Saturday, July 4, 2009

Friday June 3, 2009: My little excursion up the coast.

Friday afternoon at work I decided it would be a good idea to leave work a little early and head up to the beach. It was a gorgeous afternoon and I wanted to end the day on a high note doing something I love. So I ran home from Petaluma, changed into my swimsuit and shorts and my new shirt that I got from Thailand. Oh gosh, I love this shirt- I think I've worn it almost every day since I got it. By the time I got gas in my car and got on the road it was 5:30... so I thought, "okay, I'll get to the beach by 6:30 and still have two hours of sun." I was driving with my windows down, listening to the Strokes (and then to Tokyo Police Club... and then to Tim Fite), and when I got to Guerneville, the sky was still clear and sunny. By the time I got to Monte Rio (about 8 miles down hwy 116) the fog had come up and was spreading through the trees and hills. I totally forgot about how the fog comes in in the late afternoon! Well, I decided to keep going because I had already gotten that far.

By the time I reached Jenner, I new the sun wasn't about to come out again. The seals were all on their little sand bar, though, and It was funny seeing them from the highway above them. They didn't look as cute as they did face-to-face. When I got to highway 1, I headed north without agenda. I don't know if I was hoping to find a little nook for me to park my car and read my book (I'm currently reading We the Living by Ayn Rand and can't put it down) or if I was hoping to find a neat little cove, but I kept driving.

When I reached the outskirts of Fort Ross, I saw the neatest old wooden building with cupolas and wooden crosses. And as I drove a little further, I saw an outdoor amphitheater filled with lots of people and there was a sign that said "Timber Inn Cove: Live music tonight" so I turned in. I was surprised to see that it was so crowded! There weren't any parking spots left, so I made my own in the tall grass. There was a huge totem pole on the west side of the inn that was really amazing. From my parking spot there was a beaten down trail that looked like it went down towards the water, so I followed it. I must've looked crazy wearing shorts out there- it was so cold!

There's something about being near the ocean that changes everything for me. I began running down this trail, getting sand in between my toes and all in my sandals and I caught a glimpse of the carefree person I sometimes forget I can be. From this trail there were the most amazing views. I could see the rocks beneath me, the waves breaking, and two kayakers in the cove. There was a wall carved out with hearts and initials of lovers and a little patch on the hill filled with wild flowers. After my little romp near the sea, I jumped back in my car- my feet covered with a layer of dark dirt, and I left almost as quickly as I arrived. I wanted to stay for the music, but I wouldn't have lasted long in my shorts without so much as a blanket.

I headed back south, because it was already 7:30, and I didn't want to be driving on the coastal highway as it got dark. I'm not that brave. Somewhere south of Fort Ross was a yellow road sign with a picture of a cow and the words "next 5 miles". Right after I saw the sign, I saw the cows. Basically this little stretch of land is too treacherous to build fences, so the cattle that graze on the lands are able to go wherever they want. They were just hanging out in the road. I guess happy cows really do come from California. Getting closer to Jenner, I had a moment where I was in complete appreciation of the beauty around me. This land hasn't been touched by humans in the last one hundred years, or maybe more. The beauty I was witnessing helped calm me and it made my solitary existence in California seem less daunting.

I made it back to Guerneville and stopped at a little ice cream/hamburger joint and got a regular french fry and a polish dog for $3.50... that is unheard of in Cali. And then I saw everyone's fro-yo... so I got some vanilla with reeses (it reminded me of you, K Tran!) There was an Asian family that was in line behind me, and they had like six young kids. The kids were all on the front porch and they were staring at a man in a pink dress, sky-high black heels, and a blonde wig. These kids were amazed. It was really really funny. (Guerneville is a LGBT friendly resort town so I'm guessing they're no stranger to cross-dressers). I ate my ice cream first and then ate my dinner and I read my book. Eating alone normally sucks, but it wasn't that bad Friday night. I got back on the 116, and as I was driving through Sebastopol, I got to see the fireworks. It was definitely a great day, I hope my next four Fridays are just as good.

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