What are Leslie’s Accessible Walks?

I moved to the Mendocino Coast in August of 2021. Shortly after I moved here I fell during a walk in the Town of Mendocino and realized the progressive neuromuscular condition I’ve lived with had entered a new stage. I could no longer trust my balance and required mobility assistance. Now I use a walker or wheelchair in the house and out in the world.

Thanks to the Mendocino Land Trust, I had the opportunity to use a beach wheelchair. Gradually, I’ve learned more about accessibility and what I can do here on the Coast.

I became involved with the Blue Zone Project and challenged myself to organize a series of Walk & Roll Moais (a series of 10 mostly accessible walks). I’ve decided to continue with free monthly walks around the Mendocino Coast area. I hope you’ll consider joining us. Hey, I won a contest!

Dates for Accessible Walks

Thursday, June 27 @ 11:00 a.m. Downtown Fort Bragg Quilt Walk. Meet in front of The Outdoor Store, 247 N MAIN ST.

Thursday, July 18 @ 11:00 a.m. Black Oystercatchers with CalParks biologist, Alison Cebula. Among the mussel- and barnacle-covered rocks of the Pacific Coast lives this stout shorebird with a gleaming reddish bill, yellow eyes, and pink legs. Apart from these highlights, their dark bodies—black on the head and neck, chocolate brown elsewhere—disappear into the dark rocky background. Look for them foraging on falling tides, when exposed marine organisms are vulnerable to quick strikes from their sharp, stout bills. Oystercatchers remain paired year-round, and often fly in duets over water and shore giving their pleasant whistling calls. Location: TBA.

Sunday, July 28 @ 1:00 p.m. Fundraising Walk for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Noyo Headlands Coastal Walk, Fort Bragg. Online donations accepted on MDA webpage.

Diagnosed with myotonic muscular dystrophy in 1998, Krongold has been actively involved with the Muscular Dystrophy Association as a support group facilitator, member of the organization’s National Community Advisory Committee, and a participant in numerous San Francisco Bay Area MDA fundraising events.

Muscle Walk Your Way is a wonderful opportunity for families and communities to come together to both advocate for those living with neuromuscular disease as well as raise money for the important work the MDA organization does, such as:

  • MDA Care Center’s – MDA supports multidisciplinary medical teams that provide state-of-the art care, helping to empower the lives of families living with muscular dystrophy, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and related neuromuscular diseases at over 150 locations nationwide and 19 in California; locations includeCalifornia Pacific Medical Center, Forbes Norris Center (MDA/ALS) o Cedars- Sinai Medical Center (MDA/ALS), Children’s Hospital of Orange County & Los Angeles, Community Regional Medical CenterLoma Linda University, University of California (Davis Medical Center; Irvine Medical Center; LA;San Diego; San Francisco)
  • MDA Resource Center for guidance and support
  • Gene Therapy Support Network for novel gene therapy treatments
  • Educational programming for families and medical professionals
  • Advocacy for legislative policy for access
  • MDA Summer Camp where children and young adults ages 8-17 can experience the ‘best week of the year’ at no cost to families.

Over 35,000 individuals live with neuromuscular diseases in California. Despite the small population on the Mendocino Coast, Krongold knows several people with similar rare conditions as hers. “Once you put it out there that you have a rare condition, people gradually come out of their cocoon. I’ve met folks with myasthenia gravis, FSHD (Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy), and a family in Cleone with myotonic dystrophy.”

Future Summer Walks

  • Harbor Seals at MacKerricher
  • Natural Journaling
  • Forest Bath in Pygmy Forest
  • Art Mural Tour in downtown Fort Bragg

Past Walks

Wednesday, June 19 @ 12:30 p.m. Sidewalk Gardens to Bragg About 2024. Meet in front of Chapel by the Sea: 445 E Fir St in Fort Bragg. Map Route. Meryl, one of the prize-winning gardeners will be able to join this walk and talk about her garden. Here’s a short video clip from the Awards Ceremony. Recording from our wonderful walk.

Wednesday, May 8 @ 1:30 p.m. Hiding in Plain Sight: The Western Snowy Plover Meet in Ward Avenue Parking Lot by Old Haul Road. With their sand-colored feathers, speckled eggs and chicks, snowy plovers blend in perfectly to their beach and dune environment. Despite this clever camouflage, snowy plovers are a threatened species due to habitat loss, predation, and human-caused disturbance.Join local State Park biologist Alison Cebula for a guided walk and talk about these remarkable little shorebirds and the challenges they face. Learn not only how to tell a plover from other shorebirds, but also how you can help protect one of our most charming wild neighbors.

Wednesday, April 10th @ 1:00 p.m. Native Coastal Plants. Pomo Bluffs Park in Fort Bragg (Southern bluffs above Noyo Bay. From Highway 1, take Ocean View Drive to Cliff Way) Meet near restrooms and disabled parking spaces.

Saturday, December 23 @ 5:00 p.m. Fort Bragg Holiday Lights. Please light yourself up. Rossi’s and The Dollar Store have wearable holiday lights. Check this website for more details and weather update. The Meeting location is on the sidewalk in front of Skate Park around the corner from the CV Starr Community Center. We’ll go south on South Sanderson and turn down both streets on Lonne Way into Deer Meadows and Return along S Sanderson to the meeting location near CV Starr.

Tuesday, December 12 @ 2:30 p.m. Pomo Bluffs and Sea Gulls. Pomo Bluffs Park in Fort Bragg (Southern bluffs above Noyo Bay. From Highway 1, take Ocean View Drive to Cliff Way) Meet here:

Thursday, November 16 @ 11:00 a.m. Pygmy Forest Bathing Walk/Roll. State Park Pygmy Forest Boardwalk. 42500 Little River-Airport Road, after approximately 3 miles on this road from Highway One there is a small sign that points to a left-hand turn into a small parking lot (free). RSVP email: elkrong@yahoo.com

I’ve learned a lot from a variety of people who have been using a wheelchair long before I needed to use one and experience the world in a different way. One of those people is Bonnie Lewkowicz of BORP who has paved the way for many of us with her Access Northern California program.