Friday, February 18, 2011
A Vitamin D Day on the North California Coast
Wow, what a perfect day this has been. I spent last night at The Emerald Forest, a cabin and RV resort in Trinidad, California. It was such a great set-up that I decided to stay another night. I have electricity (and thus have heat!), an excellent Internet connection, a laundromat, store, etc., all right here. So the plan for today was to write up eBay auctions for that batch of scarves I photographed a few days ago.
But I decided to go for a walk first, and who knew I'd end up spending four hours in the tiny town (pop. 311) of Trinidad? It's a wonderfully hip place, like a micro-Eugene, but on a bay. It has the perfect mix of deep, dark forests and bright sunny beaches. I visited a bunch of fun places, including the beach, the post office, an organic coffee shop, a gift shop, the grocery store, and the city's museum.
At the gift shop, I found a great little book, Spanish Slanguage, that teaches Spanish in a completely visual way, which helps me a lot! For example, the word "nieto," which means grandson, is shown with a picture of a knee, the word yet, and a picture of a toe. Knee-yet-toe. Despite the difficulties I've had learning new languages, I could get this! And I find this really exciting, because one of the few New Years resolutions I made for 2011 was to learn a little Spanish.
At the coffee shop, I had a day old organic vegan carrot muffin and a cuppa Joe while reading this week's North Coast Journal, where I learned that the biggest issue in Trinidad right now is getting a skate park built for the kids. It's kind of controversial because this used to be more of a retirement town and now there are families here with loud, annoying kids bugging the near-deads...whoops, I mean the seniors. (I can make jokes about this, since I am one.) A few weeks ago there was a fundraiser for the skate park and it got a little noisy when the Humboldt Spin Collective shot off some fire cannons to accompany the fire poi twirling and the acrobats who were performing up in the aerial rigging. Oldsters objected on the grounds that they didn't move to Trinidad "to hear that on a Saturday night."
Now, personally, had I been in Trinidad that night, I would've gone out to see where the fun was and joined right in, but I guess I'm not a typical senior citizen.
The beach here is great, and today was sunny and probably in the 60s or so. There's a beautiful little bay that has an interesting history of being a Native American village and later a whaling station in the 1920s. I struggled a little getting down to the beach on the very steep log stairs. The last few are a killer! I stood on the step that was sixth from the bottom and spent a long time surveying the fifth step before finally taking it and falling on my butt, where I stayed for the next half hour, watching the tide come in. Going back up, I thought, "Who needs a gym and a stair stepper?" I walked up as quickly as I could and it definitely got my heart rate up.
I watched some crab boats at work, and I thought about buying some local crab, but at $27 per pound, I passed and bought ingredients for my signature Tofu Goddammit dish. I made sure to drop my change into the collection jar for the skate park.
I was about to walk back out to the resort, but saw that the museum was open and decided to stop in and use the rest room. My timing was perfect! Ron Johnson, a local anthropology professor, was giving a talk and tour on a temporary exhibit on local Native American brush dance costumes and jewelry, which was fascinating and beautiful. Yurok Indians were living here in 1775 when Captains Bodega and Heceta first arrived, and the village was occupied until 1916. There are still many Yuroks around here, of course--the Lucky 7 Casino where I stayed a few nights ago, up north of Crescent City, is right by their tribal headquarters--but this particular village died out.
So now it's nearly 5 pm and I am back in The Guppy, ready to start my eBay listings. (Look at the size of that stump in the photo!) I've gone over my travel plans for the next few days, and I'll be in Ukiah tomorrow night, San Francisco on Sunday night, and then on a State Beach near Santa Cruz for three nights starting on Monday. I have friends to look up in San Francisco and Santa Cruz, so I'd better get in touch with them and let them know I'm on my way.