January 25, 2014. Big Sur Month 11.
Sand Dollar beach is at the south end of Big Sur, “across the street” from Plaskett Creek (my favorite camp ground). It’s one of those beaches that changes dramatically with the tide and the seasons. Sometimes a wide expanse of sandy beach. Sometimes only rocks and bank.
I added quotation marks to its proximity to Plaskett, because it’s really the parking lot that is across the street. The beach requires a meander of a walk and steep stairs that take you down to the beach itself.
We caught it on a subdued day. Everything muted, quiet; muffled by the cloud cover. There was a sense of aloneness, even with others around you. The ocean and the clouds loomed large, creating a sense of smallness to everything else.
Steve and I took different beach routes. He perched on this rock, taking photos and making movies of the ocean and the waves. I walked south, underneath the cliff wall.
The south side of the beach — precariously rocky — was underdevelopment. A subdivision of cairns erected everywhere you looked, echoing the sea stacks in the ocean.
August 17, 2013. Walking the sand spit/sand bar from Montana de Oro to Morro Rock (and back). Low tide. At one point a tide line was so thick with sand dollar and other bits of shell that it reminded me of the milky way and the rest of the beach was the universe. Infinite.
Locals my age still refer to this as “A” Beach, short for Atascadero State Beach which is what it was called until some time in the 90s. My high school was on this beach (a rare and cool thing, a school on the beach) and for both PE and track practice I was sent (along with my classmates) to “run to the rock” or the dreaded “run to Cayucos pier.”
Beach notes: Full of sand dollars right now. Also saw a baby/juvenile gull, several curlews, and gangs of dowitchers, and a couple whimbrels. Also four horses, an egret, four dogs (prohibited on this beach), one kite, two people playing in the waves, and two people digging something up (i think just sand, alas) with a shovel where the water was meeting the beach.
Beach a Week, week 2. March 17, 2013
My cousin Solomon and his long-time girlfriend Kyla came to California for their spring break.
After morning meditation at The Center for Living Peace, brunch at Britta’s and Side Effects at Edwards University Cinema, we drove out to Big Corona to get our feet wet. I lived just a block from this beach for a year in the late 80s.