The beach . . .

15 Apr

Our first night on our trip, we headed down the coast to a little beach that Greg remembered camping at as a kid.  It’s in northern Santa Barbara county near Vandenburg Air Force Base.  It’s called Jalama County Beach.  You can’t make reservations so I was a little worried about driving down the narrow, winding road for 14 miles to see if we’d be able to spend the night there.  I needed have worried.  We went in the late afternoon on a Sunday and there sites to be had.  We didn’t get one right ON the beach but the next row off the beach.  Besides the drive was amazing . . . through the beautiful and largely unspoiled Cojo Jalama Ranch.  Utterly entrancing land.

708 at Jalama County Park

And, what a beach it was.  Nearly empty, utterly gorgeous.  Rock strewn.  Beautiful.

Jalama Beach

I am not much of a beach fan.  It’s the sand, you see.  It gets into EVERYTHING.  Sigh.  Still, I can enjoy a beach.  They are great for walking on, alone, looking pensive, thoughtful.  Also, the sand is great for getting those dry bits off your feet!

Ruth at Jalama

So, imagine my guilt at the joy my daughter exhibits when she gets anywhere near the beach.  She’s like a labrador who can’t stay out of the water . . . let me at it!  I need to suck it up and let her play in the sand and water more often!

Gage at Jalama

Not that the boy doesn’t also enjoy the sand.  His enjoyment is just more purposeful.  Building his defenses.  Sand piled just so, protected by rock jetties, trenches dug deep to hold back the tide.  Tilting at windmills, that boy!

Gage and his sand castle

Continuing his battle until it is well lost.  Retreating to join me on my pensive, lonely walk.  Well, sort of . . .

Tar on the beach

Actually, his joining me on my walk had more to do with his extreme dislike of a feature (not a bug!) of Santa Barbara beaches.  Beach tar.  As Joni Mitchell says in the song “Carey” . . . “my fingernails are filthy, I’ve got beach tar on my feet.”  Gage was fascinated with the beach tar until he made the mistake of stepping on some.  It doesn’t come off easily.  I think he was convinced it would hurt him in some way and he had a freak-out of MAJOR proportions.  Poor kid.  Took a lot of walking and talking and reminiscing about having beach tar on my feet to calm him down.  (I spent a summer at UC Santa Barbara and was plenty tarred up most of the summer . . . I didn’t hate beaches as much back then!  🙂 ).  We wandered down to the little store/cafe knowing they would have a sure cure.  And, they did.  A bottle of some non-disclosed liquid for like $8.00.  But, the guy behind the counter told us about his surefire cure . . . WD40.  Worked GREAT!  One squirt, one wipe with a rag and ta da!  No beach tar!  Oh, for dogs who get it in their coats, he recommends mayonaisse!  Seriously, it breaks down the tar as well and isn’t nasty for the dogs to be licking.

I don’t think any of my pictures show the result of this tar on the beach but there are off-shore oil rigs visible from most Santa Barbara county beaches.  Delightful.  The tar isn’t caused by the oil rigs though, don’t get me wrong.  The rigs are there because the tar indicates that oil is there too!

Flowers at Jalama

These dune flowers were stunningly beautiful!

Rocks on beach at Jalama

The whole beach was rather beautiful.

Pelicans over Jalama

Okay, I guess I have to admit.  Beaches aren’t that bad.

Besides, I’ve probably driven Wende to tears with my lack of appreciation for despite close-ish proximity to her beloved Santa Barbara County beaches.  Sorry, Wende!  It was special and I did love it.  We’ll be back . . . for sure!


5 Responses to “The beach . . .”

  1. Trevor 15 April, 2009 at 10:38 pm #

    Hey – that looks like a great place to chill out. Reminds me of so many of our Aussie beaches. Great places. Great set of photos took.

    • Liza Lee Miller 16 April, 2009 at 4:51 am #

      Thanks, Trevor! It was a great place to start our vacation. I know we’ll go back there for a longer visit!

  2. Trevor 15 April, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    Sorry – that last word should be “too” – slip of the fingers!

  3. robin andrea 16 April, 2009 at 6:29 am #

    It does look beautiful there. I’ve never traveled the road to Jalama County Beach. What a stunning stretch of sand that beach is. Great for those long walks. Good advice about the beach tar.

  4. Wende 16 April, 2009 at 7:18 pm #

    Yay, a convert! I miss home so so so much. Thank you, Liza Lee, for the photos. It’s so lovely to take a walk on the beach, even if it is virtually!

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