Not a lot of physical travel this week: a two hour drive from Half Moon Bay to New Brighton State Park in Aptos on Saturday, and then a 1.5 mile hop over to Seacliff on Tuesday.
Half Moon Bay was somewhere I had been before, but it’s different when you live there for a week as opposed to just running up for a day’s shopping at the various stores on Main Street. I walked all over, did some holiday shopping, and patronized the local bakery. Lots of funky yards, and this one was my favorite because it had so much going on.
I walked the coastal trail on the cliffs above…
… and then cut down to the beach below, where you can see the weathering of those cliffs close up.
Half Moon Bay was also my first sighting of western snowy plovers in a while. These are tiny little birds, but feisty, as you can tell by this one’s expression.
New Brighton, back in Aptos, was a three-night stay on a campsite above the beach that stretches at low tide from Capitola to Moss Landing, which I could spot in the hazy distance thanks to the two stacks of the old Moss Landing power plant. I like seeing that place because my grandfather worked there for a short time, something I didn’t know till I drove my Dad past it several years ago and he commented on it. The things you never know about your family history.
The beach walking here is my favorite thing, as it was the 12 years I lived here. The light is ever-changing around sunset, my favorite time to walk and take photos.
There are more birds here, these sandpipers below and my beloved pelicans, which are harder to catch in photos because they stay just far enough off shore that I need my best camera and zoom lens.
Tuesday’s move from the relative spaciousness and quiet of New Brighton to the boardwalk-bound Seacliff campsite was a study in contrasts. But the neighbors are friendly and the view out my back window is pretty darned awesome. The guy next door even loaned me his window cleaner so I could enjoy the sunset from the warmth of my trailer!
And to celebrate the holiday season, my Alto has gotten into the spirit. Not the best shot, but you get the idea.
As I write this, the waves are crashing onto the beach like a big heartbeat of nature. I can’t think of a better place to be right now: pelicans from my kitchen window, sunsets from the back one, and the ever-present sound of the ocean.
When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.
Rainer Maria Rilke