Many years ago, back in the early 2000s, the Geek enjoyed a good Black Friday shopping. He would get up before the crack of dawn and stand in line to get some pretty good deals (at that times you would actually still get good deals). After a few hours he would return home to have a long and lazy breakfast with Kaefer and me - and entertain us with the funniest stories about the things he had experienced while standing in line. But after a few years the appeal had vanished and Black Friday shopping stopped in the Bartz household. Instead, we stayed at home and spent a wonderfully lazy day, playing games, putting up the Christmas lights on the house and eating too many cookies. A couple years later, REI introduced the #optoutside Black Friday with their own stores closed so that their employees could enjoy the great outdoors. We enthusiastically embraced it and since then, we have spent Black Friday far away from any shopping and any laziness.
This year was no exception. The weather was gorgeous and we decided to go to the ocean and spend the day in Salt Point State Park. This state park has been on our list for quite a while and I honestly don't know why we didn't go there sooner. It is a gem.
Salt Point has a very rough and wild shoreline. It is named for the cliffs and crevices where salt from ocean water crystallizes in sandstone depressions. The Native Kashia Pomo gathered salt here for centuries. One of the most unusual and beautiful features of the sandstone along these sea cliffs is the honeycomb-like network called tafoni.
The waves and salt spray leave salt crystals which interact with the sandstone, causing some portions to be hardened, while others are loosened. This creates the lacy, box-like pattern. There were many to find here.
How can you not love this texture on the sandstone? It is simply amazing.
We were constantly putting up our cameras, taking pictures. If it wasn't the tafoni, it was the "lovely rough" sea that captured us with its tall waves - some of them were a good ten feet tall and arrived in the typical "sleeper wave" pattern (a series of very powerful waves followed by a smooth sea followed by very powerful waves etc.). The constant noise from the crashing onto the shore sometimes was so loud that we had to shout to each other.
Beside the tafoni, I was fascinated by the entire geology of this place. Rock surfaces were different, some smooth, some rough. Some reminded me of the slick rock in places like Canyonlands or Arches National Parks. Water pooling in depressions washed out the sandstone even further. There were different colored layers of rock and I repeatedly wished that I knew more about geology. A geologist would have a hayday at this shoreline.