TRAVELS WITH GREASE AND PADDLE
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Surf and Turf
We’re at the square in Arcata after an incredible day on the north coast. Sitting at a cozy café with the first Christmas carols the stereo and a large tree being raised in the square, eating a delicious sandwich.
For the second day in a row we awoke in the redwood grove and set out for mad adventure. It was sunny and beautiful and the surf was kicking at South Beach, so we started the morning catching the first ocean waves of the trip. In the parking lot the Fried Piper continued to be something of a magnet for old guys with a lot to say.
Our efforts pounding our way out through the surf were rewarded with lots of sweet rides on overhead waves. It was sunny and warm, perfect for drying out whitewater gear in between two leisurely surf sessions. Matt fixed the surfboard and switched from the kayak to shred some waves standing up, his first rides since nearly a year ago in Nicaragua (he still doesn’t have a cutback). Then it was back on the road, heading south past a broken coast sparkling below the bluffs. We dropped down to the Klamath River and climbed again, pulling over at a vista 600 feet above the sea. Scrambling down a slippery path, we landed at a beach with amazing rock spires and huge surf bucking up right at the beach and pounding down with a fury.
We walked the beach towards the mouth of the Klamath, past a massive redwood rootball submerged in the sand, a dead sea lion and beautiful succulent plants clinging to giant boulders. The river makes a lazy bend at the end and forms a beautiful little cove where a raft of surf scoters were hanging out near a lone fly fisherman. These birds apparently fared the worst in the SF Bay fuel spill.
At the river mouth we passed through the ceremonial site for the Urok natives. It’s a little fish camp with perfect shake buildings and a cedar sweat lodge. We walked back to the road and back to the van for sunset. Matt rode his skateboard down the mountain to complete the multi-sport weekend. Now it’s on to Chico for an IWLS presentation at Chico State tomorrow.