Staring out the window of my Dad’s old Ford pickup when I was a kid, there was always this one bit of scenery that commanded my attention. There were dunes – row upon row of them – between the highway and the ocean. Those dunes marched along the shore silently in their majestic, unwavering ranks.
I imagined getting lost in those dunes. Playing hide and seek, discovering a cache of hidden treasure left by pirates (that was exposed by the wind just as I walked past), being a soldier taking part in the invasion of Normandy.
The dunes along this section of road are covered with long, wavy grass that billows and flows in the wind in mesmerizing patterns. The largest of these grass-covered dunes resembled a sleeping cat to me. I mentally called it ‘Shorty’ after Dad’s rotund feline housemate.
I realized not too long ago that I never once stopped there to explore, play hide and seek, look for buried treasure.
A month or two ago I decided to make this place a destination. I was happy to learn that those dunes hide a stretch of beach roughly a mile long. The beach ends abruptly at the rocky point. South of the rocky promontory there lies a rugged stretch of coastline, a protected cove or two and some wonderfully beautiful and sparsely traveled country. Between the highway and the shore are those dunes I mentioned at the outset. They look much less imposing from the safety of a speeding car. Once you’re out on the trail, though, their size, breadth and the forces required to build them becomes apparent very quickly.
Over the past several weeks I’ve made 3 hiking/photography trips out to the area: One from the north along the beach starting at Gazos Creek, one from the south, parking on the west side of Highway 1 across from Rossi Road, and one sort of in between at an unmarked dirt turnout alongside the highway.
I hope you enjoy the result. No buried treasure so far, but I’m going to keep looking.
Finally! A blog entry!
I spent last Sunday on a solo trek out to Point Reyes and visited Drakes Beach for the first time. The weather was incredible for ‘Winter’ at what felt like 70+ degrees. Then again, Winter means very little here to those of us in the Golden State.
I arrived in the late afternoon to get the lay of the land and scout out where I might want to shoot as the sun set and the light grew softer. Once the show starts (i.e. the light softens), there’s precious little time to work, particularly in contrast to how long it seemed to take for the darned sun to get low enough in the sky for things to start getting interesting.
I came away from this day alone refreshed and almost satisfied with the images I’d made. I hope you enjoy them.
We took a lonnnng road trip yesterday – left SF at 7:00 a.m., returned (and promptly fell into bed) after midnight.
Bodie was fantastic. The road once the pavement ends is, well, not fantastic, but well worth the dust and bumps to get where you’re going. The amount of ‘stuff’ around is just astounding. We had a nice, thin layer of high clouds that cut the light enough to soften some of the shadows and made for nice shooting conditions during our visit.
We left Bodie with enough time to get to Mono Lake to catch the sunset. The last time I was there was October of last year during the fall color season (the Aspens are almost entirely bare now across Highway 108 and down 395) and there were hordes of people all traveling the same route and descending on Mono Lake’s South Tufa area for the sunset. I am not exaggerating when I say there must have been 75 people piled up at one spot to shoot the sunset (and I was one of them, albeit peripherally).
This time it was maybe 15 people total, ourselves included.
The sun dipped behind the mountains just after we got down to the beach – so much for our timing – but the after-sunset light show was otherworldly.
A long exposure shot on 20 March at one of my favorite spots. First venture with the Fujinon 14mm lens and I found that it calls for a distinctly different method of composing than the more ‘standard’ view of the x100 which I’ve used as my landscape camera for quite some time.