Bekka Palmer

A hipcampout in Bodega Bay

Getaways, Photography, WritingBekka Palmer

"Watch out for the poison oak," someone said as we were hiking up the river bed to find a shady space to sit. 

We talked about salmon for over an hour in the shade, listening to Salmon Creek trickle by. The creek is nearly dry, just another indicator that California is currently parched. Coming from the lush, green east coast, the brown grasses and dried up plants were jarring. I seemed the most concerned of anyone about the lack of water. 

The heat was more than we had expected. Bodega Bay is near the shore and we thought for sure it would be breezy and cool. The sun was shining and it was nearly 90 degrees; a cool breeze would have been very welcome in the scorching sun.

Later, we sat in a circle and ate a pig that had roasted for two days. We talked of our short time here, both camping for the weekend and on this earth. We spoke of the state of the world and the repercussions of our consumerist ways of the past 100 years or so.

April said, "You can make a difference, even if it feels small." Pick up that piece of trash, make better decisions about what you eat and what you wear. Even so, it's hard to feel hopeful that the Earth isn't forever changed by our selfishness.

There was one baby camping with us. I looked at her and wondered what this world will look like when she is 30. Will California even be able to sustain life without water anymore?

The wind picked up, we continued to drink beers, but now that the sun had set the breeze was less welcome. Everyone pulled on jackets and caps and huddled closer and closer to the fire. Trying to stay warm, we all felt the impending end of our time here. 

I walked back to my tent alone, leaving the group around the fire listening to music. I crawled inside and closed my eyes. I felt the earth underneath me, heard the racket of the wind, and even made out the hopeful sound of water flowing down the river. 

// Hipcamp is a website where you can both list your private property for campers to rent, and find plots of land to host your tent! They are currently looking for property owners to host campers, so if you have a piece of land good for camping, sign up.

Special thanks to Charles for an ecology lesson and April and Tavish for teaching us about the salmon. In case you were wondering, you should be buying wild caught salmon, and avoiding farmed atlantic salmon.

Thanks to Hipcamp for inviting me to a Campout, and to Eddie Bauer for providing transportation. All views are my own.