The Mellow Mantra of Mendocino

The Mellow Mantra of Mendocino

( Zero to Zen in under ten seconds!)

By Mike Marino
Author of The Sandoz Collection
Getting mellow in Mendocino County is not a difficult thing to do, considering it is part and parcel of the famed Emerald Triangle of California.

Located in dead center in the vortex of the Cannabis Coast of Northern California, the Mendocino region is a medicated melting pot of meditation and medical marijuana. Most of people on the planet not from the region became familiar with the name “Mendocino” when Doug Sahm and the Sir Douglas Quintet released their chartbusting song of the same name. It had something to do with the melody, but also it certainly cranked up the amps on the pubescent visions of a “nubile” California “teenybopper” who kept re-appearing in refrain after refrain.

If your a fan of Lemon or Blueberry Skunk strains, then you’re going to love the Mendocino Coast Skunk Train! No, it’s not what you think. Instead it’s a mechanical engine, and not a large bong or vaporizer filled with green goodness. Jerry Garcia’s Casey Jones is not at the throttle high on cocaine, but, it is a rock and roll redwood two railed ride from Ft. Bragg to Willits. Originally a logging railroad, today, it has a much more different mission than deforestation! The magic word is tourism!

It travels though magnificent stands of ancient Redwoods (the Wise Ones!) going into a maze of tunnels

and over bridges along the Noyo River. Specialty train hoppers include a decorative, festive Christmas train, and during the warmer weather, there is a crab and wine train tour, featuring a very special chef’s concoction of Crab Louie, paired perfectly with one of Mendocino’s award winning “green” wines. During the summer season, all aboard for the BBQ express where you dine southern style under the canopy of the Pacific Coastal Redwoods. Even Elvis would say, “Thank you very much!”

“We Ride Tonight!” or you can saddle up and giddy up for a horseback ride anytime from any number of locations in Mendocino County. One is the Ricochet Ridge ranch in Fort Bragg. It’s city slicker friendly for dude ranchers and dudettes with rustic lodging available.

Riding options are plentiful and include sunset rides on the expansive beach, as the sun begins it brilliant descent below the vast Pacific horizon. As the solar ball of fire sinks slowly from sight, coastal fog makes it’s entrance to envelope and enshroud the coast in a blanket of unearthly tranquility.

All this may seem strange for a dude ranch, but, hang onto your saddle, the ranch also offers whale watching tours, kayaking for those not comfortable on anything with four legs and hooves.

If a slower more Peruvian trek is more to your liking, then you can hook up with a llama trek along the coast, where you will stop and rest and be treated to real gourmet catered meal in the open. Now, dammit..that’s living!

Kicking your boots off in the bunkhouse or pitching a tent in any of the numerous coastal campgrounds, you’ll find a cornucopia of lodging alternatives. If you happen to have a taste for the salty dog seafaring life, then plan on a two or three day stay at the Pt. Arena Lighthouse in one of the lighthouse keepers quarters. Spacious, elegant, and a pirates delight, you’ll warm up by the fireplace while staring out at the Pacific panorama laid out before you, larger than life, or at least bigger than a big screen TV in a sports bar!

If you haul your own vacation “home” with you, there are plenty of RV and motor home sites to hook up to on the grounds.

The Mendocino Coastal Region is also a fountain of flora at the Jughandle Creek Farm and Nature Center. The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens are 40 plus acres of Eco-wonders of the world. Along with the Jughandle Ecological Staircase Trail and pygmy pine forest you don’t want to miss a trek through a fern covered canyon to the spectacular vista’s at the oceans edge. At the education center itself is a multi bedroom Victorian farmhouse with shared bathrooms and kitchen, ala youth hostel, or you can unroll your sleeping bag and pitch a tent at the campground which has all the comforts of the camping home including a campfire pit and tables or you can knotty pine it in one of the three cabins on the grounds. There are numerous other lodging options from Bed and Breakfasts to motels, and many, in true Northern California style are Pet Friendly.

There is also a Mantra of Green that permeates Mendocino’s very soul. Ok, there is the keeping of the green leafy MMJ faith that is the equivalent of a religious experience in the Emerald Triangle, but, the art of the vintner and the brewer is enveloped as well in a shroud of sustainability. In the case of one such brewery, Anderson Brewery, are the brewmeisters of the legendary Boonville Beer, where ecologically sane practices have become a way of their laid back corporate life.

They take sustainability seriously and the brewery took it upon themselves years ago to install a photovoltaic array of solar panels that generates up to 40 % of the companies electrical needs. They recycle to the point where an outsider might think it is an obsession, including it’s organic waste and spent grains which are used by the local organic farmers for crop spray. It’s also used for the growing of mushrooms and as cattle feed.

The brewery sits on 30 acres of sheer beauty and rather than an army of mechanical Toro lawnmowers and tractors, the brewery keeps a team of eight goats busy mowing a goodly portion of the property. Goats? Ok, Budweiser has it’s Clysdales after all. But the most curious thing of all is the brewery language they have developed over the years. A strange patois that mixes a little Red Green with a little Northern honor of it’s prized beer, Boonville, the language is called Boontling!

Both Mendocino and Ft. Bragg have a coffeehouse and nightclub attitude with plenty to choose from as you go bar hopping to listen to a wide range of live music. Rock to reggae to blistering blues, Whether it’s the peace and serenity of the redwoods or the camaraderie of rock and roll nights, the Mendocino Coastal Region is not only ground zero for entertainment but the Mendocino Mantra can go from zero to Zen in under ten seconds!

So enjoy the Mendocino experience, grab a Boonville Beer, settle back and get your Boontling on!


Author of The Sandoz Collection FREE E-Series – Sex, drugs and rock and roll! To order your FREE E-copy email Mike at (Also includes Mikes two other e-books (The Atomic Hula) & (The Peyote Coyote) The Collection is Free to all Emerald’s free so order today)

Emerald contributor since March 2012


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