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Category: Rialto

Landscape Paparazzi

Rialto, November 2007

I have had a troubling revelation; no matter how deeply I explore an area, my best shots seem to happen very close to the parking lot. At Rialto for example, no matter how far down the beach I go, it’s always the shots close to the car that stand out. It’s true for many areas- at Shi-Shi/ Point of the Arches it’s 10 miles there and back, 10 miles around the Cape Alava/Sand Point loop as well and I have yet to return with anything I’m happy with from either place.

It’s not that incredible opportunities don’t abound it both areas. I’m more inclined to believe that simple toil from carrying a lot of gear makes all but the most obvious shots get lost under the brute reflex of Getting There. And of course there is no ‘There’ on such excursions. Or rather, all of it is There. In any case I often discover myself on long hikes hunkered in, head down, in a treadmill sort of oblivion.

It’s troubling because limitations always are. Am I too stupid to walk and see at once? I lecture myself yet I slow down only briefly. But it’s more troubling because there are definite inroads here into personality flaws. Maybe I’m not who I like to think I am. I like to think I like hiking, being outdoors; just being, in the cosmic sense. But looking at me, well…It’s like I’m chasing someone. Heh, maybe I’m actually no different that an opportunistic paparazzo, hunting down a victim.

Scale issues

Rialto Beach, Mora, November 2007

If you get up early enough you get such places to yourself. I don’t know why being alone in such a place is important, but it is. You could hide an invading force in these beach logs, but still. It’s easy to get suckered into a pre-wheel mindset, a superficial loneliness that’s a matter of salt in the hair rather than the spirit, yet I get lost and baffled when I even think about it. My wife and I used to camp in such places. The sleep amongst the sounds of breakers and the siftings of cold fogs and mineral smell of salt air and wet basalt is something to be experienced. And relived; such that even inconvenience and rainy day grumpiness becomes a sweet memory.

I wonder if size every really leaves its mark here. The place is huge, but close in ways that altogether befuddling. I keep coming back up for the spectacle of the Pacific, the force entire. But it’s the smallness, the trees that are orderly even in their deadness, the gestures of sand and waves around buried logs, the blanket size patches of fog that I want to take home and print.

Drifting along the updrafts of these waters, buffered in fog like a kid in a big soft towel. Already half-gone wading in the tide. 15, 20 feet out and you are lost forever.