A Day at the Jetty

We drove out to the Spiral Jetty yesterday. The road’s better than last time but the jetty is much closer to submerged. I walked out in jeans and boots, mid-thigh deep. The clothes are brittle now, crusted with salt.

After we walked the jetty we climbed up the hillside and looked at the lake, drinking beer and watching people come and go. K the hydrologist (and our driver and host) said the level will likely rise a bit in the coming year. La nina? You never know though. The jetty was submerged for more than a decade in the…80’s? Maybe it’ll go under again and I can tell people “I saw it when…”

Eureka CA in 2011

There’s a place in my heart for Eureka California. Arcata, five miles north,
with its college and town square, is the looker of the pair of cities, but Eureka has something. Good bone structure? Old brick, old houses, a layout that makes sense. But Eureka is depressing, and as economically depressed, as a California town can be. It gives the passerby two options: focus on what’s there (and what’s not) or focus on what could be.

I had 10 minutes in Eureka. The fuelie at the dock had already launched into his antigovernment mumbo jumbo, so I climbed the ladder and tried to get my land legs back. I wobbled. I thought about touching the ground, just to do it. Instead I walked fast, determined to see as much as I could. I got a few blocks, took pictures, and went back to the boat.

i’m south of San Francisco now, across from Monterrey bay, and two days ago in Eureka was the last time my feet were on the ground.