By Cal Orey
The other day, in Northern California I was finalizing my hotel arrangements with the Monterey-based manager...yes, on the coast of the Golden State. Ironically, we rehashed the earthshaking events after the San Francisco Earthquake of 1989. And, then, I asked the seasoned woman who gets California shakers, "If a quake hits when I'm there and tsunami follows will it reach my room?" She paused and answered, "Probably. We're just two blocks from the ocean." (Odd, how I asked for the third floor, huh?) Worse, she talked about the changes after the 9.0 Japan quake-tsunami and its effects on the California Coast. She saw it affect the coastline and boats.
And yeah, Santa Cruz to Monterey was affected by the '89 major earthquake and the 1906 great quake; not to forget the 6.2 in 1984 Morgan Hill strong shaker when I was living and loving life in Santa Cruz Mountains and San Francisco not to forget Monterey...
Enter Gilroy, Geologist Jim Berkland
Another strange thing is haunting me...The late geologist Jim Berkland predicted the Loma Prieta earthquake and his forecast was printed in the Gilroy Dispatch four days before October 17, 1989. And not only did I pen the book about him and his fame for that...he was at Gilroy Barnes and Noble (for me)--and now that's where I'm headed in two weeks. A coincidence? I believe things happen for a reason. But I won't cancel. After all, I survived the 7.1, right? (Keep in mind, I forecasted a West Coast tsunami alert for 2018 and I work two psychic networks; tagged "top producer" and "four stars"... and I'm the quake sensitive News Segment guest on C2C AM.)
Every time I plan a getaway--often work-play--the weather or earthquakes seem to be a factor. A hurricane-force storm stopped my flight for a book signing in Anchorage and my predicted quake swarm in Southern California dunked a tea convention I was booked at in Long Beach. (On the day I was supposed to be there, beach goers were told to stay clear of the sea; one cruise ship wasn't allowed to dock.) This time around just wondering, "Will today's 5.3 offshore Southern California shaker trigger more earthquakes, perhaps on the big San Andreas? Perhaps. Yes, the quake gurus and I agree--it's possible more shaking may happen in the near future. (They say 1-20 odds in a few weeks; my "guides" tell me something related to this incident may hit California by summer. But hey, the warning system is cool--about 30 seconds to get your ducks in a row. It's better than nothing but what if I'm on the wharf?
I am going because I love award-winning Big Little Lies and second season won't air until 2019. Because I'm booked at Gilroy's Barnes and Noble for a book discussion/signing. And most of all because I have a history with the California Coast.
After all, it's a breathtaking place chock-full of Mother Nature at her finest that I've gone with the favorite men in my life. Yep, romantic images come to mind. Eating dinner at an ex's home with a living room view of the Pacific Ocean. Another love and I drove to Monterey and enjoyed that 17 mile drive and sunning on the beaches. And the last one, the love of my life and the one who got away, well...Cannery Row strolls, munching on fish and chips and smelling the ocean air reminds me of West Coast heaven.
This time around the trip is for me. It will be a time to revisit the past. Living in Santa Cruz Mountains and visiting the coast was a frequent past-time. Going to the Garlic Festival, viewing fields of lettuce and artichokes, and enjoying coffeehouses (especially for the tea and honey with bagels) up and down California coastline brings back fond days and nights. Not to forget when I was a kid I swam and surfed in sea that I'm going to revisit.
Flashback to my freewheeling days living in San Jose, 30 miles from the coast. One Easter break, I hitchhiked south to Big Sur, a place to go and fall in love with the great outdoors. Without a penny in my pocket and no hotel for me, I slept on the beach in a sleeping bag with my dog surrounded by no name strangers from places around the country. Under the stars and circled around the bonfire we'd share road tales trying to one up each other. Adventures like me being stranded in Colorado and told by a highway patrolman to walk out of the state because hitchhiking was prohibited to the night I slept with one eye open, arms wrapped around my black Lab on a private property in the Mojave Desert (fearing snakes) got interest. I didn't drink alcohol that night on the beach, but I did savor tea--and was bullied for my clean lifestyle. In the morning without a hangover and feeling rejuvenated, I left paradise and traveled north to return to real life--college with the goal of becoming an author...
Decades later, this time around, I'll be at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Gilroy and dishing on my two latest books--The Healing Powers of Tea and The Healing Powers of Honey. After it will be time to reconnect with Monterey and Pacific Grove (places John Steinbeck lived life and shared with his readers), bond with an otter, experience the sound of waves instead of looking at the Lake--and I'll watch the sun set over the sea and rise--instead of the majestic Sierra. So, who says you can't go back home? This Healing Powers series author is doing just that.