One of the greatest gifts of the journal at Paradise was the free-form, interactive nature of the writings.

Here, for those who trekked to Paradise, and those who want to, we offer an extended journal on the web to immortalize any impressions, comments, etc. about this site and the beach it's dedicated to.


---- Original Message -----
From: Rob Anderson
Date: Sunday, August 19, 2007
Subject: Paradise

Me and My friends hiked out to Paradise Beach last week and i had an incredible time. We each loaded our packs with enough supplies to stay one night. when I first saw the beach as I was coming over the peak over Mussel Rock, I fell in love with the place..... we camped on top of the cliffs (sand dunes) right where the picture on your website was taken..we didnt want to set up camp on the beach because our packs were heavy and it would have been difficult to carry them back up the ladder (rope) we made a fire, blazed, and went down to the beach in the morning.....It was amazing there is something about that beach that makes me want to stay.... its hard to go back to civilization after experiencing the tranquility and euphoria that Paradise gives... positive vibes ...I cant wait to go back.......I dream about it often, and wish there was a way I could stay forever..... i didnt realize that a cabin existed there until i got back and researched it due to my immense interest in this magical stretch of land.....The cabin is long gone now......but i give props to the dude who built it and hope that Paradise can stay the way it is now so that others can experience it. next time i go, I hope i can take more people and I would like to take my surfboard, though it is a tough climb thrrough the dunes..... anyways let us hope that Paradise lives on as it is without outside influence and please keep the dream alive

Your Fellow Dream Seeker,


p.s. we told our friends that it sucks :)

---- Original Message -----
Subject: Paradise Beach
Date: Mon, 30 May 2005
From: James

I just hiked to Point Sal for the first time yesterday and was simiply amazed... We just got out of our car and started walking, no packs, just some water, it ended up being enough. So untouched and wonderful, we walked through the cow pastures to the north of the point and went down the steep dropoff to the beach... it was so beautiful and me and my friends just took off our shirts and shoes, took some pieces of bamboo and made bindles. We walked shoeless and shirtless about a half an hour on this beach truly amazed by the calalillies, caves, sandstone, animals, waterfalls and then came to the tide pools, we were mesmerized by all the wildlife and the seclusion of this beach. What an absolutely wonderful place... I plan on going back with a tent and supplies and camping out on the beach for a couple of days... what a wonderful place. I'm so glad I was lucky enough to find it!



---- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2002
Subject: Paradise

I spent the latter part of my teen-age years and early twenties hiking out in Paradise Beach, and it has profoundly shaped my life. I have been living in Berkeley now for over 10 years. Since I moved here, I have been having an extremely vivid recurring dream. I have had this dream on and off for the past ten years, and even had it again just this year. It is always the same dream. I hike into Paradise Beach to find a horrifying sight…The beach has become a resort full of condos, hotels, and oil rigs everywhere. I try to find out what has happened, and I am led to complete frustration and my heart breaks. The dream varies, but the theme is always the same. It is the worst nightmare, and I wake wanting to run to Paradise to make sure all is ok. Thus, I deeply value Paradise Beach, and seeing the photos goes straight to my heart.

I remember one night I spent at the cabin…The hypnotic roar of the ocean in the thick night, and just a few candles lit inside. I will never forget how safe and peaceful I felt.

One entry I just read mentioned the purification Paradise brings the soul. It was here I became a vegetarian, and my material desires have been kept at bay ever since.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Hinduism's 5000 year old Bible, Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, describing His Divine Opulences, tells Arjuna, "…of bodies of water I am the ocean."

Om Shanti

Original Message -----
From: LEB
Subject: for the journal

The last trip was a great one, although, I find it hard to express in any
words the feeling of the dise.

Its interesting, In a way, I came for greed; Yet, I left with only gifts. I wanted waves and fresh fish, I carried the things to leave the land and enter the sea. I was given peace; and two days to do nothing but explore. I entered the ocean; in the things I use for greed, to capture the waves. I captured much more though and just cannot describe.

I entered the ocean, on the last day, before we hiked out. I entered the sea without my armor, only my soul. The cleansing was, well, mostly indescribable; pure. The cold enveloping me and shocking; yet embracing.

