We took a short vacation out multiple days with the Tag to the Lost Coast in northern California last week. I’d first heard about the area as a backpacking trail which mostly follows the surf line through the King’s Range National Conservation Area. It took us over 6 hrs. to get there; the last 30 miles from Ferndale to Petrolia on a windy, hilly, barely two lane road. I was very happy to be in the Jeep. The last 6 miles were mostly on an unpaved road with one creek crossing as we headed towards Mattole Beach, the trailhead for backpacking north to south.
The Mattole Beach campground is on BLM land, with only 15 undeveloped sites, and has only potable water and vault toilets. The sites are good sized and we scored one at the edge of the dunes. We were a little disappointed about not being able to see the water directly, but soon discovered the dunes were protecting us from the winds.
Looking north and south from our campsite:
Our first hike was via the beach to Mattole River which empties into the Pacific; maybe a mile one way. The dogs were having a blast running all over and of course Chloe investigated the surf immediately.
We had great weather throughout with one day of severe winds. Unfortunately that’s the day we had planned to hike to the old lighthouse; maybe 3-4 miles south. About 2 miles out with the wind, we knew it’d take twice as long to get back against the wind. Coupled with soft sands and really tired dogs, we headed back, never reaching the lighthouse.
This was our longest time out with the Tag and the first to use our solar setup to keep our trailer battery charged. I’m excited to say, we didn’t run out of juice for the entire trip. Of course, we don’t use much; the refrigerator is on all the time, but we only use the lights for bedding down, and had no use for the fan this trip with cooler weather.
Being so close to the redwoods we took a little diversion on the way home via Avenue of the Giants. K loves trees!
Chasing Ice, a film released in 2012 by photographer James Balog. An incredible documentary of the effects of climate change. Balog has used stills, video, and time lapse photography to show what’s happening to our glaziers. Available from iTunes. Let’s ride more……
My travels were filled with cathedrals and castles. How they built these structures remains a mystery to me. Every town I visited had at least one castle and many church/cathedrals. Here’s a few…….
A complicated history of religion, politics, oppression, and revolution in Ireland when one brings up matters of the spirit. I was a bit confused regarding all the cathedrals. St. Patrick’s is actually Anglican, not Catholic, a part of the Church of Ireland. Unusual to have two cathedrals so close to each other; Christ Church Cathedral (below) just a few blocks walk from St. Patrick’s. The story goes that St. Patrick’s was built outside the city walls so as to avoid “rules of the church.”
We attended a service in Christ Church one evening, called Evensong. The entire service sung by the cathedral’s choir. It was incredibly beautiful.
A huge castle in, you guessed it, Kilkenny! Owned by the Butler family for centuries, when the Republic of Ireland was established the family deserted the castle. Left vacant and falling into disrepair it was finally sold to a historic organization for the sum of 50£.
Black Abbey, so called because of the color of the robes the monks wore.
We spent an afternoon hiking in Killarney National Park. After about 2 miles of countryside the end of the path led to this, Ross Castle, sitting on the edge of Killarney Lake.
Cobh (pronounced “cove”) was a short 20 min. train ride from Cork. A small town of somewhat historical significance. Besides being the last stop for the Titanic before it headed across the Atlantic, Cobh also was the major location for the Irish to leave Ireland during the potato famine in the 1800’s.
There hasn’t been much bike riding for me the last month or so. I’ve gotten out once a week for a road ride. Half of my weekends have been spent completing assignments for my photography classes. I’m learning a lot, and I think my skills are improving; I know my knowledge is. Also, I spent one weekend at my mom’s (SoCal) helping her get ready for her big move. Now a bunch of overtime at work is on the books for May and June, and somewhere between that is my 11 day vacation. That’s when I’m hoping to get some more riding in. Looks like I’ll be heading to Tahoe for some camping and mountain biking. Last year this time there was still snow on the ground. Not this year but it’s still pretty cold. I’m going anyways.
Everyone likes pictures……..here’s an example of my latest work, some shooting I was doing in Oakland. This is the civic center, and my first HDR attempt. Hope you like it.
Definition of Undertime: not having enough personal time to stay sane because you’ve worked too much overtime. I survived 24 additional hours of overtime last week. I took a vacation day yesterday but I was just too tired to take a ride. Plus, I had to spend the day getting my photography assignment submitted. Anyways, I’m hoping for the return of the “normal” work week. I know I have this weekend off and I’m going to a Walker Evans exhibit at Stanford Museum, and looking forward to getting back on the bike. Here’s one of my pictures I submitted this week. Notice anything funny?