I awoke early, before sunrise. Stepped outside and gazed upward. The sky was brimming with stars. Counting the stars in this sky would be like counting the drops of water in the Pacific.
Living in coastal Southern California, you have a tendency to forget about stars in the sky. Between the light pollution and the marine layer, we only glimpse a few here and there. That and the fact that we are constantly distracted by the ocean, and the sunsets, and all the other earthly grandeur. So the only stars we see are those in LA. I wonder if that’s why they call them movie stars, to make up for the lack of visibility of real stars?
So much light, so much sea
Stars on TV
Keep our eyes grounded
But theres a whole galaxy
Out there for us to explore
And universes beyond our comprehension
Out of the glare and the fog
So much light. So much to see.
Counting the stars would be
Like counting the drops in the sea
I begin to understand what matters.
I bid goodby to Bob and his partner in the morning.
Overnight another VW Vanagon pulled up next to me. Three VW’s in a row. I packed up and pulled out of the site waving to them, and heading to the shower. Hot water felt good after a few days of cold showers. Afterward I felt bad about not stopping by the newcomers to say high so I headed back over there. It was two young guys from SLO. They were out camping for a week. We chatted about VW shops in the area. They recommended a place called Honest Engine in Eureka. I made a mental note, just in case.
I passed on breakfast again and packed up for the road. Lots of driving to do today. My new friend Bob told me about a road that leads to a trail that leads to an abandoned lighthouse. That was my goal.
I drove north towards Mottole Road, and then headed west to Lighthouse Road. There was a gate where I was supposed to pull over onto a turnoff that was a wonderful exposed spot overlooking the ocean. I found a gate, but pushed on because it didn’t seem to meet the description. Then another and another. Finally I hit a gate with a sign that said:
It had some pretty rugged looking vehicles parked there. But after the Usal Road adventure I was pretty confident in my little bus. So we proceed, but with caution. The trail plummeted hundreds of feet. It was manageable going down, but there was one section of which I made a mental note that I’d need to be mindful coming back up. I bounced down to the end of Windy Point.
There was an old rusted sign here, and I could only imagine what used to be written thereupon.
I packed a small pack and took off down the foot trail to the beach.
There was a house down at the mouth of a creek.
Crossing the creek there were some hikers that had been on the California Coastal Trail. Probably for days if not more. Watching made me weary, carrying their huge packs across the soft sand.
As I rounded the point she came into view. The Punta Gorda lighthouse was probably the smallest but most rugged of the California Lighthouses. She was abandoned in the 60’s and is maintained (barely) by the BLM for historical purposes
After her photo shoot, some more backpackers came north on the trail. They were carrying picks and shovels. I wondered if they were fire jumpers, but the fires were way inland from here. They had large packs and had seemingly been out here for days. I caught up to the straggler of the group and inquired. She said they were removing invasive plants. Wow. Talk about commitment to a cause. I didn’t think to ask if they were part of the USFS of the BLM.
I hiked back to the bus and we made our way up the hill. As I got to the soft sandy spot I gunned the engine and she spun her wheels but made it through. I smiled to myself as we passed the jeep that was parked at the top of the trail.