pacman inkee

what i did on my summer vacation pt. 1

goat rock beach by hep
goat rock beach, a photo by hep on Flickr.

hi guys! long time no update. when i last left you i had just gotten back from the southern deserts (just because you reroute water there doesn't make it not a desert ok). this last weekend yuriy and i decided to head north to camp along the norcal coast as the kids were away at their uncles for a visit. so we headed up to spend the day at fort ross.

ft. ross is a historical fort where the russian traders settled (for russia) in the early 1800s. sometimes we joke that yuriy's distant ancestor was probably settling the fort while my distant ancestors were settling the sfbay valley over the mountains. for all we know it could be true since some of his family ancestry was russian fur trading and a lot of mine was chicanos settling in the valley for either mexico or spain depending on the era.

after hiking around the fort for awhile we headed to the beach. we saw this seal sunning himself on a rock, and a huge jellyfish swarm drifting into the bay. the rocks were covered with stranded jellies bigger than a dinner plate.

we then climbed the bluffs for a bit and found a lookdown onto these seals sunning themselves on some rocks. turns out they were sunning in the tiny cove because they had their seal pup with them! so we watched for about an hour while he played chasing games and constantly snuck over to bug the other sunning seals.

then yuriy did some fishing for about an hour. on his 2nd and 4th casts he caught two decent sized ling cod. AND he was fishing with his own, handmade, homemade jigs, which is pretty impressive since most people claim you can't catch ling cod on lures. only one was keeper sized, however we let both go. the first fish (the bigger keeper sized) was a beautiful iridescent blue under his mottling.

check out those teeth!

afterwards we took a walk in the cypress forest. cypress forest is one of my favorite kinds of forest, second only to redwood groves which are the all time best.

however late afternoon sun (aka the golden hour) gives cypresses a gorgeous mystery.

dinner consisted of carne asada & goat cheese fajitas cooked by the roadside on our camp stove, with a baby greens salad in raspberry-gorgonzola vinagrette with candied walnuts and goat cheese. pretty good eating for camping.

this weekend just reminded me why i love the northern california coast so much. i am very much constantly a product of two cultures, two households. but i am also the product of two areas of northern california. the city, where my dad has always lived and (my mom lived for a long time.) and norcal where my mother and stepfather live now (they live about 15mins from where we were hanging out all weekend. we camped on their back 100 acre field because why pay $50 a night for camping on top of a bunch of strangers when i can camp the foothills for free with only owls for company?)

i love the way the mountain foothills tumble down into the ocean, i even love driving on hwy 1, 200feet above the sea, clinging to the edge of the cliffs on tiny little 1 lane snake winder roads. even tho sometimes it makes me a little unnerved to go past countless slides where the road is starting to slide out. it's still one of my favorite places in the world to drive. i just wish they would repave, and maybe bolster some of the road sinkholes, particularly the giant ones that slope towards the edge, on a blind curve.

we will probably be heading back up this weekend, yuriy wants to go another round with the ling cod and rock fish, and i want to hit up this secret beach to try and do long exposures of the milky way (if the moon cooperates).

i hope you are all having a fun summer!!

I LOVE that picture of you on the rock! and the second to last one.

Sounds like a great vacation, I am veryyy jealous :)
i will teach you why that fish is blue, because its the same for your ocean up there. along the pacific coast, most of the kelp forests are made of of iridescent kelp, or colloquially knows as rainbow kelp. i have tried and failed for years to photograph this stuff how i see it. some people are able to get the iridescence but i want the grace and majesty of it too. anyway, its on my bucket list. but because of the play of surface colors against the "true" darker brown of the kelp, the ling cod has almost perfect color adaptation to its environment. nature is p fkn amazing!
Great pictures! I love the seals *squish*.. And what a super cute picture of you on the rock - love it - the colors are mega!
yeah the seals were adorable, i wanted to die when i saw the cub. that balancing seal was no joke either!
this is intense. 2 of my sf friends ALSO went camping this weekend in nocal, but not where ya'll were.

Blue fish is blue! That's pretty crazy. Gnarly teeth too!

I was going to tell you which picture was my favorite, but really can't because they're all so damn good.

I'm glad you had a good time!
I have such mad big boi love for Yuri right now it's not even funny. MAKES HIS OWN LURES, CATCHES FISH. Provider. CHEST BUMP YURI!!
another reason i love norcal too, is "summer" here is 55 degrees and windy, no matter how much that pesky sun thing is shining. and more often, summer actually means 50F and foggy out, no stupid sun at all! warm summer weather is for those below the nor/so cal defining line (which is somewhere between monterey and santa barbara but people will fight to the death over where it's actually placed), hence me rocking the awesome i (hella) <3 SF hoodie with like 4 layers on underneath.
Just amazing. I want to go out there now! I think we will have to find a camp ground in the area in the next couple of years when Adriana is better aged for camping.

Your photos are beautiful. That fish is awesome! I love the picture of you on the rock. Such majestic scenery.
there is a place up along the russian river called casini ranch (they have a website) that is super awesome and geared to families. there are several decent family river beaches, family play structures, showers and toilet facilities, and best of all they definitely patrol their "quiet after 10pm" rule so families can sleep. i highly recommend, and it's literally 5mins from the ocean (which you don't want to camp ON because, like sf, massive wind) and the nicest of the norcal beaches (remember tho, windy and cold beaches, not nice warm ones) also casini has like the best river fishing spot for first timers, so you can intro her to fishing really easy if you guys are into that kind of thing (we are all big fishers, tho mostly catch & release)
i think there is phosphorescence more to the south. up here it is very cold. i want to explore the south pacific more, but that has to wait for the kids to get into college.

i have not been to that particular beach! i have been to a couple redwood beaches, like muir, and up near gualala/pt arena areas. i will have to check it out! next summer we want to do a serious ca/or/wa roadtrip all the way up to touch canada with the kids. however, that may be unrealistic considering their on-going summer work schedules hehe!
yeah, i guess ive never seen an east coast tidepool! the atlantic seems so weird, it definitely has a different "feel" than that pacific.
Your pictures of the coast look exactly like mine from my roadtrip a couple years ago. (Although, I think it looks mostly the same all the way up) I started taking mine just north of Bodega Bay. Where's this!?
this is just north of bodega bay to just north of jenner (which is like 20miles above bodega bay)! some of these are of the arch rock, some are of goat rock beach, and the rest are from fort ross which is directly north of jenner on the way to gualala. it's that weird wooden thing you pass after going along at 300ft right above the ocean on a cliff for 20miles.
gahhhhh baby seal!!!! tooth aching cus of teh cute!!!

these pics are awesome per usual. thanks for sharing! i miss the beach but that water looks effing cold
it was effin cold man. yuriy was fishing by walking in the surf barefoot and between the numbing effect of the freezing water and the motion of the shells and stones it abraded layers of skin right off his feet! crazy!
You are such a great photographer, and what amazing photos, looks like a great time!
Your pictures are INCREDIBLE. They make me happy, especially the cyrpess forest one.
Those pics are stunning. I wish I could go to the sea, alas I've yet to see it with my own two eyes. Till then, our lakes will have to do:-) Also wishing you a nice summer!