I set off from Avila Beach, where’d I’d been hanging out with the parents for a few days, on Sunday, the 18th. Since I had time, I decided to head up the coast instead of the much faster, far less attractive 101. It’s longer, too, but I can’t tell you how long it is in miles. I measure distances in albums, so for the curious, the distance from Avila Beach to San Francisco along the coast is Relayer by Yes, As Day Follows Night by Sarah Blasko, Inside Your Guitar by It Hugs Back, Under Great White Northern Lights by The White Stripes and Sasha’s full two-hour Essential Mix from 2005. Many hours of driving and listening, and that included finding a parking space in the Mission District, which took a good twenty or thirty minutes.
If you’ve never made that trek, especially you Californyuns, what are you waiting for? It’s extraordinary. And please do stop just north of San Simeon if you can. You’ll hit the Elephant Seal view spots up there. I stopped, thinking that it’d be cool to see a few of the beasts. After all, I like looking at beasts. Zoos are my favorite places (though I always find myself wishing I could be a little more behind the scenes and not hanging on the metal railing with all the grade school kids.) I was expecting a few dozen of the seals, but there were more than that. There were a few thousand of them, littering the beach like driftwood as far up the beach as I could see.
I think the reason I was so taken with them is because, these days, that’s me. Or at least it feels like me… washed up on the beach, blubbery, molting, exhausted and prone to making large, guttural noises. Right? We all feel that way sometimes. Right now, that’s me.