September 04, 2009

more Buddhas than you can shake a stick at

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Before I had visited, S.F. Mike summed it up this way;   "The Asian Art Museum has more Buddhas than you can shake a stick at".   That was a fair statement.   The collection is overwhelming.

About half way through my visit I realized that I was completely insignificant and unworthy to be standing among antiquities that have obviously been an important part of the religious experience of many, for eons.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

This is the oldest structure at Point Lobos, Whaler's Cabin, where hardworking whalers would rest their tired bones before going out and heartlessly snagging a few more innocent souls from the sea.

This little photo was taken by the California Park Service, not me, but will show you the front of the cabin.   It was headquarters of a whaling station from 1862 to 1879.   An abalone cannery once operated nearby, and traces remain of a granite quarry, said to have supplied the stone for the San Francisco Mint.

Talk about history -- In Bluefish Cove, 40 years or more ago I paddled around in my brother's kayak that we built per plans in Popular Mechanics Magazine out of oak sticks, stretched canvas, and waterproof marine paint.   Today the underwater area at Point Lobos is a large marine sanctuary very popular with scuba divers.   The only time I've been diving is when I fell out of the kayak...

I grew up on the Monterey Peninsula, with Point Lobos -- between Carmel and Big Sur -- as my primary place of escape during summers and weekends.   It was just a short motor-scooter ride away.   Forty years ago it only cost three dollars to get in -- now it costs eleven.

If you're cheap, like me, you can save those eleven dollars if you park out on Highway One and walk in to Point Lobos State Reserve for free, but about a year ago I took it one step further and entered the park long before opening time and had the whole spectacular place to my little old self.

Walking in early was a bit dicey -- I had to softly tread by the Ranger's house, but once past I knew nobody was going to find me -- nope, they haven't installed security cameras yet -- and the entire State Park belonged to just me and the Harbor Seals.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

And even though I didn't get busted on this last Point Lobos visit (one year ago), I did manage to get thrown out of the Park when I was a teenager (forty years ago).

When I was a teenager I suppose I thought that because I had a nice view-camera and tripod I could ignore "stay on trail" signs, but as the Ranger pointed out -- "if you do it, everybody is going to want to do it, and pretty soon someone is going to fall off the cliff, so what I want you to do is expose that film so nobody ever sees it, and follow me back to the parking lot where I'm going to have to ask you to leave".

Now, when the Ranger and I got back to the parking lot he softened a bit and said I could stay in the park if I wanted, but I left.

So, 40 years later, while I was already breaking Rule #1 by being inside the Park early, I decided to break one more and trespass to that spectacular but prohibited cliff area where I had gotten busted 40 years earlier.   This is the general vicinity that they call North Shore.   Believe me, one false step and it's curtains.

That's the huge root of a weathered Monterey Cypress tree -- it looks pretty much the same way it did 40 years ago.

Don't know why 40 keeps coming up here...

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

That's kelp and yes, the water can look just like that...

I think I'll visit Point Lobos again for more photography in the winter, but CLICK to see Point Lobos photos on my "big" site.

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Your comments are invited and welcome.


Marcie said...

The buddhist sculptures are fantastic. This lat one of the leaves against the turquoise blue water..reminds me of a painting.

Louise said...

I love your picture of the whale cabin. That cliff is fantastic, and so is the water in the last picture.

I'd never have the nerve to tiptoe past the park ranger's cabin.

Tomate Farcie said...

Wow, you sure remember the details of that meeting with the park ranger real well! ;)

The water never looks that way to me, except in Florida or in the South of France. Great shot!

(getting caught up on your posts)

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