Coast Birthday

November 6, 2010

“Dog Owners Must Clean Up Behind Your Dog.” 
That’s what the sign says outside the ladies restroom at South Beach State Park. Which is where we fled to escape the deifications and recriminations brought on by the midterm elections. It was gray when we arrived, which suited our mood, and it’s still gray two days later. But the predicted rains arrived today and that’s good because it gets us off the hook for forgetting our bicycles. Ray says its "a blowy beach rain” and I say it’s welcome.
Our first foray onto the beach led us directly to a dead sea lion. It appeared to be only a few days gone, it’s body still plump and intact except for the head which was entirely missing. Snapped off by a shark? Cut off by a hobby taxidermist? Whatever the reason it drew this thought from my reptile mind: should we let governor Jan Brewer know?
As for the sign above, we don’t own a dog so we’re therefore not responsible for cleaning up behind yours.
November 7
The rains continue, interspersed with flashes of brilliant sunshine. The air, cleansed by these intermittent downpours, is crystalline and the sunshine reveals every leaf, blade, and needle in such sharp definition that you catch your breath in admiration. Here on this edge of land, this long empty beach with Pacific rollers extending as far as the eye can see, everything glistens and is new again. 

We went to the aquarium on Saturday and spent several hours admiring the seals and sea otters and wandering through the Swampland exhibit. I could have done without the anacondas but the crocodiles were cute. After exhausting every ounce of entertainment the aquarium offered we stopped by the grocery store for cake and ice cream and went home and ate it. 

November 9

Awake again to the sound of rain this morning. We are one of just a handful of campers at this end of the park; the only other I can see is a fifth-wheeler parked three spaces away—a single man about 50 with two cats and a red pickup. We know he has two cats because we saw them lounging in the large, 360-degree screened room he has attached to his trailer. 

There are always more dogs than cats at the beach, for obvious reasons, and we met a nice one yesterday, running with his master who was wearing those new barefoot shoes. On his return walk we stopped to ask how he liked them (he does) and discovered we’d read the same book (Born to Run). After exchanging mutual admiration for the Tarahumara, Ray and I returned to la casita where I won three games of dominos, bringing my winning streak to six! Previously unheard of.
We return home this afternoon, after a stop at the bakery and a drive up the coast to Lincoln City. Frankly, I prefer life in our little cocoon but even I admit one has to face reality occasionally. It’s been a good trip though, and a good birthday. I look forward to many more.