I found more beauty on the treks to the north and the south.

In the future, I hope for waves but maybe...I hope for the breeze; for the breeze sets me free from the need and the greed.

I finally have found the time to read the writings in this place, through my electronic box. I don't watch TV, I don't need it, I only need the ocean, to satisfy my greed. Some of the words brought tears to my eyes and I lament for what I was not fortunate enough to experience but I have been blessed now, shown the treasure; and each trip will bring more gifts; gifts to my soul. Thanks to everyone...and no one.

Original Message -----
From: "Bill" Subject: POINT SAL #22

[The following is an excerpt from Bill Deneen's periodic email newsletters, which included an Italian visitor's experience at Paradise]

Hi, I'm Federico, or Rico as people call me here, and I'm from Italy
too, so forgive my english.

I went to Point Sal today for the first time in my life, and all I can say
is: beautiful hike. The hills on the ocean, the sun, the smell in the wind,
all are things that will remain stuck in my mind for a long time. I saw a
whale too! Amazing.

But one thing I liked most. I went near the ocean, no more than 20 feet, to "feel" the water, and I saw a big, beautiful sea lion. I stopped to watch him for a while (I've never seen one before), and I had the impression that he could see me. We were watching each other, with open wide eyes full of curiosity, and this lasted for more than 10 minutes. It's been a strange, incredible experience, a thing that can make you to feel near wild nature.

In Italy is very difficult to see wild animals, so it's been electrifying.

It may seem banal, but managing to appreciate simple things like these can make your life better.

I wish you will be able to go there as soon as possible,

Original Message -----
From: Brett
Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2001 6:31 PM
Subject: POINT SAL #30

The beauty of the untouched areas of California is a powerful and a humbling thing.

All of my life I have stared in wonder out of the car window at the
steadily rolling hills of the California coastline, sparse oaks, inviting
grasses that cover easy peaks. My heart raced at the thought of meandering among those hills with nothing more than a backpack and no where to be.

Yesterday, I started out from Brown Road on my very first backpaking
expidition with two great friends and only a vauge sense of where we wanted to be. We began up the road to Point Sal and Paradise Beach, but the rolling, easy hills called to me and we veered into the canyons that evenually lead to the beach. With fifty pounds on my back and the sight of threatening rain clouds, I discovered just how much luxury the modern world offers.

I had taken plenty of hikes before, of course, but not over the
steep grassy hills and later sandy dunes that taunted every muscle in my
body and would not let up. We ended up on the beach, finally, and there my endurance was tested for miles and barely passed. I had to remind myself of the incredible beauty all around me since it felt far from beautiful to my aching bones. We set up camp above the Guadalupe Oil Fields just as the rain got heavy. We were all totally fatigued but buzzing with the joy of where we were and what we were doing. We managed to get some sleep during the rain storm that followed.

All three of us are college students who grew up on the beautiful
California Coast. We're familiar with the area and the terrain, but mostly
from inside car windows. Nothing prepared me for this sort of daunting
splendor and majesty. Only in the most remote areas of the dunes and the beaches could we truly appreciate the luxuries of sturdy walls, hot tubs, ovens, and running water. I know these things aren't essential or even important, but they're nice. I could never have known any of the emotions that ran through me as we trekked through rain, through cold wind, through sand, through steep ravines if there had been a housing complex or an expensive resort any where in that area. This is why the preservation of California's remaining wilderness is essential. Not only for the wilderness and the native animals that live there, but for California residents who are up for the challenge of being a part of those spectacular areas, who want to enjoy the amazing uniqueness and majesty places like Paradise Beach embody. As soon as they're changed, by developing or cattle ranching, they lose their splendor and their very soul. It has happened again and again to delicate places like Point Sal. I am a member of the Friends of Point Sal to help see that that area remains as it is: absolutely perfect.

-Brett (19)

From: Ciarra Taylor
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001
Subject: Point Sal Journal

This last Sunday I read an article in the Santa Maria Times about the [old road to Paradise]road being closed. This led me to eventually find your website, where I read wonderful poems and stories about Paradise Beach, the cabin, etc.

