August 20, 2011
Rock, sand, and ocean waves
After hiking for about 20 minutes through mossy trees and big ferns, we noticed that the path was going downhill sharply. “Listen,” my husband said. Above the sound of my own breathing, I could hear the familiar sound of ocean waves.
I’d known we were walking to a beach, so the stretch of sand didn’t surprise me. But I was startled by piles of driftwood we had to climb over just to get to the beach: long logs and whole trees, most too heavy to move. I wished immediately that I was eight, and I had a whole summer of lazy time to build forts on the beach.
The sand was just normal sand, like I’m used to on beaches on the east coast, but beyond the waves were the most incredible rocks. I’m not even sure if I should call them rocks: they were more like tall chunks of cliff that some giant had broken off from the mainland and plunked into the ocean. I’d read that native people in the area had buried ancestors atop some of these rocks, but I can’t imagine how they possibly got the bodies up there.
The only other people on the beach were a group of young people who reminded me of my own kids. They’d set up three tents amidst the driftwood, and they were climbing around on the logs, calling out jokes that made unoriginal use of the word “wood.” Two of them had waded out to the nearest of the cliff islands, and they looked intent on climbing it.
The sand was soft under my feet as I walked out to the cliff island, but the rocks closest to it were covered with barnacles, and I had to search out smooth spots to stand on. The boys clambered up the side of the rock, but they didn’t make it very far. The boy in the white t-shirt climbed to the first ledge and then jumped back down into the water.
He looked at me, grinning. “That hurt like hell. I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone without shoes.”
Posted by jo(e)