Saturday, September 7, 2013

"Pacific Ocean from Russian Ridge" -- photo from California's Santa Cruz Mountains

"Pacific Ocean from Russian Ridge"

In this simple scene from Russian Ridge, California, the drama was all in my mind. I know that the Pacific Ocean got its name when Ferdinand Magellan passed through the Straits of Magellan and into the relative calmness of the ocean beyond, but here I was rewriting history in my head. As someone who moved from Florida to San Francisco, it's hard for me to imagine that anyone considers the Pacific calm. However, unlike the Atlantic in Florida, many of my chances to glimpse the Pacific come from mountaintops. From up here, where you can't make out the swells and breakers, the sea looks as tranquil as an alpine lake. Even though I know it's incorrect, I imagined that the Pacific Ocean got its name when the early land-based explorers ascended these coastal mountains and got their first glimpse of the ocean, from up high. It's the only place where I can see the Pacific as "calm."

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