From 1985-1993, Jerry Graham hosted a television program for San Francisco’s KRON-TV called “Bay Area Backroads” providing Northern California residents insights into the hidden treasures in their midst.
Almost thirty years later, his son Jefferson Graham is honoring his father’s work and publishing a series of documentaries on YouTube following his father’s footsteps by recreating some of the most beloved pit stops his father made. Naturally, one of those was the seaside, Victorian village of Mendocino, and the greater Mendocino County Coast.
Graham, like his father, has spent time in the media circuit working as a columnist USA Today, a podcaster, and now hosting his own unique take on the travel show genre he calls Photowalks TV. He infuses wanderlust with a zeal for photography showing his audience where to take the best pictures and the best ways to snap those shots. It’s available on YouTube, the Roku Channel and Tubi.
Graham told us he and his wife are based in Los Angeles. Recently, he had just finished up his Photowalks episodes on the Central Coast, ranging from Pismo to Monterey, and viewers requested he “continue going up the coast.” After completing two live Photowalk events in San Francisco, he and his wife came to explore and photograph the Mendocino County coast for six days.
Like his father, Graham explores the essential landmarks of Mendocino and the surrounding areas such as the Headlands, Russian Gulch State Park, and the Point Cabrillo lighthouse.
Amidst the Victorians of Mendocino, the redwoods and waterfalls of Russian Gulch State Park, the cliffs of the Highlands, Graham told us he “fell in love.” The aspect of Mendocino he loved the most was “the ability to walk everywhere, for miles and miles, through the Headlands, right, left, north, south, and see incredible views.”
The village of Mendocino proved to abound with photo ops where Graham found himself, “surrounded by all those beautiful Victorian buildings, the quaint downtown, and the quiet of the town.”
The Point Cabrillo Lighthouse was his favorite landmark where he was “lucky enough to take the Saturday tour, which let us go to the top of the building.”
Graham and his wife stayed at the recently re-opened Blair House, “the 19th century, two-story beauty that served as the exterior for Murder, She Wrote‘s Jessica Fletcher.” Graham told his wife that “she’d never, ever, have a hotel room as great as the one we had at the Blair House”
The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens and its flowers was a great location “for practicing my macro technique on the iPhone”, Graham told us. He added, “The cafe there is terrific.”
He and his wife dined at the Mendocino Cafe, italian restaurant Luna Trattoria, and Flow Restaurant and Lounge. He said Luna “had some of the best Italian food we ever had. My wife and I split the lasagna.”
Stopping by the Mendocino Coast Photography Gallery, Graham met local photographer Ken Van Der Wende who he described as “fantastic.” The gallery provided Graham the opportunity to admire the work of Mendocino County’s local photographers who have learned to capture the nuances of our neck of the woods. “I always tell people to stop at places like this, and the Visitor Center, to see what’s possible, where local photogs go to get their shots. If you can get one or two of them yourself, you’re doing great.”
In terms of photographing the Mendocino County Coast, Graham told us “he just scratched the surface. It was foggy most of the time, and only got one sunset! But looking forward to return.”
Graham’s episode of Photowalks on the Mendocino County Coast will make a starry-eyed tourist out of any long-time local. Get out there, grab a camera, and snap a shot of this place we’re lucky to call home.