Perhaps you may know what I'm talking about following: In the mid-late nineties, after the cabin was gone, there was a little wooden "mail box" that housed paper, pens/pencils, and newletters of published writings found from the box. I have written a few words, and especially a poem, and left them in that box for others to read and find.

Sometime in the late nineties, there was a big storm, which apparently washed the mail box out to sea. I assume that's what happened because the next time I hiked there, it was gone. Do you know what happened to it? Were any of the writings saved before the box met it's final home? I'm wondering what ever happened to my writings. If you have any info, please let me know.

Thank you,
Ciarra Myres-Taylor

P.S. Your website, along with the Byrd's website, have beautiful pictures. Good job!

From: Mountain Goat Y2K
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2001 10:10 PM
Subject: Paradise

After working as an engineer on a 10 year project, I needed to steal away and find myself, again. It was going to be me and my retriever and some days of badly needed solitude. Something that several peakbagging trips in the Sierras couldn't seem to provide. A friend of mine with the BLM found out that I was hiking in from Brown Road and coming out a few days later near the dunes. He suggested that I take pictures of the road and write an engineers report that he could use to see if Federal funding was available to rebuild the Road. You's not a secret place; it's location is generally known; but it has a certain inaccessibility to it that only those in need of solitude and the stamina to throw on a pack and hike in, should be privileged to experience. I really don't want to be party to something that opens it up and drains the magic and the beauty that the whole area possesses by introducing large numbers of uncaring Weekenders, their trash and their ambivalence to what's around them. As you've no doubt guessed, it was me, my retriever, my backpack and NO camera or even a piece of paper.

We journey through life and hopefully find ourselves; I journeyed across Paradise Beach and found me.......

Keep it clean, open, and unspoiled and see you on the beach. Coming back the second week in September, maybe we will cross paths.

Your friend,
Bill Bradshaw
Yucaipa, CA

Subject: Paradise
From: trevor sanders
Sent: Wednesday, January 03, 2001 11:12 AM

just checked out your site and it sprouted a warm ray happiness in me ol heart to see the images of the shack and such. totally awesome brother. i keep many a thought of you and the days at paradise and orcutt and elsewhere close those pictures of sal really have had an impact of my positivity. i was last down there during august and surfed mussels and camped overnight. the place is just as powerful as ever as well as important. also made it out at concepcion. the colors of the sand and chapparrel have been so missing from my life over the past decade that it is a therapy i long for. i am glad i have those images from your sight now. i will have to send you some of the images that i have from the sal.
cheers, trevor

Subject: bones
From: Da Snail
Date: Monday, May 15, 2000 8:59 AM

A funny thing happened this last time at Paradise. The trip was just another trip on Friday and Saturday. Fishing and hiking around down at the caves and stuff. The surf was crap on Saturday so we showed charlies dad all around. Sunday we woke up and the surf was looking real good. So charlie and I decided to go out. Charlies dad said he was going to have a look around. So we went out and an hour later we can see charlies dad standing just up from the point. The whole time were surfing he's just standing there for hours.

After a while we come in and start eating and throw the lines out and his dad is still standing there in the same spot. Like three hours later he starts waving his jacket back and forth for like five minutes straight. So charlie decides to go down and see what's the matter. So charlie takes off and I'm packing up to go thinking something bad might have happened. Just then a helicopter flies right above me on its way down to the point. Its down there for about twenty minutes when I see charlie running back down the beach. He gets back and starts telling me the story.

