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Discover Trinidad ... Again and Again

The young surfer left the water, grabbed his board, and walked in my direction. As he passed, we exchanged a brief greeting. Thinking he'd know, I turned and said, "Excuse me. This is my family's first trip to the North Coast. We only have time for one more stop before we drive to Portland. Is there another beach or area nearby you would recommend we visit?"

Salt water dripped from his hair and ran down his face, but he gave a smile, then stated simply, "Trinidad. Check out Trinidad. I think you'll like it."

He was right.

As I stood at Memorial Lighthouse and took my first gaze at the picture-perfect, protected harbor sprinkled with moored boats and dotted by small sea stacks, something stirred within me. I inhaled the freshest of ocean-kissed air, looked down at the active pier, and felt Trinidad's draw.

The heart of the community, the working pier, beckoned. Here sport fisherman cleaned their catch of the day, visiting as they worked. A man knelt on the pier's wooden planks making gear repairs. A water taxi carried fishermen out to distant boats moored throughout the bay. Nearby, a boat launch lifted crafts from their trailers and placed the boats on a rail system that safely carried them down to the water's edge. And, on a shallow bluff in front of Seascape Restaurant, an afternoon painting class attempted to capture on canvas their own perspective of the cove below. I was smitten.

I relocated to the North Coast and visited Trinidad regularly, pulled by the area's rejuvenating beauty and charm. I walked on her beaches, fished for salmon in the waters outside Trinidad Head, toured the museum, and studied Trinidad's rich history, inspired by the community's will to survive, ability to adapt, and determination to thrive. I visited her stores, ate at her restaurants, and hiked her trails. I attended the annual Fish Festival, toured the lighthouse, and watched whales frolic in the sea below. I went to the Blessing of the Fleet on Thanksgiving and prayed for the fishermen's safety, myself being blessed by going. And each crab season, I revisited the dock and watched, drawn by admiration for the rugged, hardworking men and women who took great risks against tremendous odds to return from the sea with the rewards of their labor.

Surrounded by redwoods and serenaded by the sea, Trinidad and her people inspire. Like the cross placed on the Head back in 1775 and replaced by her citizenry, Trinidad remains marked as special, as a safe harbor from life's storms. Indeed, I find her so special that I spent the last three years completing a novel titled, Trinidad Head, CA, that coaxes the reader into loving her spectacular beauty and independent spirit. My hope is that when published my words will become earnest encouragement for others to discover Trinidad.

Season after season, I return to Trinidad. Why?

Because I am drawn.

by Jennifer Clark Vihel

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