Sunday, October 22, 2017

along the ocean in northen california

I can't say for certain, but the northern California coast just might be the most beautiful place in the world. I love the nooks and crannies, the crashing waves, the abundance of marine life, the dramatic scenery, the redwood and oak forests, vineyards weaving in and out of the rocks and hills. Every turn of the road or trail takes your breath away.

I spent the last week absorbing all of this, both with Adrienne and friends and then by myself - the best of both worlds. Our adventures started in a picture perfect Monterey for a wedding and ended with my solo exploration of the Sonoma, Mendocino, and Humbolt County coastlines.

Our college buddy Jason got married, so the old gang - with some new members - rented a house together in Monterey. We spent the day wine tasting in Carmel Valley - super gorgeous spot.

Collan and I schooled AJ and Haeden in cornhole.

Now time for the wedding - Jason and Leticia.

The crew at Monastery Beach!

All dressed up.

And this Jaguar was our ride - in style.

Old friends.

Point Lobos on the Monterey Peninsula. 

Pelicans pelicans everywhere.

After Adrienne flew home post-wedding, I drove north to the tiny town of Shelter Cove, parked the Jag, and went with this crew to a drop off along the Lost Coast. This is one of the few places along CA coast where famous Highway 1 does not touch the ocean - the King Range is way too gnarly to put a road through. The bonus? Although you can't drive here, you can walk uninterrupted along the wild ocean for nearly 100 miles.

The north end of the Lost Coast.

Doing what I love - backpacking in beautiful places.

Walking along the beach.

 Me on my birthday feeling no pain - I drank a whole bunch of bourbon on this beach!

Early shadows.

The sun rising over the King's Range. The highest peak rises 4000 feet straight out of the ocean.

I just walked and walked and walked along the beach - all the way back to my car.

Once I was done, I drove and hiked all over NorCal from Fort Bragg to the Muir Woods. Also did some wine tasting in gorgeous fall wine country.
 Fall in the Anderson Valley.

 The iconic Sonoma coastline.

 Grateful communities spared from the devastating fires.

 A Monterey Pine in the morning fog.
 Sunrise over Tomales Bay.

Morning near Petaluma.

 Clear on the coast, near Cape Arena.

 Jughandle State Park near Fort Bragg.

 Mendocino - like going back in time to 1850.

Sunrise in another of my favorites, Point Reyes Station.

Mission San Rafael Arcangel.

The town of Dillon Beach. That is the top of Point Reyes in the distance, creating a break that was over a mile long. 

Part of what made this trip so incredible were the animals I saw - the coup de gras was the baby bobcat! But I also saw sea otters, golden eagles, ospreys, hawks, elephant seals, stellar sea lions, CA sea lions, foxes, skunks, deer, falcons, pelicans,
A juvenile bobcat - we hung out together for about 2 minutes!

Gorgeous hawk.

Bear paw prints in the sand.

Elephant seal colony.

A California sea lion colony.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

a few snaps from september

September isn't over yet, but so far its been a great one. We've traveled for work, for fun, and we've had visitors. Good times.

I spent a bit of time in New Mexico for work - it was gorgeous. We stayed in a super cool building along the the Rio Grande. I've spent very little time in this part of the world, so it was a treat to check it out.

Went out on another photo/video shoot to do some storytelling about the work we do at our college. This time it was with a team monitoring green crabs, and invasive species, out on the Olympic Peninsula.

The we had a couple of super fun visitors from back east - Abby and Jeremy. The Pacific Northwest put on a good show! We clearly enjoyed having them in town and showing them around.

 We made it to San Diego to celebrate my grandfather's 99th birthday - very special indeed.

And, we caught probably the last yoga class for the season outdoors. It's been a great summer, for sure.