Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Moon Dance

Last summer, after traveling through southern and central California, then escaping the crowds into the Sierras and the Giant Sequoias, and then availing ourselves of the hospitality of our friends Patti and Matt for 10 days, we headed north to the so-called Lost Coast, and returned to one of our favorite camping sites from our 7-1/2 years on the road: Westport, California.

It's officially a state park, but has minimal amenities, and almost no people, and you camp right on the cliff overlooking the Pacific.

We got our favorite campsite again, popped the top of our Westy, and headed straight down the path to Cocktail Point.

Mistah Schleckah loves Cocktail Point.

It's a gorgeous place to while away a week or two.

The fog rolls in every day,

and one can make quick friends, camping side-by-side.

We met a guy named Mose, and became fast friends, camping with eachother all week.

With Mose we cooked everything on the open driftwood-fire.

We shared lots of great meals, some that doubled as folk art.

Nights would get chilly, but we didn't care. We had a fire . . .
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. . . and we had Big Brown.

One night, we read we were going to be graced with a Full Lunar Eclipse.

The smart peeps at NPR, reporting from the McDonald Observatory at Fort Davis, Texas, said that in the United States, the further west you could get, the better the viewing.

Since we were on the very edge of the North American continent, we figured we had a pretty good chance of a clear sighting.

The sun set over the Pacific . . .

. . . the ocean water down the cliff swirled . . .

. . . and the moon started rising . . .

. . . and rising . . .

. . . and rising . . .

. . . and rising. By definition, a Full Lunar Eclipse happens the night of a Full Moon, and with no ambient light for miles, that Full Moon Rising in Westort California was pretty spectacular.
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We had a great time in camp that night, drinking and dancing and yakking and watching the moon and listening to the ocean. Oh and taking photos. Lots and lots of photos. This is Bill's money shot of Mose's camper. It's called SurrealEstate.

We went to sleep under that big fat full bright moon in our respective rigs, and set our alarms cellphones for 4 a.m. When the beep scared us awake in the middle of the night, the first thing Bill said was, "It's dark! The sky must have clouded over!"

Not so. It was dark because the Full Moon was in Full Eclipse, and we 3 sat under it on our lounge chairs, with no fire, and watched that big orb -- what had looked like a flat disk earlier -- go through all the phases of its date with the shadow of the Earth.




Years later, just this past spring, we watched a Full Lunar Eclipse with Mom and Dad in Fort Davis, and Mom invented a new word for this phase, when the moon starts to come out of its full eclipse, and look like a boring old big fat full bright moon again: Declipse.

We went to bed feeling like we'd had a gift from the Heavens.

Bill got up to pee in the morning -- early, before the sun came up -- and that big fat full moon, after such a big night of it, was quietly about to set herself over the Pacific.

Moon set, people.

The next day we drove to Fort Bragg, CA for supplies, and some of the Eclipse photos printed at CVS. On the way back to Westport we stopped to buy firewood. We talked to the couple/owners about the Eclipse, showed them the photos, offered them one, and they were so touched by that -- by our giving them a 19¢ print -- that they opened up their garden to us.

That is a pretty good haul for 19¢.

That night we cooked our veggies, opened another bottle of wine, toasted the sky and the stars and that gorgeous, hard-working moon, and had our last night of raging campfire and philosophical meanderings with our new friend Mose, the crashing waves of the Mighty Pacific providing our background music. In the morning we packed up and said toodle-oo.

Sigh. What a fabulous stay.

If only poor ol' Mose could do something about his drinking . . .

16 comments:

Heinous said...

Fantastic. What a beautiful place and it looks like a great experience.

Imperatrix said...

Wow, what gorgeous photos! Sounds like a heavenly week to me.

jenboglass said...

All those photos are beautiful. What a fun time!

NucMEd is Hot said...

Again with the fabulous photos. I want to have your life!

Beth said...

Awesome, Ellie, just awesome. I think a lot of Mistah's photos posted today are money shots! (I mean one of those photos already fed you guys :-)

Nice post.

Too bad about Mose.

Domestic Spaz said...

Holy Shrimp that's a lot of bottles!

Those photos are simply GORGEOUS. I am so envious. Really... want to come trade with me? You can be the frazzled housewife and I'll go on adventures in the Westy. Deal?

Tami said...

love the photos - esp of Ellie holding the basket of veggies. The chick on the raisin box has nothing on you. Seriously, can we trade places for a week - what beautiful places.

Plus, I've added you to my blogger dashboard! didn't know what one was until this morning and am quite proud of my ability to keep up with the posts on such a timely basis. - must keep ahead of my kids (facebook is so last year)

Ellie said...

Welcome aboard, Tami! So glad to have you around....

And it's so great to have Bill around. Because if he wasn't, my blogs would be really visually boring. And I'd get way fewer compliments...

Thanks, Mistah! Nice job! As per... xxx

Kat said...

That sounds like such a great camping trip. I can't wait until my girls are a good age where we can take them camping. Maybe when we get back from England in 4 years.

dana wyzard said...

Oh SNAP! And I"m not a camper. Something about needing to shower and wash my hair DAILY. But, if I could be guaranteed to have what you had, with or without Mose, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Twice!

Jacquie said...

Gorgeous photos, Ellie. Poor ol' Mose had to drink all that hootch all by his own bad self, hmmmm?

LOL at Tami's raisin lady comment - Hi Tami!

Captain Dumbass said...

That looked like a nice holiday.

XUP said...

Gorgeous! Like Dana Wyzard, I prefer to sleep in a bed and have an adjoining bath to which to adjourn in the morning, but this photo essay makes life on the road look so romantic and spectacular and idyllic that I'm almost (almost) tempted to load up a VW van and hit the highway. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome experience

Springer Kneeblood said...

This is one of the best posts yet, Ellie, and that's saying a lot! You've got me thinking again, hard, about jumping into a Westy-double and wandering all over the country, making friends and having a good time.

Sweet Jennie said...

I know the blog was about the lunar eclipse and the moon and all, but I think Cacti looked really great in that shot of the picnic table and the Westie (yes, ie not y)!

Leslie said...

Another fabulous post with incredible photos. I'm living vicariously through you. Nice shot of the picnic table. I laughed out loud.