From the south:

Interstate 101 after the Golden Gate Bridge:

Drive north, take a left at the second traffic light and continue west on Highway 20. You will travel through one of the world’s most magificient redwood forests for nearly an hour before coming out at the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

Ignore the time your GPS predicts for the trip. It can’t realize the complexity of navigating the twists and turns of Highway 20. Upon reaching Fort Bragg, you will be equally astonished by (1) the incredible beauty of this particular part of the Northern California coast and (2) that you and/or your passengers only had to make one puke stop on Highway 20.

Take a right on Highway 1. You will encounter four traffic lights. Take a right at the fourth traffic light (Mendo Lake Credit Union is on the corner). Stop at the four-way stop. Take a left. As you near the next four-way stop, The Purity will loom on your right.

Your heart will begin to flutter.

From the north:

If you’re coming from Portland or points even further north, I don’t know the number of traffic lights you’ll encounter. (I only made that drive once since moving to Fort Bragg and I’ll never make it again.) I recommend that you take an Alaska Airlines flight to Santa Rosa, rent a car, and follow the above directions.

However, if you insist upon entering Fort Bragg via 101 from the north, you will encounter a traffic light at Denny’s, another at The Depot, and a third at the Company Store. Take a left at the Company Store. Take a right at the four-way stop. You will not get the same panoramic view of The Purity that you’d get if you approached from the south. For maximum heart flutters, I recommend you bypass the store, turn around and approach from the south.

Enter The Purity via the second driveway from the store building. That’s the second driveway. It’s confusing, I know, but if you enter the first driveway, that’s the exit and you’ll screw up the flow and possibly get yelled at. (We don’t honk car horns in Fort Bragg—it’s uncouth.)

Go into the store. Grab a shopping cart. Take your time perusing the aisles. Fill your cart with lots of goodies. (Don’t forget to pay before you leave or you’ll end up in the Fort Bragg Advocate News Police Log and Court Reports.)


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