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Thursday, March 3, 2011

DAY 49 - ORICK - TRINIDAD, CALIFORNIA

A UNIQUE FEATURE OF THE CALIFORNIA PACIFIC COAST SOUTH OF ORICK IS A SERIES OF FRESH WATER LAGOONS. SEPARATED BY A THIN SAND BARRIER FROM THE CRASHING PACIFIC SURF, THESE SHALLOW LAGOONS STRETCH FOR AT LEAST 20 MILES TO THE TOWN OF TRINIDAD, CALIFORNIA.

SOMETIMES THE OCEAN BARRIER IS A MERE 100 YARDS AWAY FROM US 101. OTHER TIMES IT IS A MILE OR TWO AWAY FROM US 101, WITH THE FRESH WATER LAGOON BETWEEN THE HIGHWAY AND THE OCEAN.
VLADIMIR AND I SPENT A VERY RESTFUL NIGHT IN ORICK, CALIFORNIA WITH SPIA PARKED UNDER THE AWNING OF THE ABANDONED GAS STATION...VLADIMIR'S BICYCLE SECURELY LOCKED TO SPIA'S REAR VIEW MIRRORS.
WAKE-UP CALL WAS 0530 HOURS. I CONTINUED MY MANY-YEAR CUSTOM FOR GUESTS ABOARD MY YACHTS...A HOT TOWEL FOR VLADIMIR TO WASH AWAY THE SLEEP, LIVEN UP THE SCALP, AND REFRESH CLAMY HANDS FROM A NIGHT'S SLEEP.
FOLLOWING, WAS A TALL GLASS OF HOT CHOCOLATE...SOON FOLLOWED BY A GENEROUS BOWL OF HOT OAT MEAL WITH BROWN SUGAR, RAISINS, AND A GOOD SPLASH OF VERMONT MAPLE SYRUP.
I DO BELIEVE VLADIMIR WAS PLEASED.
AT 7:00 AM, HE PACKED UP HIS MANY PLASTIC FILLED BAGS (FILLED WITH DRY CLOTHING, CAMERAS, FOOD, AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT ELSE...WHICH HE STUFFED INTO ONE OF ABOUT SIX DUFFLES, WHICH SOMEHOW FOUND A PLACE TO HANG FROM HIS BICYCLE. AT 7:15 AM, VLADIMIR WAS ON US 101 NORTH, RETRACING THE STEPS I LEFT FOR HIM ON MY WALK SOUTH. HE PLANS TO BE IN SEATTLE IN 20 DAYS. HE THEN PEDALS TO BELLINGHAM FOR A DAY OR TWO...OR UNTIL THE NEXT ALASKA FERRY TO LEAVE BELLINGHAM FOR JUNO, ALASKA.
WE WILL KEEP IN TOUCH VIA BLOG, E-MAIL, AND CELL.
I FULLY EXPECT TO MEET AGAIN WITH VLADIMIR MANY TIMES...EVENTUALLY, IN HIS PRESENT HOME, SOFIA, BULGARIA.
NOW...ABOUT THIS LITTLE RED SCHOOL HOUSE. IT IS A "FREE" MUSEUM, A PART OF A RESORT RV PARK....NOT THE LEAST OF WHICH WAS - SEE NEXT PIC.

A GIGANTIC HERD OF AT LEAST 250 ELK WERE CALMLY MUNCHING PLENTIFUL GRASS NEXT TO THE RED SCHOOL HOUSE...AND ALL THE WAY TO BESIDE US 101, WHICH YOU SEE ONLY A FEW FEET FROM THESE STATELY FELLOWS AND GALS.
WANTED TO TAKE MANY MORE PHOTOGRAPHS, BUT AS I APPROACHED, THEY LOOKED WARILY AT ME AND I GOT THE FEELING OF SOME SORT OF SACREDNESS...A MASSIVE COLLECTION OF TRUSTING MAJESTIC ANIMALS, KNOWING THEIR SAFETY WAS ASSURED EVEN AS TRUCKS AND CARS ROARED PAST ONLY A FEW FEET AWAY.
I SIMPLY COULD NOT DISTURB THEM.


ALWAYS TRYING TO GET THAT MAGICAL IMAGE FOR KRAM...THE FEELING OF US 101 FALLING OFF A STEEP MOUNTAIN...OR A POUNDING RAIN.
THIS IMAGE CAUGHT MY IMAGINATION...A PRECIPICE FALLING INTO THE UNKNOWN...VERY MUCH LIKE A ROLLER COASTER, OR THE REALITY OF MY RECENT SAND DUNE BUGGY RIDE FALLING DOWN VERTICAL WALLS OF SAND.
HOW AM I DOING, KRAM?



THE SAND BARRIER BLOCKING THE POUNDING PACIFIC OCEAN SURF...KEEPING THE VAST "BIG LAGOON" CLEAR OF SALT...RETAINING THE "FRESH WATER" STATUS POSTED BY CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.




VLADIMIR TOLD ME TWO THINGS ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY...ALWAYS PUT SOMETHING IN TE FOREGROUND - ACHIEVES 3-D TYPE DEPTH...AND,
LOOK FOR A SMALL FIELD OF SUNSHINE...IT ENHANCES THE IMAGE YOUR PHOTOGRAPH IS AFTER.

