A few weeks back my husband and I took a day trip to the coast as my early birthday treat. We enjoyed a leisurely drive up Highway 1 through Marin and Sonoma Counties and up into part of Mendocino County as far as Elk. We turned around in Elk and headed back down to hit the road inland to Boonville.
But first a necessary stop. A visit to the Evergreen Cemetery, on the South West corner of Highway 1 and Mountain View Road in Manchester, California.
Heidi has been here with me. There are many people buried here. Pioneers, loggers, ranchers, lighthouse keepers... It is fascinating to take a stroll along the pathway reading the story of their lives in the sculptured stone.I have lost track of the number of times I have visited here. I always feel the pull inside to visit my "adopted" family, the McMullins. I know nothing about them, except what can be read on their gravestones.
Six little children lie here next to their parents. Carl, Irene, Lewie, Paulie, Ellie, Infant...
Carl McMullin. August 10, 1873 died September 5, 1874 age 1 year 25 days. Little tow-headed first born, chubby laughing little toddler. Gone so soon.
I have so many questions. Did any children survive their parents and perhaps are buried elsewhere? Did all the little children die and the parents spent their later years visiting here often until Jennie died, and then not long after Samuel followed? Who tended the graves in the years that rolled on afterwards? No one seems to take care of them now.
It is a bit harder now for me to get close enough to photograph the faded and moss covered lettering. My cane sinks into the soft weeds as I attempt to position my body closer to the little memorials.
Me? Well, skin still crawling from the sensation of big unknown bug clinging to my arm, I was so flustered from the experience, and so worn out from climbing all over weedy graves, that I did not get any other photos of my hitchhiker.
We packed it up and headed west on Mountain View Road, a very curvy drive, to Boonville. Once there we went for a bit of wine tasting at the Handley Cellars, a delightful winery with good sipping, interesting people and a lovely shady patio.