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Interlude at Old Home Beach, Trinidad, CA

January 7, 2012
Curved rock at Old Home

This is a photo essay of one of Trinidad’s resplendent, uncrowded, picturesque beaches.  All photos taken by Annalisa Rush, all rights reserved 2012. Double click on image to enlarge.

This quiet, wave-sheltered beach is just right for a peaceful stroll. The surf is gentle, the sand is dreamy, and the beach inspires exploration of its diverse features. It is a safe and enjoyable place for small children to wade and play. Be sure to visit this beach during low tide. Access the trail of stairs at the Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse. Directly below California registered historical landmark No. 838 was located the ancient Yurok village of Tsurai. A permanent Indian community of the past, the houses were of hand-split redwood planks, designed for defense and protection. The village was occupied until 1916 (source: HMDB.org). Tsurai villagers launched their canoes into the ocean from here. Each rock and place has a special name and meaning.

Spend your next vacation here… visit http://www.trinidadbayvacationrentals.com

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Make your way to Trinidad Bay!

January 3, 2012

Welcome to Trinidad! You’ve arrived at your Trinidad Bay Vacation RentalsPacific Heights ocean-front vacation home, and you decide to explore the dream land outside your door.  Step out onto the deck

Pacific Heights, Trinidad, CA

Pacific Heights, Trinidad, CA

that connects you to your own personal trail (although there is public access) leading to an incredibly beautiful, secluded beach or to the road that leads to one of the most spectacular hikes in Trinidad, CA.  Hmmm, which will you choose?  You decide to start with the hike, since you’ve probably been sitting in a car or plane for some time and need to stretch your limbs and feel some blood pumping!

Within minutes, you’re on the small-town streets of Trinidad that lead you along the bluffs overlooking Trinidad Bay, Trinidad Head, and Trinidad State Beach. Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse on your left, Imagepays tribute to the brave ones lost at sea, and provides a great photo opportunity with its panoramic ocean backdrop. You continue down the hill towards Trinidad Head…you can’t miss it as it looms just blocks ahead at an elevation of nearly 400 feet above the level of the sea that surrounds it.

The initial ascent is a bit steep, but fortunately the views of Trinidad Pier, ImageTrinidad State Beach, College Cove, and Pewetole Island are so captivating that you don’t even notice that you’re a bit winded once you reach the fork in the trail. Image

Along the way, you can also admire the many native plants that endure the elements on this marine promontory: wild ginger, silk tassel, California lilac,Image

flowering currant, fringe cups, huckleberries, douglas iris, violas and some volunteer forget-me-nots, to name a few. Aaaah, take a deep breath of fresh ocean air and listen to the ocean crashing all around you. There is a bench to relax for a moment and take in the spectacular vista before you: secluded beaches, an island blowhole, sea stacks and rocky beach sculptures, steep cliffs, Strawberry Rock in the distant forested hills, sea birds soaring, plunging, or bobbing, sea lions barking on nearby rocks.

You decide to take the northern trail as its dark tunnel of limbs lures you in.

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Evergreen branches arch overhead then open up to another viewing area with benches that look out over the rocky islands nearby. Further ahead, you reach a sunny corridor of huckleberries, salal, silk tassel, currants and other shrubs along an ascending switchback trail. Image

Yes, you’re still hiking up, up, up, but look! An osprey is chirping in a tree above and humming birds are performing acrobatic mating dances at every turn of the trail. As your elevation increases, the craggy shape of the Head’s western face now reveals its colorful intrigue. Shrubs and trees cling heartily to its crevices, stunted by wind and salt air. Lichen and moss paint the faces of the rocks in hues of chartreuse, rust, orange, sage, and neon green.