His dad saw some bones in the sand. He started digging around a bit and uncovered a skull of an ancient chumash Indian woman. He then called the sherrif and they informed him they would be sending out a helicopter. Thats why he was standing up there, waiting for the helicopter. The sherrif took the skull and gave charlies dad a ride back to the camp via helicopter. Imagine a helicopter landing next to camp at the dise. They were going to give us all a ride back to the car but we couldn't take the surfboards on the helicopter. It turned out to be one of the best preserved remains of a chumash ever found. I took a few pics of the helicopter but unfortunately didn't get any of the skeleton. That's a dise trip I'll never forget.
-da snail


Subject: Missile patrol at Paradise
From: Da Snail
Date: Friday, April 28, 2000 8:59 AM

Here's another paradise tale. On my bachelor party (in March) me, charlie, and gregg were siting around the campfire feeling real good when an air force helicopter came flying down the beach at about 500 feet right above the surf line with a spotlight. It flew by and continued around mussle rock. We knew a missle launch was scheduled that night and figured it was a scout. Soon after we went to bed and before any of us fell asleep, the copter came back. It was lower this time and flying slower. As it passed by the camp it spotlighted us for about five seconds, determined we weren't commies or terrorists, and flew off. The missle launched at like 2am and we all slept right through it.

da snail


Subject: From Guadalupe, California
Date: Wednesday, August 04, 1999 9:49 PM
From: Alicia

Dear Bill: My name is Alicia and my step-sister's name is Angela. She drew the "eye" for your journal/book from Paradise.

Years ago, my father, my sister and my mother hiked back there and built a cabin out of wood that had floated ashore. I remember building it with my father and we stayed for two nights I believe. This small cabin was built before the one that was built on the side of the cliff and it was washed away by a storm....unfortunately. But, it stayed up several months before it was washed away and so we were able to come back and use it and so were a few others. In those days, I was about 10 or so and I remember those days being the best of my life.

Reading your pages, and I remember this journal well...brings back so much for me and it actually made me cry today. Not many people know what Paradise is and was. Solitude and peace and beauty and adventure. I haven't been back there in so long; because when you grow up and are a teen and get into your own little life, you don't think places like that are really important any more.

I am now 28 and I miss it lots...I have to go back soon! My step-sister, Angela, should be contacting you soon because she will be looking for a copy of that "eye". I am so glad you put this thing together and I am glad she felt the need to draw in the journal - our kids will one day get to see this...hopefully they will have a place like we did.

Sincerely, Alicia


Subject: Paradise log
Date: Wednesday, August 04, 1999 9:49 PM
From: Angela

I am so emotional right now, having read this web site. I grew up hiking out to Paradise. I grew up here in Santa Maria, and Guadalupe. I think that I met you a few years back at a nature conservancy hike out at Oso Flaco, where the old house used to be. Kathleen was leading the hike that day. It was special to me because my mother grew up in that house. Anyways,that day you came up to me, and told me that you had used the picture that I had drawn in the journal with the saying under it that said "This is my vision, to see the world through God's Eyes". I would really like to get that book if it is out? Would you please send me information on where I can buy it. I would greatly appreciate it. I am so happy that so many people got to experience "Paradise".



Subject: lone baby gray whale
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 20:23:56
From: da snail

I have a story to tell about a little gray whale that you might be interested in.

On Saturday, 17 April 1999 a friend and I were camped at a remote beach near Point Salamander, California. While relaxing on the beach my friend noticed a small whale breaching about 200 feet from shore. It breached twice in the channel between the breaking waves and then continued on North. We noted that it was a very small gray whale and no larger ones were in the immediate area. In fact it was the only whale we saw the whole weekend. We watched the whale for about 20 minutes as it progressed north.

48 hours later on Monday, 19 April 1999, I was out on a private pier in Avalon. If you follow the coast, this pier is approximately 30 miles North of Pt. Salamander. I spotted a whale that was headed in my general direction. It passed right under the pier and sure enough it was a small gray whale about 20 feet long and a pale white color with a few rusty barnacle colors around the head.

I watched the whale surface several times as it continued North up and around the jetty. Again, there were no other signs of any other whales. This struck me as a baby that might have lost its mother and was following the coast line north. Then again I'm and engineer and not a marine biologist.

Sincerely, SNAIL


Subject:  Point Sal
Date:  Sun, 28 Jun 1998 10:19:44 -0700
From: Bill Denneen

The road to Point Sal is closed.  We parked at the end of Brown Rd. today and hiked to the high point.It was a SC group of 9.  We are recommending that the road remain closed. It looks like Prop.#70 funds which run out June 30 will just make it on time to purchase a critical chunk of property near the point.  I just got a new computer and checked out your web side----it's great.  Bill



Subject:  Point Sal
Date:  Mon, 1 Jun 1998 23:55:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bill Denneen

We had a GREAT hike to this special area on May 31st; the wildflowers were probably the best Ive seen on the point in about 400 trips here since my first one in 1960.  I NEVER tire of going here, it is always different.  It was part  of our celebration of Non-mothers Day .

