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Thursday Fish Fry

Got up at 4 this morning, got rolling by 4:30, heading down the coast to Santa Cruz. An almost-full silvery-bright moon was reflected in a broad path of shimmering light on the black ocean; called moonglade, nice word.

   Around Pacifca, the moon was about to set on the western horizon, and it was as orange, well — as an orange. I’ve seen lots of orange rising moons, but never a setting one. Stunning. Free.

  BB King and Ruth Brown were doing a spirited version of Ain’t Nobody’s Business, Ruth’s voice like a blasting-off rocket. Then the new Devil’s Slide tunnel, which took forever to build. Made me think of the new Bay Bridge, which overall, sucks. The central tower with cables is sort of elegant, but for like a mile before it, there are 100s of dumb looking lights on white poles maybe 50′ high. Ugly.

   Andrew Loog Oldham has a great program on Sirius Radio’s Underground Garage channel. Very knowledgeable, has creds (early Stones), is funny, plays a lot of 60s music I’ve never heard.

   Now fortified with excellent Verve latte and apple pastry, am heading out into a beautiful Santa Cruz day. Ah, Southern California!

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Real Adventures: Alastair Humphreys

Sirveyor has left a new comment on your post “On Foot Yesterday From Bolinas to San Francisco:

“Lloyd, look at Alastair Humphreys’ blog, he advocate’s Micro Adventures such as you have just completed.”

I listed Alastair last year, but it was great to be reminded. My adventures are pale shadows of what this guy does.

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On Foot Yesterday From Bolinas to San Francisco

I’ve wanted to do it for a couple of years. On foot, out my doorway, into San Francisco—or, I should say—on my own power, because the first part of the trip involves swimming. The night before, I was so excited I could hardly sleep. Got up at 5:30, walked down to the beach. My son Evan met me and paddled my day pack and clothes across the channel in a kayak.

   Sun just starting to glow in dark eastern sky. 6:45. I’d psyched myself up to do this. Crunch time. Stripped down, waded out into the channel, and it was c-o-l-d. Had been a windy week, chilling the ocean. Mama mia! It’s only a short swim across, maybe 50 yards, and it felt like forever. BUT once out of the water I was stylin. Got dry, clothed, walked barefoot along the beach and got to the Parkside Cafe coffee stand at 7:30, got latte and a really good donut and was off along the coast. Got to Slide Ranch by 9, to Muir Beach 9:30. Nice morning, winds had died down, you could see as-they-say for miles. It’s maybe only 30 miles to SF, but pretty much all up and down.

View north from Tennessee Beach. I kept along the coast here on the southern side, rather than go on the (prescribed) Coastal Trail, which goes inland for a ways. There were faint animal trails and I eventually made it to the Marin Headlands. What really stokes me about this photo is that in the very distant background to the north (very faint, just to left of dark low peninsula), you can see the tip of Pt. Reyes, which I hiked to (from home) a year ago.

   I have a bunch of things to say about the trip, a few photos, will try to get back to it later, but in a nutshell, it was fucking hard. Probably mostly so because, dumb shit that I am, I didn’t drink enough liquids. I was dehydrated and didn’t realize it until I limped home. Plus I can’t seem to walk slowly; the old race horse (competitive runner) syndrome.

   I got to the San Francisco side of the Golden Gate Bridge at about 3:30, about 8-1/2 hours. Caught buses home, saw two friends downtown; one said, “Did you hurt yourself?,” the other said, “You look tired.”

   Getting enough liquids in me last night got rid of most of the tiredness and soreness. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I kept telling people it was do-able, and it was. There are lots of adventures to be had in anyone’s neck of the woods. More later.

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Paragliding Artistry

I had this wonderful period in my life some years back where, for maybe 2 weeks, I dreamed every night of flying. It wasn’t like I was suddenly in the air, or jumped from a height. I started on the ground, ran, flapped my arms, and took off. It was such a vivid experience, I remember it clearly, after all these years. An out-of-body experience, if you’ll pardon the cliché. During my waking hours, I’d sometimes feel like I could almost do it.

  Yesterday I was corresponding with Kian Clipson, who lives in Southwest England; his small, cozy, artistic mobile home is going into our new book, Tiny Homes on the Move, and I decided to check the paragliding website that Kian co-founded, here, and there is a ton of exciting stuff. These guys are doing what I did in my dreams.

Urban Side from Jean-Baptiste Chandelier JB prod on Vimeo.

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The Marble Caves of Chile Chico

Carved into the Patagonian Andes, the Cuevas de Mármol are located on a peninsula of solid marble bordering Lake General Carrera, a remote glacial lake that spans the Chile-Argentina border. Formed by more than 6,000 years of waves washing up against calcium carbonate, the smooth, swirling blues of the cavern walls are a reflection of the lake’s azure waters, which change in intensity and hue depending on water levels and time of year. Located far from any road, the caves are accessible only by boat. Thirty-minute tours are operated by a local company, weather and water conditions permitting.

Click here. More photos here.
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Benefit April 1st Drakes Bay Oyster Farm in Petaluma

This event is to help this wonderful local food operation stay in business while they are being persecuted by uber-environmental groups such as the West Marin Environmental Action Committee (one of the Tea Party type environmental groups — well financed, politically connected, and heads up their ass), and misrepresented with blatantly false scientific reports by the National Park Service.

   I heard that a petition with some 50,000 signatures was obtained in favor of closing the operation down. I’ll bet 95% of these were city dwellers and 98% of these people had never been to the farm. My first-hand and native Californian assessment is that is a triple-win food production system, and it will be a tragedy if it is closed own by what the Italians call the talibano dell’ ecologia .

From “…If they lose, the Lunnys will be forced to demolish buildings, remove and destroy an estimated $4.5 million worth of oysters, and put 30 people currently employed at the farm out of work.…With thirty full-time workers, many of whom live on the property, the farm is currently the second largest employer in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Oysters harvested from Drakes Bay make up nearly 40% of California’s yearly shellfish production, some 500,000 pounds of oyster meat annually, marketed exclusively in the Bay Area. The farm is also the last operating oyster cannery in the state.…”

Other stuff I’ve written about this in the past here.

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