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Pigeon Point Lighthouse Trip (With Photos)November 25, 2009

I went to the coast for a couple of days, to be alone, to work on edits for my second book. I got the manuscript back from my editor, and I wanted to to have quiet, to just sit and think. I love editing. This was going to be great.

I thought it was a romantic idea. Go to a lighthouse hostel on the beach. Lala asked me if I was running away from home, and I said "No," but I was, really-- not from her certainly (LEAST of all from her), not from anything in particular -- just from life.

Then, when I was actually leaving, I didn't want to go. I wanted to stay home and watch TV and do ANYTHING to avoid work. I was having a blue day. I had no interest in being romantic or learning anything new about my manuscript, its plot, or its characters. I wanted to kick my heels on the floor and stay put.

But I went anyway. And it was amazing.


This was, literally, the view from my room at the Pigeon Point Hostel. Yes, it's a hostel, so my private room was small, without a desk (whoops, hadn't thought that one through), and I shared a bathroom with the male dorm (not bad, considering). My room was Dolphin 1, but it would be worth knowing that the dorms are not co-ed at this hostel, and in the Dolphin building, at least, the female dorm room has its own bathroom. The woman in that dorm had the whole 6-bed dorm to herself one night, with its own private bath, for cheaper than my private room with shared bath. Might be worth the risk....

And now to be completely self-indulgent in the photo department:


Me, at the end of the walkway, near the hot tub that overlooked the ocean (which I used one moonlit night with two very nice older ladies (because the hostel doesn't allow people in alone and the women took pity on me and let me come in with them during their time) who expressed surprise that I would even consider wearing a swimsuit -- they hadn't owned a swimsuit for years, darling).




View of the hostel from behind the pumpkin fields.


From the other direction, with iceplant.


My building, Dolphin.


The very nice common area, deserted during the day, perfect for doing work.


Nicely appointed kitchen. One night some women made chicken, which smelled divine.


My work, spread out. What's the view on the other side of that window, you ask? Oh, just this:


Can you IMAGINE?

And this was my favorite, VERY favorite part. Wait, I'm going to pour myself a glass of wine and then come back to the computer to type this out, because I'm going to enjoy telling you so much. 

Okay, I'm back. Last night (was it only last night? Wow), I noticed the sun was dropping quickly, and I was happy with the great progress I'd made on the manuscript, and I was ready to take a break. A brisk walk, I thought! Perfect! I left the hostel, and walked up the silent road along the shore.

A half-mile north of the hostel, I came upon a completely deserted beach.

Now, I'm a California girl who's lived in the islands. I've seen approximately eleventy bajillion sunsets over the oceans and various assorted seas. Each one is amazing and I love them all.

But this one was something else. I can't tell you how BIG it felt and how small I was, and how perfectly happy I was to be right there with that shore and sunset and surf. So please, click for embiggening if you'd like to, or just skip all the nature shots. They mean a lot to me, though. Silly cell-phone photos. God, I adore them.









And here's the sequence that gets me. Right as the sun was about to dip down for the last time, I decided to hole up and really watch. Really concentrate. I wanted to put the cell phone down and stop clicking photos and be present.

So I found a little sandstone indentation in the cliff wall, and nestled in. I looked right and this is what I saw:


I looked left to see this:


Looking forward, the sunset was right in front of me (and not captured well, but you get the gist):


Turning the camera back on myself:


Then I put my phone in my pocket and watched the SLOWEST sunset I've ever seen. It was unimpeded by any fog, or any cloud. In my (albeit terrible) memory, I don't remember a sunset like that, with nothing getting in the way on the horizon. Usually there's that little part at the end, where the sun is refracted into little bits and jumps around, and dives, and comes back up as it's mirrored by clouds and tricks of fog. But last night? It just sank, slowly, slowly, until it melted away, and it took forever to completely disappear. A line of pelicans flew over the last sliver of light, just before it was covered by the water, as if the birds were going to try to lift it back out. 

It was incredible.

Then I walked back to the hostel. Oh, best hostel.


Today, I did more tide-pooling before coming home:


I did not fall in. Thank god.




I also love olallieberry pie at Duarte's in Pescadero, just five minutes away from the hostel, and I love how it is only an hour from home. One hour. And wicked cheap. I'm thinking this should happen again when I need to get serious work done.

But I'm really looking forward to seeing Lala tonight.


Well now... you're gettin' into MFN territory my dear. Wait is that a monkeyface eel sneaking up under your feet in the 2nd to last pic? Nice photos, they're all so deeply engrained in my day to day life it's like you stole them from my mind! Anyhoo, I will have to whisk Camilladilla down there, maybe for New Years... I told you about this the other day, but you might want to check out the Montara Lighthouse too. It's about half the distance from SF, much smaller, and the views are simply to die for... Kirk-out

This sounds absolutely perfect.

ah, that sounds amazing. i really miss sunsets on the west coast. here, it only comes up over the ocean and i'm usually asleep in my bed! in september of 2008 we were camping in Gros Morne on the west coast of the island (I'm in Newfoundland) and at the end of a loooong day on the trail we returned to our camp just as the sun was about to set. I realized at that point that I hadn't seen the sun set over the ocean in over a year and so I cracked a beer and walked down the little path from our site to where I had a clear view and just watched it drop. It was like you described this one - completely unimpeded - which I don't think I'd ever seen either. It was amazing. And boy, do I ever want to move into that campsite.

With views like that, I probably would have gotten nothing done at all until after dark. So beautiful! Happy Thanksgiving to you and Lala... and to your menagerie, too.

Awesome pics! Your sunset was indeed magical to watch. Thanks for sharing and happy Thanksgiving!

This post is really making me miss the Bay Area. What a lovely way to edit your book.

Wow, what a fantastic trip!! I would love to do something like that. Heck, i think I need to plan to do something just like that when I graduate! You are an inspiration, girl! And your Bonnie sweater looks awesome. Oh, and I adore your shoes in that tidepool pic. What are they?

What a lovely evocative description - and the cell photos - I feel a bit like *I've* just had a wee break on the beach. Thank you.

my God, I felt like I was there with you - thanks so very very much for the vicarious thrill! Your bit of ocean was exceptional in all ways and I have some envy going on. Check out where I was today, if you like, at the blog - very misty and poetic.

Gorgeous. How far is that from your house? I'd have to travel non-stop for five days to see something so spectacular.

Thanks for inviting me along with you in those pictures. For two minutes, I tuned out the kids screaming and took a little trip to the beach. Beautiful. I can hear the waves crashing. :)

And what handknit sweater are you wearing, dear?

Thank you for sharing the pics and your experiences...sounds like you had a wonderful time!

Nice pictures, and I like the sweaters you were wearing.

I just want to tell you that until your post I had avoided all things related to Lady Gaga... now Bad Romance is on my ipod and its all YOUR FAULT!

Thanks so much for sharing your trip and views with us. I have nevenr seen a sunset on the west coast, but being on the water/beach at any time of day is a wonderful thing to me. I am so glad that you enjoyed and shared.

I was just there in September! We were in the "Seal" house. It was relaxing, inspiring, and downright wonderful. Thank you for sharing your time with us.

Its lovely place.I was just passing by here and saw your pictures and its great.Have fun!

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