Monday, September 27, 2010

Somewhere, one day...

A couple of days into our trip, the fog lifted and left us with astounding views of the rugged coast, devoid of people - and drop dead gorgeous.  Then, as we rounded a bend, we all squealed (ok, maybe I squealed and the boys smiled.  But it was something like that...)  Those rocks!  We had to get to them.  

We spied a small spot and pulled off.  Yay!  There looked to be a tiny trail!  E seemed cynical.  "That's not a trail."  Ever the optimists, P and I assured him we were indeed en route to the shore.  

Ha.  Double haha.  E snapped a pic (I kid you not when I tell you that E's blurry action shot was taken in an open spot. This underbrush was ridiculous)  as we attempted to follow what we eventually realized must have been an (non human) animal trail, frequented by humans only at the top of the hill...  He suggested we turn back, but the Little Man and I were determined.  We wanted that beach.  

And, full of stickers and scratches and cobwebs, we finally found it.  

I know.  It really doesn't look all that stellar here.  But for a kid that loves rocks and rock climbing and jumping on rocks over water, it was the end all be all of beaches.  

And what you can't see in that photo is what's lurking between each of those rocks... ocean!  The tide washes right in and fills hundreds of tidal pools in each little nook and cranny.  

This close up shows what the hike was really like.  Precarious jumping and tidal pool gazing madness.  The kid was So Happy.  There were about a zillion hermit shell crabs and gorgeous pink starfish, alongside a billion sea attractions we knew nothing of.  I was so busy jumping around and exclaiming how happy I was, I forgot to take enough photos to show how fab the spot is!  Not that we could ever find it again...

E, watching the small pools rise and fall.  The waxing and waning of the waves, going from a murmur to a rumble again and again, was the most mesmerizing sound I've ever heard.  It babbled like a brook because of all of the little spots in the rocks, and it simultaneously crashed against the boulders,  creating a two part water harmony.  E and I could have perched for hours, just listening and looking.

Scratched, bunged up, dirty, underfed... but happy.  The Little Man found the most glorious crab claws here.  And thus began a whole new level of collecting obsession;)
But the Little Man is a little less view, a little more do ;)  So we climbed and collected and grinned and proclaimed our sincere satisfaction, over and over and over.  And then we were almost burnt and had to head back to the bushes.

And here things went a wee bit south.  Have I mentioned my issue with snakes?  We all have a thing.  You know, something kinda irrational, kinda silly.  E's is spiders (I think they're pretty.)  Mine's snakes.  And its pretty serious.  Did I mention irrational?

So I led the way, clambering over the rocks, in the general direction of the car while E muttered something about breadcrumb trails and hoping to get to the top of the hill before next Sunday.  And then I almost stepped on a ginormous snake, sunbathing.  Insert full body convulsion (mine and the snake's).  It slithered off.  I screamed.

Then I tried to calmly warn the boys and proceeded towards the hill.   P came zigzagging towards me and loped past.... right into a very. large. den.  To the child, it looked like a clever spot to climb.  I grabbed him like whiplash and turned on my rock to dance back the direction my methodical husband was meandering when my dance went dark.  The den was behind me, holding gawd knows what.  The snake was in front of me.  To my side was a crumbling rock wall that we couldn't climb.  Bouncing around my brain were the large piles of shat we had hiked past.  And I was frozen like an idiot who wanted to do nothing but another full body shake.  Nice.  Where's that cool as a cucumber emergency thing when I need it?!?  Apparently, snakes are serious kryptonite to mommy's cool.

When I told E he needed to come back and walk with me his look labeled me a loon.  I made a second shaky request, trying to sound calm (cuz the kid didn't need to freak just because snakes remove all rational thought from his mother) and E said,  (downbeat) "Seriously?"

I remember liking it that he found a request for help out of the ordinary, but that didn't necessarily drum up deep wells of strength right then ;)

Soooo, as we (quite loudly) sang our way back through the tall grass, now obviously teeming with snakes, we came across this:

The shot captures only a few of the pieces of the giant skeleton that was there.  I know next to nuthin' about Oregonian wildlife, but this fucker was big.  (Making the terribly large den and scat even larger in my mind.)   But large elk just lay down and die of, erm, old age every day in Oregon, right?

While we were really, really happy to reach the car that afternoon, I think its safe to say it ranked in our top fave beaches for the trip.  Sans snake, of course.

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