Fort Bragg, Cal



When I was a child, my parents and I would travel along highway 20 from Willits to Fort Bragg (or vice versa) on our Sunday "after church" drives. Highway 20 goes high along the mountainside and I remember riding in the back seat of our car, staring out the window at the extraordinary, and sometimes foggy, canvas of redwoods on the next mountain. The view was, and remains, remarkable. My father was born in the small town of Willits, which adds to my connection to the region. 

I've come to MacKerricher State Park to photograph the sand dunes (which have proven less exciting than I'd hoped), but one of the first stops I made was Glass Beach. Since it's March I thought that Fort Bragg would be quiet, and I was wrong. It is still whale watching season, and there was a crowd of people when I arrived and more continued coming as I carried my camera around the beach. But while I was stunned by the beautiful rock formations, most were looking down at the sand for glass, or out  to sea for whales. 

Later tonight the rain clouds will arrive and rain will fall, catching many of my fellow campers unawares, and I'll again lie in my sleeping bag, listening to the surf, though I don't know that yet. For now I wait, poised behind my 4X5 camera, in front of a pool of water that reflects the silvery sky until it looks more like a mirror than water, waiting for those around it to stop moving so that I can open the camera shutter.