July 17, 2022 — Last night at happy hour, my redubbing of magic hour, I got in a wonderful Gaviota Beach photo safari. We skipped Gaviota Beach proper as I thought we might. Lots of reasons for that: dogs, train bridge (not a beautiful one), fee for a state park, and an RV camping vibe. Instead we drove south a couple of miles until we found a pullout next to the train tracks. It looked like it might have some trails, and sure enough it did.
So, just like on Wednesday night where we found similar pullouts farther south by about 10 miles, this one had a big payout. At the bottom of the trail was a spectacular stretch of beach. Only one other couple was there, and on cue for the beginning of happy hour, they were leaving.
My daughter, an incredible cook, made her own trademark takeout this time. Her hubby was with us, so we (they, actually), lugged a big soft pack and set up a picnic spot on a smooth weathered shelf above the surf. I trekked off immediately with my iphone to get some shots. We were at the beach at 7:40PM, and my first pics reflect the sun still shining off the wave surf, and the tops of the rocky cliffs. Within minutes, the sun slipped behind the rocky cliffs and the beach and surf were in complete lavender shadow.
For this Gaviota Beach photo safari, it looked like walking north would be the most fruitful. So, I first went south, rounding two points to see what was on the other side. Then as the lavender light descended, I went back to where my daughter and R were starting to eat dinner. I uncharacteristically wolfed mine down, like I was Sensa herself (their husky), then took off to the north. They followed soon enough and we breached two more points, waiting for a break in the surf to scoot around. Or climb in one case.
This morning, I looked through all my photos from both photo safaris. I think I have some great shots for painting from. It’s interesting, I’d envisioned getting sunset shots over the water, but this stretch of 101 faces south. Gaviota to Santa Barbara is a south-facing beach as the coastline curves inward. Looking at the map, it looks like you have to go all the way south to Oxnard to get a sunset shot over the ocean. Or north to Lompoc, then west from there to the coast. Definitely a time commitment. But maybe next time I’m here, I’ll suggest that adventure.
For now, peeps, the adventure is to go to Colorado via my Art Giveaway!