dan blocker to the pier

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About to be swamped

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My girlfriend A and I took a little break from beach hiking while she went and got married. We were back at it this past weekend, hiking from Dan Blocker Beach to Malibu Pier. The tide was rising, which was not ideal. But we didn’t want to wait another week so we went anyway. It meant a lot of rock scrambling, and some unsuccessful wave dodging.

Some folk who live beachside on the Malibu coast strongly discourage ‘trespassers’. But it’s our legal right to traverse the beach/rocks up to the high tide line, and even higher if it is unsafe closer to the water. Which it kinda was, in a few places.

We happened upon a baby sealion up on the rocks, who we hope was OK. No mama in sight, but it didn’t look injured, as far as we could tell. We clambered on, getting wet up to our crotches. How we laughed.

walkabout malibu to mexico

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Untitled Untitled Inspired by this book, my girlfriend and I spent a second day walking the coast, over rocks and tidepools, under soaring bluffs, along empty sandy stretches between point and pier, past stinky seals lounging in the warm winter sun. Counting our blessings with every sandpiper, every anemone.

happy new year

Hello 2015

Tidal zen garden #beach #hiking #newyearsday #walkaboutmalibutomexico

#beach #hiking #cormorants #newyearsday

#foundart #beach #hiking #newyearsday

Goodbye 2014

“Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail.
Sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war,
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best intentions do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen; may it happen for you.”

~ Sheenagn Pugh

birthday camping trip

With my birthday approaching, I knew how I wanted to celebrate it: getting grubby around a campfire. So the Guy + dog & I headed for the hills inland from Santa Barbara, where we found ourselves a place by a creek in the Los Padres National Forest.

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Due to recent rain, the brook was babbling ….

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… and the wildflowers were out.

Hours were spent hiking …

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… and staring at flames.

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The weather was perfect, and a good time was had by all.

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After two days, we took the high road home, scoping out possibilities for the next camping trip, which will require a 4WD. As I’ve been saying for, oh, six months now, I really do need to get myself one of them.

new years hike

Flowering plant that looks a bit like Pacific Wax Myrtle

At first, he said he didn’t want to go anywhere too steep. But then he urged me to the summit, when I might have turned back earlier. We got a great workout and the view was lovely. A perfect way to start the year.

the peace of wild things

Fence lizard

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry

(this is why i hike)

tar creek

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We couldn’t go camping, but we spent the day far from other humans anyway. I’m filthy, exhausted, and very very happy. Oh, how I need this time in nature. I’m so very grateful to finally have a partner who wants to share in it.

labyrinth

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Saturday had some difficult moments, as others made their surprising expectations known. Yesterday we climbed a big hill and talked about it all: dreams and plans, us and them, the life we could possibly craft together. In a world of unknowns and uncertainties, one thing is feeling more and more sure: I want to be with him.

ok so i’m a bit stubborn

The weather people said, “Heat wave coming. Like, possibly the highest temperatures ever recorded on earth. It’s going to be really hot.”

The Guy said, “Maybe we shouldn’t go camping this weekend. It’s going to be really hot.”

His mother said, “I’m really very worried about you going camping. Not just for your sakes. For Bodie’s too. It’s going to be really hot.”

Middle Lion campground

I said, “But … but … but … I really want to go camping! It’s been two months! If we don’t go this weekend, we won’t be able to go for another month or so!” I didn’t quite stamp my foot, but maybe I did pout a little.

Lion Creek

So we went. And it was, unsurprisingly, really really hot. 108F/42C. Way too hot for a long haired dog, let alone her humans.

Hot hot Bodie

We found a lovely little primitive campground, on the banks of Lion Creek. Unfortunately, 30 cub scouts and their leaders found it too. We could deal with them OK but then a dozen or more teenage party people rocked up … and rocked on, complete with vomitous sound effects till 3 AM.

Reminded me of Jabba the Hutt
Can you see Jabba the Hutt?

I used to be a teenager. I haven’t forgotten. But I’ve always had a huge reluctance to disturb neighbours with loud noises. My muffler would have been especially active in a remote campground where others have come to escape from it all, I would think.

Not so, these yahoos.

And did I mention it was really really hot?

Lion Creek

But yeah, pretty.

I’m not sorry I went. But maybe next time there’s a Heat Emergency Advisory, I’ll postpone.

Or maybe not. Because sometimes I just really need to go camping.

camping

Desert globemallow

Charcoal kilns

Sierra Woolly Indian Paintbrush

The road to Thorndike campground

Shooting wildflowers

Kettle's on!

Mmmmm, breakfast!

Desert iguana

Trying to persuade Bodie to join me

Sycamore Trees

So much beauty. So much fun. So many cool places to return to. So many side roads yet to explore.

I fell in love with the planet all over again. And with the company.

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