create_destiny: (statue head)
elk2

On the last day of camping we got up early and headed over to Fern Canyon. I wanted to get some pics of Touchdown Buddha in the morning light because otherwise his light is too powerful to behold (translation = photographer doesn't know how to eliminate annoying glare from Buddha's body).

When we got to the trailhead there was an elk munching down on some grass about 30 yards from us. We broke out the cameras and starting shooting away. I figured he would bolt any minute, but he didn't. After ohing and ahing for a good 20 minutes and taking a zillion photos, I took off down the trail with Touchdown Buddha, tripod and camera in tow. Spent maybe an hour or so propping Buddha up all over the canyon and capturing his giddy glory. Still too damn shiny even in low light, and yes I manually bracketed the exposures. He's just kind-of like Jesus on Mount Tabor that way, his light will knock you on your ass.

When I got back to the trailhead, that elk was still there, munching away and trashing a tree with his antlers. I took some more pics, this time with the tri-pod and we hit the road.

one more pic )

We Blow

Jul. 29th, 2008 09:10 pm
create_destiny: (Default)
campsite2

ME: "Were you ever a Boy Scout?" (Asked while boyfriend was building the most illogical campfire known to man).

HIM: "No, I was a Webelo for a while, though. I don't remember much about it, just that we sacrificed a goat and we were all standing around holding candles and chanting to Satan."
create_destiny: (statue head)
Sixty-five miles south of Monterey on Cape San Martin, there is a unique eco-lodging experience to be had at the Treebones Resort. Precariously perched on a ridge between the Big Sur coast and the Los Padres National Forest are sixteen yurts with wooden floors and canvas walls stretched across lattice frameworks.

yurtlucky13

We got lucky and scored a yurt with a full ocean view and a gas fireplace.

You Know You Wanna See Inside )

Blue Coast

Oct. 28th, 2007 05:43 pm
create_destiny: (statue head)
During my recent road trip with my folks to the Big Sur area I was plagued by the question: "Why is the water so blue along the central California coast whereas on the northern California coast the water often appears to be gray or brown?"

The short answer: calmer water that doesn't stir up a lot of sediment + low phytoplankton + low chlorophyll = very clear, thus very blue water.

Vista point south of Carmel
vista pt2

One More Pic )
create_destiny: (statue head)
After San Francisco we headed south to the sand dune town of Marina, just a few miles north of the Monterey Peninsula. We checked into our hotel around 6:00 pm and rushed to the nearest beach to catch a phenomenal sunset.

marina beach at dusk

After the evening light took its final bow, we headed to a randomly selected seafood restaurant. We looked at their menu and decided the prices were too high. Next door was a Korean BBQ. We looked at their menu and decided the price was right.

None of us had ever eaten Korean food before so we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. My Mom and I played it safe and decided to split an order of "Tofu and Vegetables." My Dad ordered "Beef and Vegetables" with the beef on the side (this cracked my Mother and I up -- that's pretty much like ordering lasagna with the noodles on the side, wouldn't you say?).

Anyway, what the waitress delivered to our table will be the subject of a humorous yet cautionary tale passed down in my family through the generations for at least the next few weeks.

What came to our table was a large tray with 8-10 small white bowls, each filled with an unidentifiable "vegetable" matter. We politely thanked the waitress and waited until she was out of ear shot before we started in with the what in the hell have we got here jokes. My Mom thought it was the discarded remains from a fisherman's bait bucket. I wondered if it was the same organic sea debris we had just seen washed up on the shore.

We started forking small portions of the more edible-looking matter onto our plates. One bowl contained rubbery minnows (none for me, thank you). Another had white blubbery chunks in it. Other bowls held what looked like fried grass. I thought I recognized a form of zucchini in another.

In the spirit of adventure I tried to shirk off my narrow, white American culinary expectations and experience something new. I stabbed some of the blubbery substance onto my fork and gave it a go. It was soft and actually kind-of tasty truth be told, but I couldn't get past the fact that I didn't know what the hell it was. It could have been octopus testicles for all I knew!

We ate as much as we could. My Dad even ate some of the minnows. "Oh God, they're chewy!", he said as he ate them.

The next morning we explored the Carmel River State Beach. Here's some sea matter that looks suspiciously like our dinner at the Korean BBQ. I just now googled "Korean cuisine" and it's true! Seaweed and other algae are part of a balanced Korean diet.

seadebris2

My Dad dared my Mom to pick up this thick, ropey strand of seaweed. She was apprehensive at first, but figured, what the hell we were putting this stuff in our mouths the night before. She said it felt like a garden hose. The part she's holding on to is called the "stipe." Finally, the mystery of Michael Stipe's last name is revealed! From here on out you can think of him as "Michael Seaweed Stem." I know I will.

carmel river beach6
create_destiny: (rocks in hands)
GoldBluffs5

The BF and I headed to Gold Bluff Beach on the northern coast for some weekend camping. We brought his crack monkey dog and a good time was had by all. (Actually, I threw many hissy fits on the way but it was all worth it once we got to walking barefoot in the surf and tossing driftwood into the waves for the dog to fetch.) Being a mostly deep-woods camper, this was the first time I ever camped on a beach. I felt awkwardly exposed without a canopy of trees protecting me. But it was pretty damn spiffy blissing out on a campfire and hearing the sounds of the ocean churning behind us. An Elk walked up to the campground about 150 yards from where we were camped. We tried to take some pics but it was dusky and we were too beat to set up the tripod.

GoldBluffsBeach7

Two More Pics )
create_destiny: (change)
On Trinidad Beach a fat-bellied rock woman sits and keeps watch over the Pacific sea. Sprigs of black huckleberry sprout from the back of her head. She has a name, I just don't know it. During storms she dances to the drumming of the water on the shore. She lunges into the tides, weeping and laughing for the earth, remembering the dark ocean floor before the ecstatic earthquakes, her luscious birth.

Trinidad Beach near Arcata, CA

When the nights are thick with fog she plays the samisen. Her song is the song God played when he created the world. If you were to hear it your heart would dissolve into lye and your bones would pancake into flat red and white stones, perfect for skipping on still waters.

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