Frolicking With Unfrightened Creatures in Usal Beach, California
When Mendocino locals want to escape the already leisurely pace of small-town life, they hop in the car and head north—along the sweeping cliffs of Highway One, over a rugged dirt road, and to a still-untrammeled corner of Eden. On the black-sand beach of Usal in Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, one finds seals that seem not to know what a human is, pelicans wheeling on the sea breeze, whales spyhopping to get a better view of the shore, and air so fresh and clean it’s difficult to imagine humans still walk the earth. Inland are massive stands of poplar, home to mighty Roosevelt elk that have no fear of people. This is nature at its most pristine, laid bare for a true communion.