Today was the touristy day–an early morning walk along the beach (with camera, of course), a long jet boat ride, a visit to the Rock City of the Redwoods, a late afternoon view of the ocean, and finally a shot of our local lighthouse garnished with a full moon. Notice I said "our" lighthouse as if we have already taken residence here. Though we are getting anxious to get home to our family, still we hate to leave this lovely, little coastal village. Trinidad, California, along with Pilot Rock Cottage, will always have a special place in our hearts.
I am by nature an early riser. Having published the blog last evening, I was free this morning to walk along the beach and capture a few shots of the rocky coastline. I made my way around 6:15, right at daybreak, down the broken-down stairway leading from the lighthouse to the beach. Only one other old codger was stirring; probably someone like me who finds himself awakened by arthritis before he really wants to get up. Since he didn't brave the stairway down to the beach, I was left with only the sounds of the seabirds, the peal of boat bells, and the slight rustle of wind among the trees and bushes. The fog was not heavy as it had been on previous mornings, but there was still enough to surround the harbor with a mysterious mist. The whole scene affected a peaceful feeling deep within me–a perfect start for the day.
When everyone was ready, we headed for our first destination–a jet boat ride along Klamath River. Now, I'll have to admit some backwardness on my part. I didn't really understand what we were doing, and had in mind a peaceful and informative ride along the river in something like a fast party boat. The experience was informative, but anything but peaceful, quickly beginning to wonder what Judy had gotten me into. I finally realized that a jet boat is like a boating version of a jet ski–fast, slippery, and lots of fun, at least for a twelve year old. The captain was our guide along the river, and along the way he pointed out bald eagles, several varieties of duck, Ospreys, Great Blue Herons, and even a rare turtle. He told us a little about the aquatic life in general, the history of the area, the devastating flood of 1964, the spawning of salmon, and the Indian tribe that had inhabited the area for centuries. All of that was of great interest to me and I faithfully listened and took pictures as I was able. Gradually along the way I came to realize that the educational part was not the main interest of the other eight passengers; they were interest in the "jet" part. Every now and then he would do what they called a 360, in which the boat would quickly make a 360 degree spin. That was fine for most folks, but for an old guy like me with vertigo–well, let me just say that when they did a 360, I continued on to a 720, and the last 360 was not much fun at all. Some might say that I got double my money's worth, but I'm not so sure about that. The good part, however, is that my twelve year old grandson absolutely loved it–I believe Judy did too, though she feigned sympathy for me!
From there, after eating a picnic lunch, we went to what felt like a redwood version of Rock City. Like yesterday, it is part of a redwood forest, only more designed for tourists. It is called "Trees of Mystery," a locally owned business started in 1946, owned by a private family, and developed to help people understand and appreciate the redwoods. I really found it more helpful than the national park, for they had signs and explanations along the way that helped me understand the redwoods much better. I made the remark that we should have gone there first and we would have known more about what we saw in the park. You might not know, for instance, that the whole earth was once completely covered with these enormous trees, only to lose many of them when the ice age ended. Did you know that the redwood bark is resistant to fire since it does not contain resin? Still you might not know that the redwood bark has certain medicinal qualities and is useful in healing certain diseases. You would learn all of this at "Trees of Mystery," taught to you in simple fashion on a six grade level. That was perfect for me, but our twelve year thought it a little juvenile. And they say we are not challenging kids today.
We topped off the afternoon with a visit to the Klamath Cove Overlook–a high parking area looking out over the Klamath River as it flows into the Pacific, one of the areas we had visited that morning on the jet boat ride. Nick said that Judy and I deserved a date night for dinner, so while he ate a pizza at the cottage, we had delicious Pacific Chinook Salmon at one of the local restaurants. After dark, as we were driving back to the cottage, Judy captured the beautiful shot of the full moon over "our," local lighthouse, one block down from our cottage. For my photography friends, she only had her iPhone, and of course its naturally wide angle lens made the moon much smaller than it should be, and I was too lazy to go up and get a telephoto lens so she could do it properly. For my other friends, I know you really did not want to know that, but you were kind to listen anyway. Hope you enjoy the images that hopefully give you some sense of what we experienced today.