Spring Break ➞ Memorial Day Weekend

View of our campsite at Treebones Resort in Big Sur.  We had one full day of sun although on the morning we left it rained four inches in two hours.  This tent and its stellar rain fly kept us dry through it all.

At the start of this year I embarked upon a futile effort to keep a daily, factual journal where I would document everything that would happen to me every single day.  I told myself that I would record only the facts, leaving out any feelings or emotions connected to my daily experiences.  My reasoning was that the facts always outlast the feelings and that the emotions tied to an experience are fleeting, and they inevitably change with the stacking of time and added experience.

The parameters I had set up for myself was destined for failure.  I was spending a good hour a day writing in my moleskin notebook, one of two I purchased for the endeavor.  It became obvious quickly that my minute to minute experiences, recorded in an objective writing style, were very boring.  At least in comparison to my restrained minute to minute feelings on such experiences (which I didn’t allow myself to write about).

Want to know what I ate for a snack on January 10th, 2012? Me neither.

On top of the time commitment and boredom was my record of being a shoddy journal writer.  By setting up the rules beforehand I figured I could avoid the emotional diatribes and drivel of past journaling efforts. I never was able to finish a journal.  I was never able to sustain any effort to document in words a life that I would want to revisit in my later years.  I have a pile of journals whose entries stretch back over twenty years and which contain more empty pages than full.  And nothing really has changed.  I don’t find journaling therapeutic.  And my current-self’s memory of my experiences has always served as a more sincere reminder of my past than anything that I’ve written about it.

So with that said I’m returning to this blog with the stink of failure still emanating from this last analog journaling effort, and with the clarity of proper reflection driving me to stick with what I’m good at…photography. My photographs will undoubtedly serve as superior generators of the emotions I seek in revisiting my past experiencesAnd I believe they’ll be a more concise medium for sharing my experiences with others.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park: This is the view from the foundation of a house that belonged to the former residence of 1920’s California State Representative Lathrop Brown. Only the stone foundation of the property still exists, giving this viewpoint an abandoned, eery quality. The water is an incredible turquoise and you can see the 80-foot waterfall falling on the inaccessible beach.

I’ve scattered among this post photographs from my spring break trip to California and a trip to the Oregon coast last weekend.  In mid-April Katlin and I packed into my Mazda and set out on a road trip with our southern most destination being Big Sur, Ca.  We had dinner with my brother, his wife Naomi, and my niece Dahlia in San Francisco.  The next day we headed south and spent a night in Santa Cruz, then two in Big Sur, one in the Point Montara Lighthouse hostel, and a final California night among the redwoods in Jedidiah Smith State Park.  Our last night was spent on the Oregon Coast in Neskowin, where I met Katlin’s wonderful mother and father. We managed to avoid any of the many disasters that can unhinge a long road trip on a budget and had an amazing time.

For one of our lunches in Big Sur we headed out with a picnic to a spot I had scoped out on the drive to Treebones. Driving by I had noticed an opening through a cattle fence marked with a forest service sign.   I convinced Katlin to follow me into what turned out to be an otter reserve set on a beautiful tract of land. It was really the best picnic spot I’ve ever dropped a crumb at.

After spending a single night over spring break with Katlin’s parents in Neskowin, I was committed to making it back for Memorial Day weekend.  Many of Katlin’s family were in town for Saturday when we arrived.  Her cousin is a writer and was in the area for his book tour, her other cousin and his wife were there, her brother and sister and her family, grandma, and grandpa were all in the house for what turned into quite the party.  We were greeted by the sounds of martini shakers and the smells of the bbq and a seafood bounty.  Oysters, salmon, rockfish, prawns, and flank steak covered the protein end of things.  The half gallon of Bulleit bourbon we brought as our offering to the festivities was emptied by the night’s end.

Beehives in a flowering field on the way to Neskowin. I’m not sure what kind of flowers these are but the whole operation smelled incredible

We spent Sunday mostly recovering.  Katlin and I slept in my tent in the backyard and I’ve never slept that late in a tent in my life.  The combination of soft grass, the sound from the creek running along the property, and a small distillery’s worth of bourbon & co. led to a very restful night.  The beach was about a city block from her folks’ place and we spent a lot of time there.  We threw the baseball back and forth and generally enjoyed the sea air’s muting of the seasonal allergies we both suffer from.

This is looking south on Proposal Rock beach. Those scattered rocks are petrified stumps from when the forest reached down that far and before the water level rose to where it is today. I had never seen anything like them. Perfectly preserved and making surfing on that end of the beach impossible.

On Monday before our reluctant departure we took a drive over to Pacific City to climb on the dunes, eat lunch, and enjoy the unexpected sunshine.  I had never seen a dory boat in action and these maniacs drive their 30+ foot long wooden hull boats right onto the beach where the truck and trailer await.  Because the captain’s objective is to get the boats as far up into the shore as possible, they gun it through the last 30-40 meters before shore and hit the sand at full speed, horns blaring.  With the amount of people on the beach on any given sunny day it can often lead to tragedy. I was told about an 8 year old girl being run over and killed a couple years prior and there is this story about a young surfer losing his arm to one of these.

A dory onshore after landing on the beach at Pacific City, Oregon

After a climb up the dunes and a hamburger lunch we headed back to Seattle.  This trip to Pacific City was short and sweet, a sort of pre-summer vacation that has me really looking forward to this coming Friday and the last day of classes.  I’ve got big things planned for this summer and plan on sharing the adventures through photography and a sprinkling of commentary.  The goal is write less but post more, and I think with the downtime ahead that’s very attainable.