Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hike No. 17: Going with the Flow

June 1, 2013
5 miles

Well, no, I wasn't walking on water, but I figure 5 miles of paddling is enough of a workout to count it as a "hike". We were camped at Dolphin island Marina on the Noyo River estuary way in the back of Noyo Harbor at Fort Bragg, California. I'd learned that the Noyo was tidal and paddleable as far as the railroad bridge crossed by the "Skunk" railroad, a mainly tourist train that runs between Fort Bragg and Willits. One morning the tide was right to catch the flood which eased my way up river to the bridge. There, where the Noyo becomes a live stream. I enjoyed the sounds of birds and the clear flowing stream, watched the train go by, then drifted and gently paddled back downstream. I shot this video and recorded the sounds of the stream and forest with my little Panasonic GH2 in order to recapture a bit of that peaceful morning.

Going with the Flow from Anthony Mindling on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hike No. 16 - Bluffs and Beaches on the Mendocino Coast

May 31, 2012
2.2 Miles

About 2-3/4 miles south of the bridge over the entrance to Noyo Harbor at Ft. Bragg is a little-know coastal access trailhead. Tucked just off of Highway 1 on Ocean Drive near the sign for the Pine Beach Motel, there is room for at most three cars, but I was alone when I arrived on this crystalline clear day. Walking the trail provides little hint of the spectacle to come, other than perhaps a faint distant sound of breakers and the whistle buoy off Noyo harbor on a day when the sea is up, as this one was. The sweet little trail and the beautiful day, the relaxing ramble over bluffs and across beaches with not another human in sight inspired not only photographs but a few words as well.

To The Beach

The little path
wiggles carelessly,
reflecting a feigned indifference,
as if its destination
was no big deal.

It keeps its secret
first brushed by marsh grasses
then through scraggly pine woods,
past clumps of violet irises,
footfalls silenced 
by a carpet of pine needles.

All the better to hear
nearby birds,
a distant whistle bouy,
plaintive like a seasick dove,
and a faint roar
like a distant freeway.

It rounds a low pine
pruned by the sea wind
to display blue and white,
the faint roar now a
rush and crash in 5.1 surround sound.

Here the path widens a bit,
as if to throw open its arms,
to finally reveal
its secret, and proudly say,
"There now, how about that!"