He parks next to an old VW bus with brightly colored dancing bears on the rear window. It’s barely eight AM and the curtains are drawn closed. He quietly skirts around the sleeping occupants and hits the trail head.
The sky is overcast, the ocean a faint roar as he starts walking down under the protection of the forest.
He reaches the Pacific sooner than anticipated, and find a makeshift hut of driftwood housing a surfing couple. The wet suits are hanging on sticks, toes visible under warm blankets.

Schooner Gulch has the air of something special about to happen, he wonders if he’ll be a witness to the magic.

The tide is high. Scrambling to higher ground on the rocks whose tips are still showing until he finds a perch that will keep him dry.

A lone gull watches him with bemusement. He stares back until the bird flies off. The kelp is slowly moving like a giant prehistoric animal among the incoming waves.

After a spell, he hikes to the top of the cliffs and finds a sandy spot. It’s a perfect locale to set up and watch for whales to the West as the fog rolls across the hills to the East.

The stop motion of the shutter gives him time to explore the subtle nuances of plant life that cling to the crags along the cliffs edge. The sun has yet to make an appearance, and so all of life is captured in black and white.

It’s a contrast that fits the day, and the area. A hard and lonely life for the inhabitants here, but the weary look and weather beaten wrinkles of time can not dissuade the peacefulness you find.

Mendocino County.
The Pacific Ocean.
Schooner Gulch.

Only memories remain.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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