Monday, May 21, 2007

jalama mama

Back from Jalama (pronounced 'Ha-Lama') Beach. (this post is going to be pretty photo-heavy) It's always nice to be back home, isn't it? But that's not to say that we didn't have a swell time. The kid, especially, had a ball. He was so depressed this morning to wake up here in his boring, sand-free abode.

Didn't do quite as much beach combing as I'd anticipated. The winds were mighty and fierce. Day-1 was gorgeous. First part of Day-2 was the same. Should have taken advantage of those hours. The wind came in and rattled the entire campground Day-3. One of our tents snapped and came down - fortunately we had my parents' trailer to huddle in on Day-4.

We did get in one long walk in, though. Love the rugged nature of the coastline once you get out of the heart of Southern California. Just look at what the waves and wind can do to the sandstone. So beautiful. I collected several pebbles with the most beautiful wind-swirled coloring. Great source of inspiration.

Jalama Beach is just off highway-1 once it splits from the 101. You follow a 14-mile long and windy road through farmlands, vineyards and rolling golden hills dotted with oak trees. I love that landscape. Those oak trees look like fluffy green clouds. With all that wind, the fog and clouds were pushed up to the mountain tops. I love the way that fog bank just lingers up there.

The wind makes for great sand dunes. The sand was so soft! We spent a little bit of time nestled into a dune. I had my own little zen garden thing going on - meditating as the sand fell between my fingers while I raked little mounds and valleys. But as I mentioned earlier, I didn't take advantage of those calm hours. Once the wind kicked in, it was miserable down there - sand blowing every which way.

The birds huddled together to wait out the wind storm. It was fascinating watching them. A gust would occasionally lift one or two birds up and they'd just glide with the wind. No way to fly against that force.

One of the trees in this photo didn't make it through the night. The wind took down a huge cypress tree, just missing a tent (not ours). Incredible how things like that happen, isn't it? An angel must have been there to just nudge that tree trunk a few inches from the tent, to stop it a foot short from hitting a car and keep it up long enough for all the campers to be safely tucked away. That same Jalama angel must have blown the now infamous stray beach ball our way. A beach ball my son became immediately attached to - only to be blown up the hill and into my dad's path on his bike ride miles away the next day. It is now our magical Jalama beach ball. Now it's time for this Jalama mama to take on the task of unloading the car. Oh joy.

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