Pescadero Creek | one continued, back to the previous page

behind the church parking lot but most of the time at the first oxbow near the Pacific river mouth. Watching mist rise over the water as the fog burns off is something I’ve never seen anywhere else. I think it must be the specific combination of a very flat valley floor leading to the coast, bounded on north and south by rolling hills, and the lure of the Redwoods just at the end of the valley. It’s a funnel of sorts. The air can stand calmly in this little bowl like habitat with it’s creek, redwoods, broad estuary and fertile farmlands. It’s easy to either miss or ignore a bite, while fishing, because the beauty is so overwhelming and consuming you just drift off in awe. Looking eastward, up the creek, towards the town of Pescadero while angling, bird watching or hiking, you look directly into the sun as it rises in the morning so the mist and fog take on a transcendental overtone with the added dimension of brilliant light glinting through now and again, diffused by the moist magic in the air. I’m not sure if anyone else feels it but I always have. It’s so quiet you can hear the sound of the surf pounding miles away and also hear the birds of prey calling from treetops all around, at the same time. They’re safe here. I know the feeling too.

Mystical light filled foggy mornings, rich, fertile earth, moisture in everything all the time and everywhere, and the sounds and smell of the sea all define this unique place. It’s just far enough away from the Bay Area to be crowded only on long weekends or very sunny Sunday mornings, so it’s always on it’s own time. The town is also closed to any development so it’s fixed in size as well as time. It’s a pretty long drive from anywhere, unless you live close by. I’d like to say I chose this place but I think I just got lucky. It just worked out. Some of my earliest vistas and subjects for photo excursions are still the same, while others are completely transformed by this rich, life filled environment. Vines, bushes and brambles are everywhere. I’ve really scratched up some nice boots hiking around here. Change the foliage species a little and it could easily pass for Central America where everything is just that much more green. Somebody turned up the saturation there!

But, the added smells of the Pacific with it’s moist breezes carrying the barks of Sea Lions miles inland is absolutely unique. I know all the creeks and rivers north and south of here very well from a lifetime of exploring and checking out the surf. Pescadero is it’s own place. There are lichens, and blackberry brambles everywhere. Just check out the branches in the tree, in the photo for this post. Because the cold Alaskan current meets up with warm, moist air from The Pacific here; regular, heavy morning fogs are created. Hah, it’s called the fog belt! Even on a warm day it’s moist here so the coral like lichens have a hay day sucking moisture from the air and attaching themselves to everything, everywhere. Sometimes when I drive home late at night, after eating dinner in Pescadero, the fog is so thick I’m lucky if I can see just a half a car length ahead. No wonder why in some places the undergrowth is completely impenetrable with dependable life giving moisture so bountiful. Try carrying a large camera, heavy tripod and pack anywhere off the trail and it’s pretty slow going. The undergrowth is healthy here and it’s unstoppable.

Sometimes, as the fog sits on the coast, keeping the wind down, it’s great to just spend the day sitting on the cliffs, above the rocky coves at Pescadero Beach, and watch the Sea Lions play in the water below. They zoom all over the place with amazing speed. Sometimes I come with camera(s), sometimes I come with blank notation books for musical ideas or sketch paper for drawing and sometimes writing words is the way. I’ve even come with a laptop and Mifi hub! The labels of job, specialty, genre and fame don’t matter here, for me. Pescadero is very humbling. It’s beauty grows on you while at the same time teaching you how interconnected everything really is. The cross pollination of all the arts feels right here. It’s so natural. A lot of time I come, and sit, and leave hours and hours later neither filled up nor emptied out. It’s different than that. It’s much more a meditation than productive time or entertainment. It just is.