Success! The Shropshire rock is in the car. I earned my granola and coffee this morning.

We checked the tidetable and headed into Crescent City and Battery Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse is on a tiny island, but as long as you visit when the tide is low you can just walk across a little beach.

It’s an oddity on the Pacific Coast, a Cape Code style lighthouse where the keeper’s house is built around the light. Most of our lights stand beside their houses.

We timed it right and didn’t even get wet crossing the sand (not even me with my typical nonlinear movement. Rock! Seaweed! Thing!).

When the Battery Point Light was decommissioned, the property was transferred to the historical society. Volunteers live there now, a couple weeks at a time. I think the house has never been vacant. Kind of neat.

It’s a sweet little house with interior walls that curve around the light. Cozy. Some of the volunteers were more eager than accurate and some dwelt on odd details like the framed hair weavings. The upstairs living quarters was an odd mix of period furnishings, two barcaloungers and a TV.

We went up the light and looked out. It still functions as an auxillary light, so volunteers work to clean all the glass and keep things running.

I bought a copy of The Extraordinary Voyage of the Kamome: A Tsunami Boat Comes Home, written by Lori Dengler and Amya Miller and illustrated by Amy Uyeki. This sweet picture book tells the true story of a Japanese high school’s boat that ended up in Crescent City a few years after a tsunami. School kids from both countries got to know each other as the California kids restored the boat and eventually returned it to Japan. My copy is going to Kiyoko and Anthony.

We seem to have left the cameras, and even phones at home, though I clearly remember taking pictures. hmmmm.

We met neighboring campers at lunch. They’re attracted to pubs too.

Equisetum makes a fine whistle

Smith River has more than redwoods

Yesterday, I found a rock down by the river. Well, I found lots of rocks and, as always some rock hearts and other small lovelies came home in my pocket. But–this was a rock, not a pebble. I could lift it and even carry it, but it was heavy. Looked a bit like a piece of Shropshire blue cheese all golden with veins of bluey-green, white, and gray. That rock wanted to come home with me. I lugged it to the next clump of bushes and put it to bed.

Early this morning I took my coffee and went back to the river. I was surprised by the vast multitude of bushes. I found and old metal plate, an empty crawdad shell, more neat rocks, a cool bit of bark, a tiny patch of iris growing in the rocks and sand…and…at last…my rock. Brought it two bush clumps closer and triangulated better. I have a strategy.

Still life with tin plate and last months carapace

Bill and I explored the riverbank. He took pictures and I made discoveries.

We walked to and through Stout Memorial Grove. Such huge and peaceful trees. Truly a cathedral of a forest. It’s interesting to see how fire appears to melt their bark. I guess fire makes the trees produce that bulbous, curvy, melted looking bark. We saw mergansers up close and Mark learned about equisetum whistles. Equisetum makes a fine whistle!

…and it has beautiful Redwoods

Went back in the evening and moved the rock all the way to the base of the short rocky hill. Tomorrow we move upward. There was that moment when I looked from the last brush clump across the sand to the base of the trail. It looked a lot longer from that perspective. I walked to the edge of the river. Tossed in some pebbles, breathed, and walked back. I crouched, hugged shropshire to my chest and stepped out and out and out each step longer than the last.

On reaching the base of the rock jumble that lead to the trail, I swung the rock out and up a bit, overbalanced and landed on my butt. Luckily the rock didn’t land on me, I steered it a bit to the side. Whump! Naturally nestled next to the little pool.

I looked hastily around. Couldn’t see anyone obviously laughing at my grace. Back to camp.

Brave Horatio in the Redwoods

Hot dogs and baked beans and music around  the campfire…this time at Jess and Mark’s …one space farther away from the camp host.


Oh, and I took a picture of a log that looks like a slug.