On the road to find out
We left Clam Beach to find our campsite upon the lip of a meadow within Prairie Creek Redwood state park. In short order we'd set up the tent and set foot on the James Irvine Trail for an impromptu hike. The trail follows the ridgeline toward the coast, ascending through coastal several different ecosystems.
The monoliths grew in small family circles and framed the trail at each turn. The late afternoon breeze brought its daily fog in from off the shoals and the air was by turns hot and cold. We lingered too long, forgetting that the sun sets early in a dense forest, and found ourselves getting back to a very dark campsite just as the sun was setting.
I've written before and will write again about how this trip was a particularly charmed time for my wife and I; the excitement at having landed amongst the redwoods—and sleeping where their needles fell overnight on the nylon of the tent like a coarse and verdant snow—was in many ways the high-water mark. Maybe that is to be expected, it was the first night of the first trip of our first year amongst the giants. Time had no measure, the world was endless, and California was full of two things: redwoods and possibility.
Worth noting (for the photographers)
One of the sea-changes that my photography underwent during my time in California was an abandonment of the highly-processed HDR work that I had defined myself by earlier. Although it took some time for me to back off that type of processing, it's a testament to how far I've come that I lead with the first image on this post rather than the last (which clearly would have been my previous lead). Maybe it's because I've been spending a lot of time looking at slides recently, but there's something undeniably stronger about the first image rather than the last (which was also taken with a filter).