This was one of those days that I was content to stay put. I was on an introverted roll with LifeMAPP, working on my new book, doing some advanced theory and modeling and cleaning up my cluttered email. That is the rare trifecta for me. On the unusual day when I can blend creative AND organized, I am particularly wont to dig in and ride the wave.
But I trusted Julie when she grabbed us all to go on an exploration. While I dragged my feet reluctantly at first, when we pulled up along Trinidad State Beach, it was immediately clear this was going to be a fun, albeit windy and chilly day.
I was able to warm up a bit on the drive down the coast from the north side — the views from US101 are just as stunning as the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH,SR1) that connect below San Fransisco to just above Los Angeles.
We stopped and I hopped out a few times to capture some of the roadside, ocean landscapes along Big Lagoon.
The contrasting colors from the Pampas grass and the lagoon made it worth the 250 yard jog behind the roadside pullout.
When we pulled into Trinidad, we pulled up along the memorial lighthouse structure sitting 130 feet atop the beach. It’s a decent 100 yard, 45º sloped hike down to the beach which ended with a beach ladder which we’d not experienced before. As much as we considered seeing the real lighthouse, the 1.25 mile roundtrip hike was more than we had time for but really, the memorial lighthouse made for some great photos.
But the real treasure was the hike down to the beach which Julie timed to be at low tide. The rocks and tide were open to revealing some great and colorful creatures — crabs and starfish. There was also fresh water that flowed down into the ocean which made for some interesting beach textures. I looked out to the rocks in the distance and saw a bird putting on a show for another bird that soon joined it, so I snapped up some shots. It was only in post-production of the photos that I discovered the two easter eggs in the form of harbor seals lying there on the rocks.
We wrapped up our afternoon in Trinidad with a late lunch at The Lighthouse Grill, a small little spot with limited indoor and outdoor seating. The interior was tight but fun with brightly painted murals, menus and paintings from locals creating the charming décor. The menu features brisket, burgers, hand-cut fries and ice cream. One thing almost worth the trip is the mashed potato cone which is a cornbread-ish flavored waffle cone, stuffed with mashed potatoes and topped with brisket and bacon. I was surprised the kids ordered it but they loved it.
I couldn’t pass on the brisket sandwich which was amazing. The bun appeared to be homemade – light and airy with loose, almost poured edges that added an amazing crunch to the soft beef. Julie and my stepfather had a unique clam chowder which, not being a clam chowder fan, I couldn’t compare. They said it was incredible but unusual in that it had chunks of sweet potatoes and a spicy punch to every bite.
To wrap up our perfect day, we headed just a bit farther south to Sotsin Point and then finally to Luffenholtz Beach County Park which were quite opposite. Sotsin Point was another great little hike and beach ladder down to the rocks — still low tide. Luffenholtz offered an amazing overlook off of sheer cliffs that was breathtaking, windy and inspiring.
So it was a spectacular day that Julie planned and delivered. It’s hard to let go of a creative and organized mindset to go play, but in the end, I came back from the trip more inspired and had an amazing few days of productivity immediately following. I let go and gained even more.