The road is closed at the junction of Brown  and Point Sal Rd. so just plan on parking here and climbing along the dirt road to the ridge.  Bring lunch, water, windbreaker, your dog, friends and plan to make a day of it.  Our next scheduled hike is Sat. June 27. We meet at my hostel at 0830 to car pool.

The main subject of discussion of our group as we hiked was non-motherhood and world overpopulation.   With the increasing number of women  (1 out of 6) deciding  NOT to become mothers  the societal pressure to reproduce is diminishing.

When I was young (half century ago) there was something wrong with a woman that didnt get married and pregnant. With gender equality  and improved contraception an increasing number of women are opting  for non-motherhood. One gal said she enjoyed her  aunt   status so VERY  much. Another said she just did not like kids.  Another said  she enjoyed teaching so much but was so glad to return to a quiet house.  All the males on our hike had  been vasectomized  and enjoyed a great, responsible sex life.

The flora along the ridge is so unique.  The wind, fog,desiccating salt air and full sun makes everything dwarfed.  Chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum)was in full bloom just like in Nipomo Park BUT in the park the bush  is 10-15 ft high but on the ridge only 1-2 ft.  The same with the manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.), ceanothus, salvias etc. The yellow Indian Paint Brush (Castilleja) was  actually THICK in one place.The gumplant (Grindelia latifolia)was neat and sticky.  Tess  got excited when she found  fairy lanterns  and mariposa lillys(Calochortus spp).  Coyote scat (& maybe Mt. lion) was all along the ridge . Native needle grass (Stipa spp.) was abundant but the invader from the Africa veldt (Ehrarta calycina) is spreading all over the place taking out the nativeson the way. 

The Pacific was so alive from the ridge. The central coast is so special.  We are sooo lucky to live here.  Enjoy it   as the cancer called LA metastasizes north it isnt going to get any better.  The next hike  to Point Sal is June 27, join us.  BILL


Subject:  A 1993 update on the dream seeking shack.
Date:  Thu, 23 Oct 1997 12:47:11 -0700
From:  Cheryl Nord

Dear Mr. Buck,
Paradise Beach:  A place where I decided to better myself through thoughts alone.  Only twice was I able to make the journey.  I remember the beach was so quiet and sacred.  I felt the closest to nature then ever before!  On January 9th. 1993, I hiked to the dream seeker to find it no longer stood.  I cried.  All that stood was charred post as you said.

Although,  it was reported by the "Orcutt Mosh",  that one Bryan Mcmann and Tony Lorinzano would soon hike to the cabin to rebuild its memories.  Soon I will get back to my home town to hike the trail from Pt. Sal to Paradise and let you know what has become of the "Orcutt Mosh" efforts.  For now, I live in the mountains of the San Juaquin Valley and only dream of my home coming during Christmas.


Subject:  Re: the cabin
Date:  Mon, 6 Oct 1997 20:47:44 -0400 (EDT)
From: CPaul

Hi Bill, I love what you are doing with the dream seeker page. I have some nice fotos of the cabin that I can scan and send to you if you like. The foto you have of me was taken in 1987.

I was looking through my old poetry file and ran accross some poems I wrote while down  there. One night , while sippin' some wine and eatin' some grub, Molly the mouse poked her li'l head up through the floorboard (so close I could have reached out and touched her) She was so cute and friendly, I wrote the following poem (in the logbook):

Trade Mouse

Hey li'l mouse
I'd like to stay. . .
In your house
If it's O.K.
I'll leave some food
For your little brood.

Just don't trade
My keys for a rock
Or put a stick
Inside my sock.

And when I lie down
In your private place,
Puh-leez don't run
Accross my face.

Chuck "cappy" Paul