Saturday, August 24, 2013
Emerging from the frigid waters are small islands of rocks. They look like the dropped pebbles from a giant child. There are a few dozen, several covered in white bird droppings. They look massive and temporary at the same time- strong and yet susceptible to all the elements, to every bird and human travelling along the coast.
The beaches far below, inaccessible to those without wings, are covered in bleached white logs from long-ago felled timber. Strewn every which way on the white sand, they stay until high tide and then continue on their journey.
The road snakes through the inclines and down into the forested valleys, winding, creating switchbacks. Pale, slightly overcast blue skies contrast with the deep dark blue of the sea. A slight bit of haze gathers at the horizon, promising more fog.
The cliff sides are rocks, jutting and made of slightly red earth that seems to be a combination of sand and stone. The mountains teem with life and vegetation. Bushes and shrubs cover it in every shade of green. Wild flowers poke out from rock faces and at the edge of the road where the tar has crumbled back into sandy earth.
A mixture of pale yellow and bright orange California poppies spot the landscape. Tiny yellow buds on top of wispy stems rise several feet from the earth and look like a million bright stars, left somehow ignited in the daylight. A smattering of tiny purple and pink flowers are all mingled with the beige, dried up coastal grasses that sprout from every available surface.
The road coils like a black snake, up and down hills and mountains, through thick brush on either side, sliced through reddish earth. Wild fennel and mustard plants line up along the sides of the road like soft guardians. The fennel, bushy and soft like feathers, the mustard, bright and electric yellow buds sway in the salty coastal air.
Only a few hundred feet from the road the forest begins, thick woods with pine and redwood and enormous ferns. Every now and then is a house, part of the ecology of the mountain.
The moon, a thin crescent, hangs high above, still bright against the blue sky.