In the summer of 1953, Bruce Bigelow's parents, Hal and Jane, took us on a camping and fishing adventure to a cove a little north of Ft. Ross. It turned out to be an epic weekend. We filled a washtub with fish—black and red snapper, sea trout, cabezon, even a couple of ling cod. But more than the fishing, I fell in love with the place. We called it Timber Cove, though it is a couple of miles south of the resort hotel. I've been back many times since then, bringing friends and family to share my favorite spot on the planet. Here is the poem I wrote, hoping to capture the feeling:
Just above Ft. Ross, along the rocky coast
there’s a place that is special to me
where the highway bends to embrace
a lovely ocean cove.
The path down to the narrow beach
is deeply cut and worn
for divers, fishermen and lovers
know this place so well.
A great rock sits at water’s edge
its base washed by a stream
that flows from a redwood canyon
wound deep into the hills
Beside that tumbling stream
hand in hand with those I love
sunlight through the redwoods high above
I’ve walked in God’s cathedral by the sea.
We lost Bruce in March. Today would have been his eightieth birthday. Happy Birthday, Brucie. And thanks for the memories.