Running on the Mendocino Coast

Last Sunday was a beautiful day in Mendocino. With a tummy full of crab and a head a little fuzzy from so much delicious wine, I decided it was time to stretch my legs and enjoy the sea breeze. Jason and I headed to the headlands in Mendocino  to go for a short run before lunch.

It was not hard to find a little 3-mile out-and-back route on the cliffs looking over the ocean. The damp, well packed, sandy trail was soft and even. I was able to steal glances at the water whenever I wasn’t so close to the edge that I was worried about tripping and falling off the cliffs.

California Beaches

Afterwards, Jason and I met my mom and Aunt Kay at Patterson’s, a little Irish Pub for lunch. I had crab cakes (never enough crab!) over greens and a mimosa. The server brought me the rest of the champagne split so I could dilute that orange juice until one would wonder if there was any in there – just how I like it!


Monday (while you were working! ha!) Jason and I went for a run at the Jughandle State Reserve. There is a beautiful out-and-back nature trail there about 5 miles long round trip.

photo 1 (2)

It features a staircase of plant communities and soils starting with more headlands (can’t get too much of the ocean), a Bishop Pine Forest, a Grand Fir Forest, a Redwood Forest and a Pygmy Forest. Of course, I can’t tell the difference – especially while running – but what I can tell you is that they are all green, cool, and beautiful.


We started out on the headlands, near Jughandle Clove before turning inland, going under the highway and back into the forest. The way out was mostly uphill and it took Jason and I about 40 minutes to reach the end of the trail. We cruised back in about 25. It might have been because it was more downhill… just as likely because I lead on the way uphill and Jason led on the way back. He’s much faster than me. And a jerk.

Jason & Me

At the trailhead, there are brochures that have information about the geology if you are interested in things like that. I was interested in the fact that I was running through a green forest in January – and I could have been wearing shorts! Also, afterwards we went for ice cream at Cowlicks – best ice cream in northern California! Check it out if you are in town!

Cowlicks Ice Cream


Running on the Mendocino Coast

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