Beaches, redwoods and quiet backroads
Post Christmas I tied my board on top and headed north. Charlie and I rendezvoused at Big River. It was rough. We turned south again and put in at Albion.
It was my first try at NorCal condition freediving. I only puked a little bit. I wasn’t hunting, but Charlie confirmed that the visibility was mediocre and the fish were hard to find. He still speared five. I really only hit bottom a few times but it sure was neat for the few seconds I was down there. I loved it and will go again.
Camp at McKerricher was infused with beer and grilled fish. CA State Parks are expensive. $43 for the night.
After a walk to the beach, breakfast in Fort Bragg and a stop at the dive shop, Charlie headed home. I went north.
The running tally of the places I went after:
- stopped at McKerricher and another beach farther north. The fog bank rolling in was beautiful.
- camped and jogged at Westport-Union up on the bluffs. What a stellar place to camp.
- lunched under the redwoods at Richardson Grove.
- stopped at Benbow but there wasn’t enough water to paddle.
- intentionally drove the very long way to the Mattole via Ettersburg. It’s a curvy and rural few hours on a mostly single lane road. I was surprised by the number of people that live so far off the grid. It’s definitely a center of the west’s back to the lander movement. I’m sure most of them have moved from vegetables to pot.
- camped two nights at the Mattole estuary. Sat on the beach, walked south beyond Punta Gorda.
- stopped in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
Things of note:
I love solos. Read a book, two New Yorkers and two High Country News’. I was asleep around 9pm and would wake up and read for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. I slept in my car each night.
I saw at least twelve whales one afternoon. I didn’t see anyone else whale watching.
It was around the king tide and the lows were extreme. The tidepools extended up and down the coast. I found a lot of cool things, including a fish head that was about 20 inches wide. The sea lions at Punta Gorda were making farting noises with their mouths.