Arcata Bottoms, Arcata CA
The clouds were churning, collecting, amassing into a thick lid ready to close tight. I picked up my son from school and took a detour home. As I turned left, towards “the bottoms” I felt butterflies in my stomach. I was so excited to chase the clouds. I gave my boys, both wide-eyed in the backseat, a run down of my expectations. I wanted to photograph the clouds and maybe some farms too and I needed their cooperation.
Of course a negotiation ensued, my boys are smart and opinionated. They don’t like to feel like they are just along for a ride. We decided I could take some photographs, they wouldn’t question why I was stopping, they would stay in the car and then, we would go to the ocean and play.
This was the first time I have intentionally gone somewhere to take photographs. I will have to do it again, soon, and probably without kids in tow. Although, to their credit, they held up their end of the bargain.
There was so much movement in the clouds, a large storm was moving in from the coast. There were wind and waterspout warnings for the evening. Everything was just beginning at this point. There were few other cars on the roads (which has more to do with a lack of population and less to do with the storm), it felt so adventurous to just stop, in the middle of the road and jump out. My boys heads quickly popping up through the open sunroof and over my shoulder hearing “clicks” from their pretend cameras.
I did feel hurried of course, but tried to see and capture what I intended to. I was more excited to know I could make it happen. And, the boys enjoyed themselves too.
The closer to the Ocean we went the more sun we saw. This felt very backwards and yet magical at the same time. The grass was an incredible emerald color, it was like someone colored it with a brand new sharpie pen. I could have driven around until there was no daylight left. But, I needed to hold up my end of the bargain too.