Wednesday, August 15, 2007
on the cape
Brad tells stories of childhood trips to the beach, tales of rain and wet dogs. Sometimes misery. Usually redemption. "If you tough out the crappy days, the heavy mist and rains, you always get the fantastic day. Clear sky, gorgeous sun. Usually." Lucky us, camping space and a dry day all in one. Aside from the wind carrying sand shards across our feet, occasionally into our eyes, Cape Disappointment couldn't have been more perfect.
Lewis, Clark and company's experience was a bit different. After 18 months navigating westward along rivers, through the wild, they hit the Pacific in November, 1805. After being trapped by a 6-day storm in Dismal Nitch, the party continued an unsuccessful attempt to find an appropriate site for winter camp. Eventually, an unprecedented vote of all party members led the captains back across the Columbia to a "most eligable" spot along the Netul River.
From the beach, the call of ships transitioning from the Columbia to the sea cuts across the surf, distracting Aslin from her wave hoping only momentarily.
Barnacles hang onto the bottom few feet of the rock walls. Inland a couple hundred feet, Sitka spruce have taken root in the seastack has-beens, moss masking any trace of barnacle colonies. We recommend shoes for climbing either.
Without a guide, you could watch the waves for an hour, and still be unsure the movement of the tide. The best castle sand is found mid range, where the natural water content allows a solid base, and keeps the towers from crumbling before their time.
The beach gods are with us, sending only stray waves to challenge the moat's structural integrity, carrying the bulk of the threat out to sea.
They've been through it all before, the grains. We suspect they lived to the fullest before the eventual crash and crush.
Tomorrow, we'll find our own dear Owlhouse still standing.