DSC02047   Northern California is amazing.  Reminds me a lot of Victoria – cold water, big waves, big fish, big forests, rootsy vibes..   DSC02076   I met some great people there – people I hope to run into again in the future, not all of them in shot below.   DSC02674   Surfing everyday - great vibe in and out of the water.   DSC02655   At one point went for a 3-day hike with Mike and Pete along the lost coast, the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in California.  Too costly and hard to build roads on, and so it remains a grand wilderness area for the most part.   We hiked in at night…   DSC02472   Under the glow of an almost full moon, we checked new and unknown waves – hoping…   DSC02474 DSC02631   Beautiful autumn weather – no need to bring tents…   DSC02618   We hiked during the days too – ambient temperatures under the canopies were perfect.  Steep elevations and dangerously tempting shore-pound beaches.   DSC02522   We found a funky little point break seldom ridden (the seals would attest), and surfed against a dramatic backdrop that will forever be etched in my mind.   DSC02608   A very alive ecosystem.   That feeling of sitting in the imagined safety of a deep kelp bed, surrounded by an astonished colony of seals trying figure out what on earth we were, the pelican-laced rock stacks refracting the swell, their silhouetted stature back-lit by the brilliant orange of the setting sun.  Breathtaking.  No camera.   Yeah I guess you had to be there.   Cheers Mike.   DSC02476 DSC02484-2   I also did some solo hiking around the mighty redwood forests of the north.   Left me speechless.   Although John Steinback summed it up pretty well…   DSC02131
“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It's not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.” - John Steinback.
DSC02152   Like he said, no justice in the photographs…   DSC02120 DSC02116   I stayed for a few days - hiking, admiring and meditating on it.  Hiding from the rangers and their probing torches at night…   DSC02099   As I rode southwards down the coast, the regular smells of the forest would be interrupted by distinct pockets of perfume redolent of the famous ganja farms of Humboldt.   Sometimes upon entering a valley, the stench was almost intoxicating.   Overwhelmingly blatant and thick.   Yep Humboldt’s an interesting place, that’s for sure..   DSC02089   Transients come from all over the country (and world) to try and find work as ‘trimmers’ - nimble-fingered hippies meticulously trimming and refining the prized buds.   It’s not really my bag - don’t have time for it, but thought it was an interesting, if not a central aspect to a true NorCal post - as anyone that’s been here in the harvest months will attest.   DSC02671   I didn’t realise but almost half of the US states have made cannabis legal for medicinal purposes, and it’s completely legal in a couple of states with more following suit.   Certainly makes Australia seem very conservative and strict.  Not really something that I care too much about personally, but it does seem a little incongruous considering how mainstream Australia embraces binge drinking almost as a cultural pillar…   Just sayin’   Anyway, I’m off topic.   My drugs of choice are camping and surfing…   DSC02078   And impressive trees…   DSC02133   And ferny canyons…   DSC02154   As well as chance encounters with impressive creatures…   DSC02323 DSC02263-Edit   Or surfing alongside giants…   DSC02375   Yeah that’s plenty enough stimulation for me…  

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