20070917

Devil's Slide

On the way home from work yesterday, I drove down the coast highway over Devil's Slide, which I haven't done in awhile. First, it takes about twice as long to get home that way. Second, parts of the hill the highway is on keep falling into the ocean.

But yesterday was nice, not too hot, not too cold, so I put the top down on the car and let the wind whip my hair up into a huge, un-tanglable (yeah, I know that's not a word) mess. This was the first time I'd driven Devil's Slide in the convertible. I'd always been in my beat-up CRX, hoping the car wouldn't lose a critical part while navigating the curves! With a sounder machine and an open roof, I actually had a chance to enjoy the ride and take in what is truly a breathtaking view -- waves crashing up against sheer, high cliffs, the seemingly endless view over the ocean. I was truly in awe of what nature is capable of producing. I'm glad I made the detour.

Since I was passing by, I headed out to Pillar Point Harbor to see what Captain Dan had on the Seabird. I buy fish off the Seabird, because Dan has a friend, Ron, who has a dog I like to play with. Alas, Ron, and therefore the dog, weren't there that day! Capt. Dan had a couple of 30+ pound king salmon, way too much for my housemate and me, so I opted for a couple of the live rock fish they had swimming around in a couple of barrels. They pummeled the fish to death for me so I could get them home, and instead of paying the couple of bucks to have the fish cleaned, I decided to do it myself.

I got the fish home and started scaling. Rock fish have large, thick scales that are pretty stubborn to remove. And then came the gutting. I haven't actually cleaned a fish in over 20 years, and the last fish I cleaned was a rainbow trout, much daintier than a bass! The guts were clinging to the fish with incredible tenacity, and everything was kind of slippery. I tried to sever the connective tissue with my knife, and failed miserably, so I just wrapped my fingers around them and yanked! Guts and scales flew everywhere -- counter, walls, floor, my shirt, my face, my hair... I had on gloves, but the ick managed to work its way down into them. I smelled like fish guts the rest of the day. Next time, I'm dishing out the two bucks for the professionals to clean the fish.