Mendocino with a trip to Glass Beach. Unfortunately, the stairway down to the beach with the most glass was fenced off. The bluff had eroded to the point where it was no longer safe. Instead we walked down to a beach adjacent to it with some glass bits sparkling in the sand.
Glass Beach is known for the glittering bits of polished glass mixed into the sand; amber, green, white and blue. Although beautiful now, it was created out of an ugly past. When the town of Fort Bragg was founded in the late 1800s, the townspeople pushed their trash over the edge of the bluff into the churning sea. This practice continued until the early 1960s (hard to believe, I know). There are bits of twisted metal encased in rock, cement embedded in the surf, and glass smashed, pounded and polished to glitter in the sand.
Much of the glass is gone; collected by artists who fashion it into jewelry and by tourists who take it home by the pocketful.
The tide was coming in and the surf was wild. With the monster full moon, the tides have been exceptionally high -- wrecking havoc with the roads. We saw a seal resting on a boulder while the waves crashed and swirled around its perch. The seal is the white blob on the rock in the photo.
We spent some time walking along the bluff, breathing the salty ocean air, and admiring the view.
Then we hopped back in the car and drove a few miles south to the Mendocino Botanical Gardens; which I will show you in the next post.