August 2000 — Yet another ocean trip, this one an overnight stay. Our lodgings were at the River’s End, a rustic-looking restaurant and string of cabins all perched on the cliffs near Jenner. I was disappointed to find the cabin had no phone and no TV; but it did have a wide balcony, a wonderful picture window looking out over the ocean — and a floor that seemed to slant downward in the same direction. Even though our cabin was located just below the level of Highway 1, the only sounds were of the Russian River and the ocean.

From Google Street View; note the downward angle of the road alongside the cabins!
The Russian River meets the Pacific just below our cabin at River’s End
Goat Rock visible to the north from our balcony

I also wasn’t too thrilled with our first fishing spot of the trip. After we’d checked in, the Big Guy couldn’t bear to waste any time getting his line in the water, and that was fine with me. But I would so much rather hike down to the beach via a steep trail full of switchbacks and slippery mud and rocks than lower myself over the side of a cliff using a filthy nylon rope that had been there for who-knows-how-long. No, that was not my idea of a good time.

Not surprisingly, I have no photographs from that outing. But things got a lot better later in the evening when we ate dinner (sauteed calamari with rice) at Lucas Wharf in Bodega Bay. And the next morning we turned up at Shell Beach by 8:30 to find it both sandy and empty of other people. In my journal I described the temperature that day as “perfect, really — not hot but not cold. Just sort of coastal.”

Gull trying to look casual while sizing up the bait bucket…
… and his two accomplices.

I took quite a few pictures the Big Guy catching red-tail perch as well as a trio of gulls hoping to steal some of the ghost shrimp he was using for bait. Sadly, my camera wasn’t able to capture all the sea lions sunning themselves on the distant rocks or the number of brown pelicans flying past us just offshore.

All of our fish were released safely back into the surf

I even caught a decent-sized perch myself, just so I could say I’d done it!

Next week, I have more images of Shell Beach and the beautiful California coast; see you then!


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