Coastal Weeds

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Last Saturday, we went for a walk along the coast to cool down from the 100 degree weather in the valley. Several months earlier we had heard that we could walk to Alamere Falls on The Palomarin Trail (Point Reyes National Seashore) and that the walk was about eight miles long. We thought it would still be a good time to see the falls since we had lots of rainfall in the winter months and the falls would not be dry.

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Native Pacific Coast Plants

Fact is, we thought a lot of things that turned out to be untrue. This trail is not a gentle trail. It has a rut running through the middle of it that I could only presume was an active way for the water to run to the ocean during the wet months. It makes the walk…hike much more difficult.

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Cooling Pacific Ocean Fog Bank

 The hike to the waterfall is eight miles if you take a short-cut through the thickets of berry bushes and poison oak. You have to crouch down into a ball and walk your way through the thicket, only to find a cliff at the top of the falls that is made of shale. Many people took this route, thinking that there was no poison oak, and slowly made their way up and down the cliff. We went around, as I know that I am extremely allergic to poison oak.

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Morning Glory

We hiked for over 40,000 steps and totaled seventeen miles of hiking up and down and up and down and….you understand. Will I ever do it again? Nope! Imagine walking the entire seventeen mile drive unpaved, dry, dusty, without water refills or food trucks. If I’d come prepared with cash in hand, I would have offered it to the people riding horses to take me out of this place.

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Alamere Falls

The saddest part for me was that once we arrived at the waterfall, that falls to the beach, we only wanted to start our trek back to our car. Sitting on the beach watching the falls was not an option. Each step we took was one step closer to the end of our walking. I’ve got to tell you that the quaint little town of Bolinas had a restaurant that we were dying to get a table at. The menu was very limited but who wouldn’t want pizza and beer after walking seventeen miles? Ahh, pizza, beer, and a chair, divine!

 

 

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A Weekend Away

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We took off last weekend with high hopes that we would be on Avila Beach at sunset.  Unfortunately, the traffic was not accommodating in helping to make that happen.

Catching Sunset Color

Catching Sunset Color

The hills stood between us and Avila Beach.  For those of you who don’t know, Avila Beach sits just below San Luis Obispo.  It reminds me, a bit, of Santa Cruz when I was very young.

Sunset from Avila Beach

Last Hint of Sunset from Avila Beach

Morning Tide at Pier One

Morning Tide at Pier One

The next morning we walked from pier one to pier three and the colors in the water were amazing.  I found that I was longing for Kodachrome.  I just can’t do it justice digitally.

Birds by the Third Pier

Birds by the Third Pier

One thing I like about this place is how extraordinarily ordinary it is.  This boat is a perfect example, it’s not a yacht.  Some places are filled with expensive boats.  I didn’t see that here.

Lonely Boat

Lonely Boat

It’s a calm place where people seem happy just to be out in the morning enjoying a cup of coffee with friends.

Under Pier One

Under Pier One

It is clear me that I need to spend more time in this place.  I really like it here.  I like the activity and I like it’s peacefulness.

 

Orange County Birds

Orange County Birds

We carried on down to Newport Beach.  It’s got an ocean full  of water but it doesn’t have the feel of Avila Beach.  I found myself missing the place from hence I’d come.

Go out and have a lovely weekend away. 

Maverick Memories

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Isn’t it funny how certain things will bring back a memory instantly?  Some friends went to Carmel recently and dropped by a book with lovely photos of the cottages in it.  You’d think that I would have flashed to walking through the village.  We did just that, not so long ago.  What flashed through my mind was a day in 2005 that I went to the Carmel beach by myself.  It was a gorgeous day and the climate was perfect, not too hot, not too cold, not very windy, yet it was windy enough to watch the sea spray lift off the waves.  

It was one of those days that you have to silently sit in the sand and watch the power of the ocean.  It was a day that I will never forget.  The power of this memory is so strong, it’s a bit like the way a song will instantly take you back in time.  I have gone to the beach many times since 2005 but it has never been this magnificent.

What’s one of your favorite memories?

What’s Happening?

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I’ve had several interesting things happen to me lately.  The first was traveling with my family to Santa Cruz, California.  I found, when I was there, that I was looking at people in various places who had greying hair and wondering if I went to school with them.  

