Wednesday May 13: After spending the night at Standish-Hickey State Park on California Highway 101, we arrive in the mid-afternoon at the home of our friends, Kate and Randall.
We are spending time at their lovely home as their guests, as well as for the business of Carnicom Institute, as Kate has been an important member of CI staff for several years. After we get settled into their sweet guest cottage, Kate, Clifford, and I take a walk through the neighborhood; I marvel at the great old trees and the abundance of blooming shrubs and colorful flowers.
Thursday May 14: Kate comes over to visit with us before she leaves for a morning teaching gig. She and I do some yoga stretches; she knows many poses and it feels good to stretch and relax tense muscles. When she returns home, we all pile into their car and head to the ocean. At Bodega Bay we have a delicious lunch of clam sandwiches at a little café with outdoor seating. From where we sit, we can see a myriad of fishing boats in the inlet and sea gulls drifting about. Talk about ambiance!
Then we head on out to Bodega Head and I am delighted to see the great expanse of ocean, stretching away like infinity, and a rugged coastline with ice plants and poppies blooming on the bluffs.
We walk along the edge of the bluff, high above the ocean, and watch the waves crash against rocks out from the shore before they race on toward the rocky shoreline. The men saw a whale, and perhaps I caught a glimpse, but nothing like a tall spout of water or a huge tail.
There is a trail down to a beach, a span of sand between the rocky bluffs and sheer cliff walls, but it is too late in the afternoon to make the trek down, as we have a call scheduled with staff members of the institute.
We pose for photos before heading back to their home.
It was a lovely day to be at the ocean; I wish we could have stayed longer.
After the call, we have a tasty chicken dinner with Kate; Randall has gone to a class. I download and edit photos while Kate and Clifford watch music videos. When she begins to play the harp and sing, I leave my computer to listen, as she has a most lovely voice; if she is not Irish, she at least has the soul of a Celtic ballad-songster.
Friday May 15:After breakfast we – Kate, Clifford, and I – sit on their back deck, which overlooks a lovely back area of lawn surrounded by flowering trees and flower beds. Roses and rhododendron are especially lush and colorful.
Kate and Clifford work on a CI project while I take care of the CI email. When Kate learns that our Blazer has developed an oil leak, she takes things in hand and finds a mechanic who will, on short notice, take a look at it. While the mechanic looks at the Blazer, we three go to a nearby specialty pizza place for lunch. By the time we are done with lunch, not only did the mechanic diagnose the cause of the leak, but he has repaired the Blazer and it is good-to-go. Boy, are we lucky and relieved, thanks to Kate for finding us the right guy at the right time.
Back at the home of our gracious hosts, we go over to the guest house while Kate and Randall have the evening to themselves. Clifford continues with his studies, while I complete and post blogs of our time in Oregon on Paulina Creek and catch up on email.
About 10:00 p.m., Kate comes over. I thought she and Randall had already gone to bed, but she has some thoughts she wants to share with us, both in regard to changes in her life as well as her work with Carnicom Institute. Before we know it, it is midnight, but instead of going to bed, we make quesadillas and tea, and continue with our discussions until 1:30 a.m.
Saturday May 16: We are going out to Bodega Head again today, which pleases me very much. Along the winding road, we stop at a bakery to buy a couple loaves of delicious fresh bread, tour an organic garden lush with vegetables, and browse through a specialty shop carrying unique clothing and textiles (it would sure be fun to go in there with a couple hundred dollars to spend!), before arriving at Bodega Bay for another yummy clam lunch.
Today the Bodega Head parking lot is full and we park alongside the road a ways from the overlook. Many people are gathered there to watch the grey whales as they migrate from the lagoons of Baja California to the Arctic Ocean.
We cross the upward sloping bluff until we reach the path where we walked yesterday, but this time we go on to the trail that leads down to the beach. It is cold and windy along the ocean’s shore. Clifford and Kate hang out by a big rock in the sun out of the wind at the backside of the sandy beach, while Randall watches the waves, peacefully observant of all that is happening around us.
I am enchanted by the waves coming in, each one unique, some making a big splash as they crash playfully against the rocks of the rugged shoreline on either side of the sandy beach area. These big splashes are what I try to capture with my camera, but I miss more than I catch. Here’s where a DSLR would really outshine my otherwise very capable G1X point-&-shoot. Someone points out that a seal is frolicking in the waves just a ways off-shore. Perhaps I have his head in a photo or two. It is still the big crashing waves that command my attention.
I’d love to stay longer, mesmerized by the motion of the waves, but everyone else is ready to go, and we need time to prepare for the presentation that Clifford will be giving tonight – a synopsis of his 17 years of research into the health and environmental issues that are confronting all of us.
The presentation, beginning with a delicious potluck, is well-attended. Clifford’s talk is informative, detailing the course of his research from noticing aerosol spraying polluting the sky in 1998 to his current research into the health issues that many people are facing. This is followed by another hour of Q & A. People are concerned about what is happening to their health and to our planet. After the guests leave, Kate comes over to further the discussion; it is quite late by time we all head to bed.
It has been a very good visit – the enjoyment of spending time with friends doing fun stuff, as well as the accomplishments in regard to Carnicom Institute. Tomorrow we will be on our way; other views and venues await us.