NEVER TOO OLD TO LEARN.



AS A YACHTSMAN, THIS IS A DREADED "DEAD HEAD". OFTEN LURKING JUST INCHES BELOW THE SURFACE, SUCH A MENACE WILL PUNCH A RATHER LARGE HOLE IN THE BOW OF YOUR VESSEL.
THIS PARTICULAR DEAD HEAD IS THANKFULLY PARTIALLY ABOVE WATER, EASILY SEEN BY NAVIGATORS THROUGH "BIG LAGOON", NEARING TRINIDAD, CALIFORNIA.

I HAVE ENCOUNTERED A RATHER DISTURBING SEQUENCE OF CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION CUSTOMS AND RESTRICTIONS.
RECENTLY CROSSING THE STATE OF OREGON, WHERE ODOT HAS 4-STAR CAMP GROUNDS EVERY 10 MILES OR SO AND ENCOURAGE WEARY DRIVERS TO PULL OFF US 101 AT ONE OF THE MANY "WIDE SPOTS" TO GET PLENTY OF REST AT ALL TIMES OF DAY OR NIGHT...CALIFORNIA, ON THE OTHER HAND
HAS IMPLEMENTED A NEARLY 100% PROHIBITION OF STOPPING OR PARKING ANYWHERE ALONG US 101 FROM 12:00 MIDNIGHT TO 5:00 AM; I.E., IT IS NOT ALLOWED TO PULL OFF THE ROADWAY EVEN THOUGH NUMEROUS "WIDE SPOTS" ARE AVAILABLE. IN ADDITION:
CALIFORNIA "CAMP GROUNDS" ARE RARE AND VERY FAR BETWEEN. WHEN FINALLY FOUND, THE CONSIST OF A PARKING LOT WITH NO SERVICES, SAVE FOR A PASSIVE TOILET WHICH NO SELF RESPECTING TUSH WOULD COME CLOSE TO, AND A SOMETIMES WATER SPIGOT - IF IT CAN BE FOUND...
ALL THIS FOR THE SUM OF $20.00 PER NIGHT OR RISK OF A CITATION.
I ASKED ONE STATE PARK HOSTESS WHY THIS IS SO: CALIFORNIA HAS NO $$ TO SPEND ON PARKS...IN THIS ENTIRE COUNTY WE HAVE ONE MAINTENANCE PERSON...ALL SEPTIC INSTALLATIONS HAVE COLLAPSED AND ARE CLOSED...AND NO, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO "CAMP" ALONG ANY ROADWAY.
CALIFORNIA...YOU HAVE A VERY LARGE PROBLEM...ONE WHICH WILL DRIVE AWAY TOURISTS AND DENY LOCAL BUSINESSES OF REVENUE...
SPEAKING OF LOCAL BUSINESSES, I STOPPED AT A RV PARK (GOOD SAM), AND WAS TOLD THAT OF THE NUMEROUS RV PARKS AROUND TRINIDAD, NONE ARE CONSIDERED DESIRABLE...DID NOT QUESTION FURTHER...JUST KEPT DRIVING UNTIL:
5 MILES OR SO SOUTH OF TRINIDAD, CALIFORNIA, PRECISELY ON THE SAND BEACH NOT 50 YARDS FROM THE POUNDING SURF, I CAME UPON A CALIFORNIA "CAMPING" PLACE. FOR $13.00 - BEING A SENIOR AND A VETERAN - I RECEIVED A PARKING SPACE, FILTHY TOILET, AND A SPIGOT FOR WATER...EMBARRASSING TO SAY THE LEAST.
NOT 100 YARDS AWAY IS A NEW MAGNIFICENT "FREEWAY", FORBIDDING PEDESTRIANS, FORBIDDING ANY STOPPING EXCEPT FOR EMERGENCY. I HAVE YET TO RECEIVE A REPLY TO MY MANY QUERIES AS TO HOW I AM TO WALK THROUGH CALIFORNIA UNDER THESE CONDITIONS.
I EXPECT TO FIND AN ACCEPTABLE ANSWER; BUT, AS YET, I AM STYMIED.

DAILY REPORT: WALKED 14 MILES - DOUBLED - TODAY. COUNT 14 MILES
SEE YOUR IMPACT.ORG: CREDIT 14 MILES @ $0.02 PER MILE = $0.28 FOR THE DAY
TODAY, I HAVE SUFFERED A BIT. CLIMBING THE STEEP TRAIL OF THE TREES OF MYSTERY PULLED MY RIGHT FOOT/LEG MUSCLES/TENDONS. IT IS BECOMING QUITE SORE HAVING TO NEGOTIATE NUMEROUS SHORT BUT STEEP HILLS TODAY.
ALSO, A CONSTANT POUNDING RAIN HAS HAMPERED HILL CLIMBING AND DESCENDING. HAVE DEVELOPED A BACK SPASM - PERHAPS FROM THE WET, COLD, AND STEEP ROADWAYS.
BEEN NEARLY TWO MONTHS WITHOUT A DAY OFF...PERHAPS I NEED TO SIT FOR A DAY AND MEND A BIT.


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