After lunch, my sister suggested that we take Schatzi and explore the Little River Cemetery. It’s a charming place, and though we’ve both driven by it many times, neither of us has ever stopped to pay our respects. I always enjoy walking around graveyards, especially very old ones in England or the fascinating Sleepy Hollow Cemetery which I visited* a couple of years ago.
Still in my unsensible sandals, but with the addition of sunscreen, we loaded the dog into the car and were on our way.
We crossed over the Albion Bridge (fun fact: it’s the only wooden bridge still in use on the entire 655 miles of Highway 1) and were soon at the cemetery. With Schatzi respectfully on her leash, we wandered the grounds. The graves date back to the 1800s, and the most recent we saw was from 2005. There was also one for a couple, with only the birth date for one spouse. That’s planning ahead.
An elaborate monument honors the brief lives of one family’s five children. I don’t know if any of the others grew up, but it must have been devastating. The twins who died a month apart at the age of four or so were heart-breaking, too.
Back then, the style was to say how many years, months and days old a person was, whether they were 6 or 60. Lambs were a popular motif for children; adults had clasped hands, roses, or weeping willows. I liked the epitaph “Lost from sight, but alive in memory”.
Again my footwear was problematic, since the area is apparently extremely popular among gophers. There were dusty holes all over, and once my foot even sank into the grass far enough to be disturbing.
You’d never guess it from the road, but behind the cemetery is a path which leads through the woods to the rocky cliffs overlooking the ocean. The path passes an intriguing sort of bowl, 80 feet deep or so. The bottom is sand, and you can see a cave or tunnel leading to the ocean and stained with salt water. You can also hear the ocean, but the water doesn’t seem to come in. Mysterious…
The forest is magical and hushed and you wouldn’t be surprised to see dinosaurs come crashing through it. Unfortunately, we had to keep to the path since it was poison oak central, but it was amazing. We could look through the clearing to the silvery ocean and its rough black rocks, the waves crashing and the wind blowing through the trees, bowed by decades of past storms.
You’re probably wondering where the visual aids are, and indeed, my ancient camera is full of photos which would show you what I mean. However, the camera is on strike, hopefully temporarily. I’m planning to take it to the Apple store and see if one of the Geniuses behind the Bar can manage to extract the photos for me. I’ll keep you posted (and keep posting) in the meantime.
*Cool photo, if I say so myself.