Oh, July! The valley interior heats up, which pulls the marine layer in to cover the coast with mist and fog. Add a chilly wind and it can feel more like April. What a great time to go a little bit east and visit Brian Booth State Park (known locally as Beaver Creek). With the receding water of summer, paths open up in the slough. It can be mucky so good waterproof shoes are advised.
Out on the slough trail the grass grows chest high in places and red dragonflies flit through the wildflowers. The day we visited there were signs posted warning that a cougar had been spotted the day before. Although the grass rustled all around us we saw nothing larger than birds.
In addition to the slough, there is a woods trail in Brian Booth State Park that meanders form the parking lot by the visitors’ center, through the shady coastal trees. It is an easy walk along berry bushes, the sun peeking through the canopy of trees. There is a descent with steps leading to the forest floor.
Even on a cold July day the beach is still a draw. Beaver Creek flows to the ocean, terminating at Ona Beach State Park. It is a simple jaunt from the park in the sunshine to the beach in the fog, just across Highway 101.
Low tide and a brisk wind gives the beach a moonscape look with the shifting sands and muted colors. A day like today is less for picnics and kite flying than it is for simply experiencing the wildness of the nature around us.
As always, no matter the weather, the coast does not disappoint, but simply shows a different side of its perpetual beauty.