Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Work sent me out to the coast again on Friday, to the town of Anchor Bay, about 15 miles south of Point Arena. The morning started out with giving a lift to a hitchhiker from Switzerland. He has been travelling all around the world, and our conversation was way too short, since he only needed a ride to the south side of town. He seemed like a real good kid, and he probably had some amazing stories. Those will have to be relayed by someone else. Once I dropped him off, I headed west.
This is where the Navarro River enters the ocean. It's amazing to think about where this water travelled from. Here, at this spot, it is finishing this particular journey.
While I was walking back to my car, an older man pointed out to me an old abandoned road up on the cliff side (above). He said this road was constructed during World War II, and was used to scan the ocean for enemy submarines. The road went as far north as Oregon. "It's amazing what people are capable of," he said to his wife while I walked away.
After working in Anchor Bay, I drove a few miles south to the Medocino/Sonoma county line. Above is the Gulala River, as it finishes it's final curves before entering the Pacific.
I then returned north along the coast on Highway 1 and the skies began to clear a bit.I took a couple of short hikes along the bluffs in various spots and took a few pictures.
Just before the town of Mendocino, I took a short walk along another beach area. There was a party going on, and beautiful women everywhere. It seemed odd to see so many in one place, especially on a cold beach. It reminded me of times in LA when I'd stumble upon a TV or movie film set. There were always good looking actors and actresses and film crews standing around. This was no film set, and a hilarious article I read recently in the Ukiah Blog came to mind. I wondered if these were some of the infamous "pot moms."
Anyhow, there were some awesome natural shelters built on the beach.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Took a nice long walk after work today. Blessed with blue sky and sun this afternoon after it rained most of the day. I picked up some hitchhikers along the 101 and drove them to the town of Willits. There were three of them all together. They mentioned that they were eventually going to try and settle in Arkansas later this year, live in caves in the Ozarks, and hunt and gather their meals. Killing wild pigs is legal, one of them mentioned, and another was supposedly an expert mushroom hunter. For now, they are selling jewelry, begging, and probably selling other things to survive. These street kids have a fascinating culture.
I picked up three of them last week as well. They were probably not even in their twenties, runaways from home is my guess. One kid said he's been traveling since he was 14, hopping trains all the way from Pennsylvania. They were also making their way up the coast from Southern California. I'm not sure it's the safest thing in the world to pick up these kids, but so far they seem to be grateful for the ride, and they've all been respectful...
Sunday, April 17, 2011
The AT has me in its grasp. The last few days, the urge to want to hike another long trail
has been almost too much to take. So many trails, so little money. I've had a few months to rest, now I'm ready to get back out there and do some walking. Perhaps it's because spring is here. I'm already starting to crunch numbers and wonder if spring 2012 is a possibility. I'm not getting any younger, and I hate to think of wasting two years of good health before being able to hike again. I think I will be able to make a decision come September.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
The last couple of days, I've been taking short walks around town. Some of the streets are quite nice, and there are several small streams running through town. I get a kick how the quiet, wilder spots in town seem to draw the most riff raff. Today, I saw a couple of drunks hanging out under a bridge. It was actually, a really nice spot. My inner-bum also leads me to these areas. Today, I was looking for an outdoor tunnel or man made overhang to play some music, but didn't find anything of note.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
I got to thinking about wildness while driving to work on Friday. I have a two hour commute to Pt. Arena on Friday, so it gives me plenty of time to think. Is it better to be wild and free, or comfortable and enslaved?
The thought was triggered when I saw a small bobcat run across the road, and then a few small deer a couple of minutes later. I could not help but notice how ragged these free animals looked. The bobcat with it's brown matted fur and the deer with the same disheveled appearance, patches of fur appeared to be missing, and it looked somewhat hungry.
After passing the deer, I saw cows grazing in a fresh green pasture. Fenced in, but their needs provided for until they reach the day of slaughter. I also saw some llamas, also fenced in, feeding in the green fields. I imagined the deer having pity on these animals, and then running freely into the forest. Maybe the cows and llamas had pity on the deer as they happily fed themselves in the sun.
What about house cats? Those that are plump, with shiny fur coats? Some are allowed outside where they can practice hunting, others are not. What would the bobcat think, if anything, when he comes face to face with his domesticated brethren?
Often, I see hitchhikers and travelers walking, or biking down the roads along the coast. They have that same disheveled appearance. They appear to be free for the most part, as I drive past in the comfort of my car, snacking on cookies and coffee.
While hiking the PCT, the feeling of freedom was incredible, even though we still were not completely free. I also remember how exhausted we felt though too, as the elements took a toll on our bodies and minds day after day. It was not easy waking up dirty and tired many mornings. It also seemed impossible to stay clean. We all quickly took on a haggard appearance. Was it ultimately, better living?
Some days, it drives me nuts that I have to ask permission to take time off from work. Some days, I want to say "Screw it all!" and grab my backpack and begin walking again.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Saturday, April 2, 2011
The Valley View Trail redeemed itself today. I decided to revisit it to see what the wildflower situation was. I was very surprised to see quite a variety of wildflowers blooming along the trail.
This snake was also a highlight. This was the best weather I've had hiking this trail. In fact, temperatures were perfect. The sky was bright blue, the sunlight was pure, and the breeze was cool.