Last evening when we drove out from Samoa to Arcata I spotted a road sign that says Manila. Yes there is a little corner of Northern California called Manila. It's very small and so close to Arcata. I think the sand dunes also stretch out to Arcata.
The day began rather late I thought at 10 am. At breakfast we chatted with a family of 5 who took a few months off travelling the country. The father and the mother with their 3 children, or may be 4, were camping out in different spots. They were checking in at the hotel at the same time we did yesterday. The kids were coughing and the littlest one had a fever, so they thought the safe bet is to be in a hotel, away from the cold dampness of tents. A lot of talking of course delayed us.
Our day began at the waterfront area, not via the old town, but across from it via Samoa. It had been drizzling since we woke up that morning, however a little lull in the drizzle came at the time we were to explore the waterfront. We saw the statue of the fisherman, took pictures with it, walked around to see a fisherman cleaning his haul while the birds surround him awaiting for their share of the catch of the day. While the rain stayed away momentarily, it was replaced by cold breeze. We couldn't handle too much cold so we cut our exploration short.
Fisherman and birds
Driving on to Manila sand dunes was quick and pretty soon we were pulling up onto the dirt road parking area. We entered the visitor's center. Our attention was caught by the many displays inside the domed building until we heard many voices coming from the back. We checked the viewing area indoors with the telescope and saw coming in from the sand dunes were kids on a field trip apparently. It took no more than a minute for us to exit the building and start hiking down to the dunes.
A few yards from the visitor center we bumped into kids all lined up and all huffing and puffing. One child was glowing and I asked her where they went. She said they hiked to the beach and she ate an ant. I asked her how was the ant. She said it tasted like lemon.
We took the trail. It was an easy one, it rises and falls quite a bit but not too much and the landscape varies from low growing plants to shrubs and then to grasses and finally the trail ends at the beach. Who knew!!! What a lovely surprise. The beach is nearly empty except for a guy with his 2 dogs playing catch and before we left a woman came by herself and walked the beach.
Again, the breeze was almost unbearable, but we managed to walk quite a ways, them looking for funky stones (no shells) and I just photographing them. We spent enough time at the beach then we headed out. On the walk back we met a handful of people who were going to the beach also. My husband encountered the ants that the child was bragging about eating. He wanted to eat also. I gave him the go signal but he didn't do it.
Hiking to the sand dunes.
Beach Scenes (thanks Ginnie for hooking me up to picmonkey)
I couldn't help myself watch as the dogs enjoy the water and play time with their owner. I took liberty of snapping a few shots.
Now back to the visitor center we go.
.........to be continued......