Emily and Brenden's Worldwide Volunteering Adventure travel blog

Emily and Nicole manning the canoe... why are they against the current?...

Brenden and Michael... rowing?

Brenden and Michael... rowing? Pt. 2

Rowing?! Through a sea of wheat! (And Nicole is reliving her days...

Nicole's newest mural - Pt. 1

Nicole's newest mural - pt. 2

Have you ever visited Point Arena, CA? Have you ever heard of Point Arena, CA?

Point Arena is an emerging metropolis of nearly 470 inhabitants just a hop North of San Francisco on the Pacific Coast. Highway 1, with its incredible views and breath taking curves, is the thoroughfare that will take you there.

The town boasts an incredible bakery with the CA granola that you so often hear about. There is a breakfast spot, Carlini's, that rivals Stories restaurant in Greensburg, IN (though no one can beat Storie's pies!) I recommend the LaDonna (minus the bell peppers because I am not so fond of peppers!) Dinner should be consumed at Pangaea in Gualala (see separate entry for our restaurant review!)

There are miles and miles of beaches and trails that can offer their solitude for reflection. One can harness the power of the Pacific for a surf, or if a lazy river ride is more your style, then a canoe ride on the Garcia River might be in order (see photo documentation above). Note: in the summer the Garcia might have a few dry patches, so it is a good idea to bring two nice people who are willing to hop out and push now and again (and again!).

Point Arena houses fisherman who bring in their fresh catch daily (the salmon is terrific). There is an architect who worked with Francis Lloyd Wright and now focuses his energy as a volunteer at the local library... A gentleman who traveled the world erecting embassies in foreign countries one rarely hears of... There is someone from as far as Germany who lends music that rouses the imagination on a "pirate" radio station... and many more talented individuals. Stories abound.

One story I would like to share is the story of a local artist in Point Arena... I met this individual back in a cornfield in Indiana. Well, maybe it was more like on a playground at Rosenmund Elementary School in Greensburg, IN. Regardless of the start of the story, it has many interesting chapters, with many, many bouts of laughter and the story will continue to add more chapters in Point Arena and new locales (Mexico is our newest conquest).

I have been a fan of her work since her early years in Mr. Irwin's junior high art class where she created the famous "Surf Gas Creek" air brush creation. I still have a copy in my possession. Her work has expressed her frustration and sadness in narrative oil paintings ("Who Shot Spot?"), captured the beauty of trees and green in Indiana ("Emily's Bench" and many more), and inspired the next generation of artists through her mural work in Point Arena. Whether a landscape or a work with characters (human or bovine) her works show depth, breadth, and will lead you back to your own story.

Nicole and I have been friends for a long time. I have seen her life through my eyes and through her art, but regardless of the perspective our friendship is an important part of who I am and will continue to inspire me... though the expression of its impact is hard to express with paint or words.

Visit Nicole's work at www.nicoleponsler.com.

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