It doesn't really matter the conditions, it seems a light mist or rain will happen in the wee morning hours every day here on the coast. It hits my tent like little pebbles in the dark blue light of dawn.
I sit up and stuff away my sleeping bag, organize my little night time tent belongings. I keep my bag outside under my storm doors. I dig into my food bag and can't help but make a racket. The downsides of cuben, I suppose. I dump two packets of instant coffee into my water bottle and pour out my breakfast of granola, whey and hemp seed. The dates in it are hard and chewy and they stick to my teeth.
I wipe my tent down the best I can with my pack towel and get everything packed. I leave the same way I came in last night.
I'm going down an interpretive trail and I see weird riddles spray painted into the concrete like...
HOW IS A JETTY LIKE BASKET BALL?
HOW IS THE BEACH LIKE A BASEBALL MITT?
I climb up the dune to the beach access and realize I never filled my water bottles. I grudgingly walk back to camp to refill.
I'm back on the beach and cruising. It's gunna be like this all day. I put on some Wolves in the Throne Room. Their dark melodic black metal matching the morning fog and ocean perfectly.
I can't help but beachcomb while I'm out here, even if it's more weight. So many beautiful pieces of rock smoothed by time and turbulence.
The winds had done a neat thing in the night. It made small pebbles in the sand look like falling stars or comets. I pee near a large drift log. I forgot to put in a tampon this morning and my rag wipes away blood.
I want to linger over these fine beach details and understand them more intimately, but I gotta make those miles. A part of me is sad that I must move this way, but I do. It's the nature of things right now. Still, I am happy and thankful.
I'm learning how to walk better out here and develop good walking posture. I tuck my pelvis, engage my abdominals and take shorter quicker steps, striking midsole of my foot. I find I can cover good ground this way comfortably and efficiently. I've noticed that I walk differently without my pack too. I don't plod down hills, but I lean back and step gently.
I try to stop myself from reaching too far back into my past, or live in a future fantasy. I stop and look at the ocean, this sudden pausing feels weird from being in a forward motion for a few hours. I mindfully breathe deeply all the negative ions. I sweep out penetrating thoughts, like an old granny clearing out the cobwebs, but it's an eternal battle this cobweb clearing. Everything is clawing at the periphery. I envision a bubble the claws cannot penetrate. A seal bobs up at me from a deep spot just off shore. She watches me intently with huge weird eyes.
I should transform into a Selkie. How many men has she drowned? What does she learn from those otherworldly kelp forests? What does she know that we will never not?
A lot, I think. So much. I dwell on shapeshifters for a bit.
I wonder about living in spooky ocean distressed homes.
The fog burns off a little and I approach strange rock formations. They look kind of like fossilized tree stumps. I can't tell what they are. The marine layer swirls around me while I bounce and hop from rock to rock, giant structures buried under the sand.
Eventually I come to the end of the beach and a point I can't get around. I pause at a drift log, clean my feet and eat a little. The sun is doing it's work on my skin and I'm slightly red, my tan growing deeper by the day. I apply a little sunscreen, even though I don't like to. I'm right next to a hidden beach access in the cliff side. A little stream is trickling out of the rocks and leaving a deep red orange stain in the sand. I shamelessly put a tampon in right there.
Sometimes, I feel shame for not feeling shameless when it seems like it would be the socially appropriate and normal thing to feel.
I sit and watch the tide rolling in, smashing up against the large rock formations. It's behaving like an unruly wild horse, bucking up, rearing, smashing and displaying it's raw undomesticated power. The ocean seems sassy today, I think.
Something brushes and pokes my butt, I turn and jump! A big black dog was saying hello to me and I didn't even know it was there.
"Hello friend," I say. She trots off merrily down the beach with her human family who wave at me.
I down more water to lighten my pack and climb up the trail and over a little bridge. I see a sign asking folks to tend to the trail and treat it with respect. I cut through someones yard and into a neighborhood and off to do a mile or two of 101.
A car honks and yells something unintelligible at me. RV's blast by. A logging truck brushes by, taking my breath away and shoving my heart into my throat. Is literally every logging truck driver a fucking dick? I think. I walk deeply into the shoulder until I find the road and beach access.
Back to cruising. My feet are getting a little annoyed with the sand and pressure it puts on the ball of my foot. I can feel hot spots forming, and there's not much I can really do about it but deal with it.
19 miles in and I'm feel worn out and tired. My legs don't feel like legs, or feet feel like feet. They're just moving and I'm hovering on my machine body. "Thanks feet, for taking me places," I say out loud. "Sorry you hurt."
I can see the beach access point right into Beachside state park. I crawl up the small dune, feeling my blisters scream at me. I feel exhausted.
Two Dutch women and their two toddler boys smile and wave at me over their dinner in the hiker biker site. I pitch my tent and make food in a zombie mode. I know there are showers but I'm too tired to use them. I'm happy to be on the shore pine duff tonight. I slide effortlessly into sleep by the sound of wind in trees and waves thundering in the dark blue gloaming.