More fun in Mendocino
At the Stanford’s canoe and kayak rental place, Catch a Canoe & Bicycles, Too ($40/day; catchacanoe.com), Miss Bea settles into a tip-proof outrigger for her first-ever canoe trip. We glide into the Big River estuary, and initially
she tucks deep into the bow.
But after a few minutes, the smells and sounds begin to draw her out. She bird-watches and gazes into the forest, front paws on the edge of the boat, body stretching forward, nose wafting a little bit higher to catch a scent.
By the time we disembark and regain our land legs, it’s deep into the afternoon. We head to Mendocino’s little New England–esque downtown, cross the street to avoid another pug, and see a sign for Mendo Burgers ($$; 10483 Lansing St.; 707/937-1111), pointing down a dusty alley. There are picnic tables and a couple of small dog beds under a tree.
The fish is fresh and juicy, the fries hand-cut. As we eat, one of the owners comes by. He pets Miss Bea on the head, and chuckles when his terrier mutt, Boots, bounds up to sniff the visitors. Miss Bea stands like a statue for a moment, as if pondering how to react, then gives a playful spin and wags her tail.