Jelly Shadow

Jelly Shadow

I might only be able to recognize someone if I have seen them on Facebook.  It has been a very long time since I lived in Santa Cruz; 1980 to be exact.  While in Santa Cruz, I found that my mind was full of memories from the time that I lived there.  They were mostly childhood memories and now I was looking at grey haired people with the thought that I could identify them, had they been my classmates.  I was looking at grey haired people……OH!……that makes me one of those people!

Blue Jelly on the Beach

Blue Jelly on the Beach

Where did the time go?  I still feel young, and I still remember being young.  I still love wandering the tidepools.  My body feels older but my mind feels young.  That’s probably true for all those grey haired people I was looking at.  They probably wonder, “How did I get here?”

Crab Near the Pools

Crab Near the Pools

Another interesting thing that has been happening to me is that every time I shop at Lunardi’s Market in Walnut Creek, they stop and look at me and give me a senior discount.  They don’t even ask if I’m a senior!  What age is a senior anyway?  I turn 60 tomorrow and I don’t think I look my age.  What is happening to me?  I want to be clear about something…..this age thing just creeps up on you and you don’t even see it coming.  Our children look at us and think that we don’t move as quickly as they remember us moving when they were kids.  The thing is, our minds are still moving, just at a different pace then our bodies are.  We know that they will find out our secrets soon enough, and then our time spent with them now, will seem to make more sense.  

Nearing Sunset

Nearing Sunset

Have you ever noticed how the sky changes color before the sun begins to set?  On certain days, it seems to lose its color before the glorious colors of the sunset show themselves.

Color on the Pier

Color on the Pier

So, even though some of us may look like we are losing our color, it is possibly our most colorful time of life.  We are not  unlike this pier that has accumulated much as it holds the wharf up.  If you look at it closely, you will find a beautiful sight.  Long story short, it is not too late to follow your dreams…..even if your hair is turning grey.  

Sandy Cove

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Last post I promised to take you to a place that I remembered as a child, Point Lobos State Park.  I remembered the white sands of the beach, the windiness of the day, and the treacherous hike down to the beautiful beach.

First Glimpse of Sandy Cove

First Glimpse of Sandy Cove

I don’t remember there being all these stairs (left side of photo) descending to the beach, and quite possibly there weren’t many.  I remember traversing down on switchbacks along the cliffs.  It was terrifying as a child.  It seems like the violence of storms has washed them out many times and passage to Sandy Cove is no longer a trip that any person can make.

Old Stairs to the Cove

Old Stairs to the Cove

This white egret has found the perfect spot to look for a good meal.  Nothing should bother it while it patiently waits for lunch.  They are extremely patient birds.

Egret on the Kelp and Water Looking for Lunch

Egret on the Kelp and Water Looking for Lunch

I have tried a few times to reach this destination in the past, but have been unsuccessful in finding it.  I am so glad that a ranger offered us help in finding this teal blue and white memory of mine.  I only had black and white photos and now I can see the beautiful colors of my memories.  It is an amazing place.  If ever in Carmel, it’s just a short drive.

Far Beyond Normandy

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Lately I’ve been thinking about our trip to France a couple of years ago.  We walked down the Normandy Beach on an eerily still Fall day.  When you are there, you are consumed with thoughts of WWII and what those young men must have been thinking while being dropped off to perform an unimaginable task.  What is most remarkable, is that it is so very peaceful there now.  

Normandy Beach

Normandy Beach

While wandering around Paris, we happened upon a very large building with a glass roof, The Grand Palais.  I was told that tourists seldom get to see inside of this building, but there we were with the giant side doors standing wide open, and I was allowed to take a couple of photos.  It was immense and beautiful.

Surprise Opening

Surprise Opening

Around every corner was a gorgeous church and often the pipe organ would be playing.  Music is the most amazing universal language.  I wish that everyone around the world would be touched by the spirit of lovely music.  I don’t think that all people seek peace in their lives.  I am so sad about the events that occurred in Paris this past week.

One Peaceful Universal Language

One Peaceful Universal Language

With that being said, I think the world could use a little more things to celebrate and be light-hearted about.  You can find this happy frog in the pond at the Schramsberg Caves near Calistoga.  We went there with some friends a bit ago and had a remarkably memorable day.

More Bubbles Please

More Bubbles Please

It’s on days like that, when I realize that my little life, in my little piece of California, is quite lovely.  I hope that, wherever you are, your life is peaceful and lovely too.