76 – Some Santa Cruz Island

Returned from my first hike traipsing back across the island through the crisp, dry grass and reedy plants, sans knit hat, sweating and all, like a blithering idiot to the new water reservoir I bought only the day before yesterday, clawed up, off the picnic table, in the dirt and with a small hole in a corner, most of the contents leaked out (too curious foxes!), after dark of course, as I had enjoyed a magnificent sunset on the opposite side of the island.

It all leaves a bitter taste in one’s mouth, after experiencing something of the first order of perfection. These were images of an Italian or Grecian coastline, such as one might find in a magazine or an Instagram (and no cliff-side homes, nor a human for hundreds of meters all around), I was observing, but in actuality, with the crashing of the waves below and the barking of sea lions beyond, the wind on my face and the sky glowing like a picture postcard. Unfortunately, the resultant discovery of my favorite (read: only) knit hat (an expensive one at that) to be gone from my person, and the ensuing tumble across the island after sunset in hopes of finding it—an impossible attempt, mind you, since I wandered rather through the back country instead of following the main trail, and thus had no distinct path to follow—has me feeling somewhat morose. And the not-quite-comfortably-long-enough stick I resorted to using to prop up the entrance to my tent because I don’t have trekking poles or a front support pole and there was nothing for me to tie the guyline to like I normally would. Well, that’s the life of the ever not quite properly prepared! Tomorrow I may search again before departing, but more importantly must go for a run!

Went for a marvelous run this morning before needing to break camp. Followed the trail I took last night and found my cap which I had thought lost. Just goes to show ya. Course it has a couple large holes in it now, and much of the edge is chewed up. Souvenirs, I suppose! Anyway, the run topped off at one of several peaks in the area. Could see over quite a vast area—the island goes on and on, ridges and valleys like a set of ribs, caves and bays, tiny islands (rocks, really) smothered with birds and bird shit, the vague horizon a smudged line. Speaking of horizons, amazing how far one can see on a clear day; Cali mainland in the distance. Santa Ynez mountains mysterious and cloud hidden and blue. Cormorants fishing in the jewel-like water. Girl sunbathing on a distant bench. Two more sitting in the shade of a seaside cliff subsumed with the rocks and boulders into its shadow. And a man walking along the stony beach with his camera.

About to take a snooze on a picnic bench before the boat picks us up. Slept poorly last night. Kayakers returning from an excursion exploring the arched caves and passages the ocean has carved over the eternity of its existence. Something to do if ever I get back here.


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