Hmmm, what’s this? You see a sign that says, “Spur” that points to a small trail off the main one. This trail is a treasure all its own. Orange monkey flowers, sky-blue lilacs, ferns and other colorful plants grace the path’s borders. The wind swirls through the stunted trees and shrubs that surround you, creating an ethereal shushing sound as you rise up the natural rock steps to the top of the spur. Behold the curve of the Earth from this magical plateau! ImageWitness the stretch of California’s glorious coastline as far as the eye can see, the great swells of the Pacific marching into the Trinidad Bay,Image the grand expanse of sky with gracefully soaring birds all around, and the rainbow swaths of color that blanket the rocky cliffs in every direction: bright salmon, red, and purple huckleberry shrubs contrasted with dark grey rock covered with glowing lichens. The white bark of weathered, old, and gnarled branches, strong and bright against dark, bonsai evergreens. Looking north, you see Elk Head, another destination you aim to explore during your stay in Trinidad (photo below was taken from Elk Head looking north).

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Stay tuned for the second half of the Trinidad Head hike!

Trinidad Head, Part II

January 3, 2012

[Let’s say this time you have decided to visit Trinidad during the winter because you’ve heard about a phenomenon that some locals have dubbed, “June-uary” due to warmer and sunnier weather that can occur.  So your hike continues on the Trinidad Head, but now it’s after the holidays…]

You have lingered on the benches high atop the precipice of the Trinidad Head Spur viewing area long enough to enjoy some restful reflection on the grandeur of the scene before  you.  Reluctantly, you descend to the main trail to complete the second half of the loop. Wait, one last look to take it all in:  a great strip of clouds that mirrors the length of the entire coastline stretches over the surf zone and west past the Head, but then breaks up into fluffy white puffs that writhe and shift apart in the strong and balmy south wind.  Sapphire skies peek through and the sun casts immense shafts of light onto the ocean and land forms below. The sea mist illuminates the rays, making you wonder if the Holy Grail or angels will suddenly appear! The patches of light create “kai `öpua” (flower of the ocean), azure patches that glow with colors similar Caribbean waters (no, this is not Trinidad and Tobago or Hawaii) amidst the darker greens of the surrounding seas. (It’s really like this, I swear)

“Can this be real?” you ask yourself. You feel invigorated by the breezes that swirl fresh scents your way and by the intermittent sunshine that blazes through the purple-blue cloud swath above. The light is nearly blinding due to its crouched winter arc to the south, intensifying the gleaming reflection off of the water.  You close your eyes to enjoy the warmth for a moment before the trail leads you through a salmonberry and thimbleberry thicket.  Leafless stalks of copper and gold surround you as you rise up a short hill to yet another bench.  Instead of stopping again, your attention is quickly pulled ahead on the trail where two rabbits sit motionless. Bunnies?! You advance slowly…they don’t move until you’re within a few feet, then they hop into the nearby brush. Maybe you’ll see Bambi around the next bend…

As you turn the corner, a large stone cross appears, surrounded by an open, grassy area and more viewing benches. Beyond, at the summit of the Head are towers and buildings.  Since it’s getting late, you opt to continue down the gravel road.

south side Trinidad Head

Up until now, you realize that you haven’t seen a soul (human, at least) during your entire hike. You greet a smiling couple in passing as they leave a viewing area that overlooks the Trinidad Pier.  Below, you see a man in a kayak fixing a mooring, then he quickly paddles off out of view behind the Little Head. This spot provides a perfect vantage point to see the Trinidad Bay coastline, its verdant hills, beautiful beaches, jagged rock formations,  and sea stacks.

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Can I see Pacific Heights from here? I think so! Wow, what a location!

Movement out of the corner of your eye catches your attention…What?! More bunnies? What a perfect way to end the hike around Trinidad Head.  On your way home, you decide to walk town Trinity Street to schedule your hot stone massage at Trinidad Massage and Day Spa and sample some wine at Moonstone Crossing. Then it’s back to Pacific Heights to get ready to sample one of Trindad’s fine restaurants for dinner.

See you next post for a dining excursion!