di Erika Scafuro
An old tall railroad trestle and a long wooden pier. Without doubt these two are the symbols of Gaviota Beach that captured also your attention in a scene of “Big Wednesday”. In fact you can see them at the beginning of the movie, when Bear is at work making boards on the old pier.
The sound of the waves that slam against the pier pilons, the cry of the seagulls, the scent of the wind, the breeze of the Pacific Ocean, the sandy beach, the bluffs and then the vegetation of the inland: this wild and pristine place is called Gaviota State Park Beach which is about 30 miles north to the city of Santa Barbara, in California.
Around 1769 year, when it was just a little village inhabited by Native Americans called Onomyo, the Governor of Baja California came also here with his expedition in the upper coast and it seems that, from that moment, this place became popular as Gaviota, spanish word for seagull, because a soldier shot one.
The environment of Gaviota Beach is dominated by the old trestle that divides the beach from the campground and it couldn’t not give an aura of mistery and legend, in fact the trestle is also known as “ghost bridge” since people told to have seen the ghosts of two girls roam and cry during night.
The beach is characterized by bluffs created by waves erosion and to the popular old pier that gives to this landscape more fascination. Its structure is currently not accessible for safety reason, but it used to be a place for fishermans and all the visitors admiring the coastal scenery.
Around Santa Barbara county and Gaviota Beach there are some points break to surf, but you must be able to handle the diffucult Ocean circumastances. If you are waiting for the right swell, the low or the high tide for the best wave to ride, you know that the conditions there can change so quickly, the strong outflow and the unpredictability of the large waves can be the most worst situations and everybody needs to be so careful.
From the beach to the inland Gaviota State Park has so much to offer to all the people who want to explore this area; back to the Ocean there are several trails for hikers and mountain bikers and a pathway that leads to natural hot springs, and also wind caves sandstone origin from that you can have an amazing look at the Pacific Ocean. After a day spent around surfing and discovering Gaviota area, there is a last thing to do and it is to sit down on the sandy beach to admire the light and the colours of the sunset, pure magic.