Monday, January 26, 2009

Walking on the Wild Side

It's always in the back of our minds when we walk along this beach, which is only accessible at a minus tide under the fossil-rich cliffs of Capitola, that huge pieces of this cliff crash occasionally and unpredictably down on to the beach. We've read in the local paper of people who have been killed here by the huge rocks, trees, and crushing earth. We're always careful; we walk as far out to the water's edge as we can, without getting our shoes soaked. We have always assumed that we'd be safe there. How far could those rocks fall in the crack of an instant?
Well, it turns out that very quickly rocks bigger than me and Roger fall all the way into the bay. That's fifty feet from the base of the cliffs to the lowest tide mark. Yikes. This pile of earth, trees, and cliff-face came crashing down last week (if you click on the pic you'll see a bit of fossil bed on the rocks to the right of Roger-- opposite to the direction he's pointing in). Lucky for us we were not on the beach that day, but that's only happenstance. This is our favorite minus tide walk, and we'll definitely be climbing and clambering over these newly fallen rocks at the next one. But I suspect we'll be a little more circumspect about the real dangers when we do this. It won't stop us, but it does have a sobering effect.

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