Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Point Lobos Chill Day

Waxing Gibbous Moon

Today was the nice day I have been trying to have for weeks. Whew! I feel better!

I don't know what has been holding me back so long from firing up Spugly and heading for Point Lobos State Natural Reserve between Carmel-by-the-Sea and Big Sur. The COVID I guess. I have been really good about protecting myself from exposure so far, so that  is part of it. And the park was closed for a while, too. But for some reason, even though I really wanted to go for the last week especially, I have held back. 

Today, though, I turned my wanderlust loose. I drove the forty-five minutes over there, paid my senior rate $9 day use fee, parked in the little lot at Whaler's Cove, and set out on a long looping walk under gorgeous, practically perfect conditions. There were several people on the trail heading up and around the north side, but everybody wore masks and they gave me plenty of room. That made things really smooth and after a while, most of them turned around to go back to their cars, leaving me in my Palomino element, alone with the beauty of creation.

I saw lots of pelicans and cormorants mostly sunning themselves on rocks, but some flying around on fish patrol. The sea otters were out in force, too, but although I could hear sea lions, I never spotted any all afternoon.

Aside from sea birds and a few little wrens, I didn't see any other live animals. At the Whalers Cabin, which was closed due to the virus, I saw the dried old vertebrae, ribs, and pelvis of a long ago harpooned whale, secured by cables to the yard circling the cabin. I cannot believe people would actually row themselves out to sea in wooden boats no bigger than a Chevy Suburban with a harpoon and a long rope to attack something that huge and haul it in to shore. Too weird for me!

I'm not really sure that is a pelvic bone. It might be more like shoulder blades. Whatever it is or was, though, it was attached to the vertebrae and musculature of a pretty big whale. And some pretty aggressive whalers fought it clear out of the ocean. Nuts!

On the south side of the park are deposits called turbidites, rock formations left behind by powerful turbidity currents, kind of like underwater avalanches. These turbidites and layered sedimentary rocks are called the Carmelo Formation locally, deposited when sea level was higher and the underlying granitic intrusions were mostly uncovered. The turbidity currents carried sand and mud and gravel down a relatively narrow area like an avalanche chute and deposited them in thick layers on top of the Santa Lucia granite. The result is a really beautiful, now-exposed scene that gets pounded and eroded by crashing waves, dominated by dark brown strata, gnarly conglomerates, with occasional hoodoos and small, black, gravelly beaches. 

I walked for three blissful clambering hours, taking a quick ten minute break for a peanut butter and banana sandwich at Hidden Beach, sitting on a bench and watching the sea otters play.

If every day was like today, I guess I would simply be in heaven. 

Peace, Love, and Paradise,

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Photos and Figures

Waxing Crescent Moon

I received an email from some Texas dude named Brian who said the photos and figures in Walks Far Man should have been in color. I agree with him, in fact I thought they would be in color up until yesterday when I finally got a peek at an actual physical book. Am I disappointed? Yes, but mostly I am grateful for my brother John's efforts in using his Adobe editing skills to increase the resolution on said photos and figures. They are much better than they would have been otherwise and I can't thank him enough. 

In an attempt to provide the very best of literary pleasure for my readers, I have loaded all the photographs and all of the maps, etc. on a pdf which I am offering free to anybody who wants it right here on my wonderful blog. That way, Brian and other alert bookworms will be able to open the pdf and view everything in color and at whatever magnification you choose. Hopefully, this will add to your experience and maybe even tickle your fancies. All you have to do is email me and request the pdf. I am a compulsive email checker and a gosh-durn reliable email reply guy whenever I am home at my laptop. 

So now I am going to insert the Shawn-Monique-created Walks Far Man logo below this sentence and then I will go for a long walk to enhance my own health and happiness.

Peace, Love, and Customer Service,


Friday, October 9, 2020

Walks Far Man

 Third Quarter Moon

I've been working on this book forever and it is finally done. I really, really hope you like it. And I really, really hope you tell all your friends about it, too. 

The stunning cover art was a creation of local artist Shawn Monique Del Gado. I have a feeling this will not be her last book cover!

Walks Far Man: In Step with History on the Pacific Crest Trail

Peace, Love, and Books Make Great Gifts!


Friday, October 2, 2020

Distraction Days

Waning Gibbous Moon

Last night's Harvest Moon was large and in charge and orange, not unlike someone else we know. The air quality here took a turn for the Unhealthy category again, producing smoky skies and scratchy eyes, but it did make the Moon look cool. This photo was taken through a telescope by local astronomy buff Ron Ober.

Rhetorical question: do we need any more evidence that we should be wearing masks and avoiding crowds, people? 

The press is no longer talking about $750 or white supremacy, so I will. 


White supremacy groups are f^^^ing evil. Evil Evil Evil Evil Evil Evil Evil Evil Evil Evil Evil Evil Evil.

There. Got that out of my system for a little while. 

To flee from the gunk settling down into San Juan Valley, yesterday I drove up the canyon to Fremont Peak State Park for a masked, sweaty two-hour walk. The usual long views of the Salinas Valley, Monterey Bay, and San Benito County were gray and fuzzy, but the up-close details of the woods and the outcrops were pretty cool. I only saw a couple of other people up there, so it was peaceful and really really quiet.

On a marble outcrop along the trail to the peak I found a little mantis critter staring at me, completely still, trying its best to be invisible, waiting patiently for the huge, hopefully benevolent intruder to pass. I could relate. I think if you click on the photo, you will get an enlarged look (assuming you are viewing the website version of this post).

As usual, the exertion and focus of hiking improved my outlook and shook away some of the bad vibes  from the fires and the politics. I am so grateful for my health, now 1,532 miles into my 2020 in 2020 Challenge and on schedule to complete the goal on time. Next year, if I am still bound to the home front by COVID, I think I will shift to a bicycle-based workout with hikes mixed in for fun. I miss riding my bike. If I am free to roam, though, look out, America, I'm coming to get ya again, haha.

My book should be released in a week or two, if the Great Cosmic Muffin cooperates.

Peace, Love, and Pray for Rain,