After many hours in transit we got off the BART train and found ourselves waiting to board a bus to take us to Santa Rosa to visit out dearest friend Cassandra Rose. We were pretty starved and were about to embark on a 3 hour journey that should have really only took an hour or so. Needless to say we were pretty psyched to see Cassi standing there at the bus stop when we arrived. It’s always nice to see a familiar face in such a foreign place – it gives you an immediate connection to this new environment. We arrived at her house and found a little piece of home – familiar faces on the walls, memories and colors that I knew very well. It was more than nice to be there with our friend.
The next day, Cassi was our own amazing personal tour guide. In Northern California you can make a days loop and see many a farm, the ocean, dense rich, redwood & eucalyptus forests(among many other gradiouse trees)& wine vineyards as far as the eye can see. I didn’t expect that we would get to see all of it as we were only there one day but we did. Northern California is the kind of place that you dream about living, everywhere you look there is simple beauty and the energy is similar to the energy we felt in Alaska – a self sustaining, aware and passionate culture. We drove through the countryside and it reminded me of images that I’ve seen from England – rolling hills stretching as far as the eye could see, narrow winding roads… I couldn’t get over the amazing array of plant life – when we drove through a passing lined with eucalyptus trees I took a deep breathe in and knew this was love.
It’s easy to feel connected to a place when you are given simple reminders of the things you already know and appreciate. I couldn’t get over the massive amounts of hawks flying through the sky. It was awesome. Back home whenever I see a hawk it fills me with good energy. So I took it as a good sign that there were so many. But perhaps the greatest reminder was when we arrived at the ocean. Put me anywhere in the world as long as it’s near the ocean and I will be ok. But the Pacific ocean was a far greater beast of an ocean than ours back home. The impressive cliffs that rose far above the ocean were nothing like the rolling dunes on the east coast. Cassi told us that we were at Bodega Bay (my first thought, “Hitchcock”) and we couldn’t wait to get out of the car and explore. This experience is easily the highlight of the trip. I could have laid there for days on that beautiful sand. Sand, if you want to call it that… it was actually millions and millions of tiny little gems – all different colors, rusty orange & reds, deep browns and turquoise greens perfectly sculpted by the powerful waves of the pacific ocean. It hadn’t been brought to my attention – I was busy running down to the water just about to dive in – when I looked back and noticed Rory lying flat on his face with his hands full of tiny gems. It was so meditative there. What a dream it would be to actually live there. It felt like it would be so easy to be inspired by it all. There seaweed even looked like something out of a cheesy B horror flick from the 50’s. We were all in the moment taking in the beauty of it all when we were brought back to reality by a huge wave as it crashed into our bodies…
After playing in the sand a little bit more we decided to head over to Goat Rock. On the short drive over we saw several deer just hanging out alongside the road and on the cliffs leading down to the ocean. Peaceful, aware and content. It was awesome. Pelicans flew overhead and seals played in the water. We sat there on the rocks for a while just listening to the waves coming in. I couldn’t believe I was here. And more importantly I couldn’t believe I had to leave the next day. I was so thankful to Cassi for sharing this with us. I will never forget it or the way I felt discovering it… it was truly a moment that will forever be frozen in time.
“Ease you’re feet off in the sea
My darling it’s the place to be
Take your shoes off curl your toes
And I will frame this moment in time
Troubles come and troubles go
The trouble that we’ve come to know
Will stay with us till we get old
Will stay with us till somebody decides to go
Decides to go” – B&S