In my 22 years of living at the Oregon Coast, I have seen many people doing strange things on or near the beach. Sometimes I figure out what’s going on, (I think) and other times, no possible explanation exists, and I simply marvel in the mystery and applaud the eccentricities of my fellow human beings. I also applaud there being there, at the ocean’s edge.
A week ago, I saw what surely ranks in my top five of Strange Human Sights at the Beach. Hell, it might be number one. Only the man pretending crucifixion on a driftwood cross might top it.
I could explain that one.
But this new one…
I pulled into a parking lot where a trail led to a secret beach. I was there hunting for choice cuts of beaverwood because this place, along a secret river, is the best place in Oregon I’ve found so far, and I am an expert in these matters. Perhaps the only one
A green sedan from the mid 90s was the only vehicle parked in the lot. It was sagging, beat-up, rusted, and lacked license plates. It had the unmistakable aura of a meth rig.
No one was around that I could see. The driver was hiking? I encounter a lot of these kind of vehicles on the Oregon Coast and they never cease to intrigue me. I seek to learn more about them but not by asking question of their owners. Observation only.
I made my way along the river and scored a few mediocre pieces of beaverwood. I headed back to the parking lot and saw a young reedy man exuding unmistakable traces of meth loading a piece of driftwood about the size of a large end table into the back seat of the car. A white and brown pit bull had its mug stuck out the rear passenger window and stared straight at me. A woman with long black hair and a full head taller than the man stood outside the car. There was tinge of meth about her. She saw me, smiled, and waved. I waved back with my right hand clutching beaverwood.
I saw the man folding up a rectangular baby stroller with fat tires and sec ruing it in the trunk of the car.
A baby stroller? And no baby?
It didn’t make any sense and then it did. They had transported the piece of driftwood from the beach in the stroller!
They would drive the piece somewhere and make some kind of use for it that I imagined was ???????
I felt tempted to go over and ask, but the current editorial mantra requires: mystery over journalism.
But dammit, on occasion I weaken on this stance, especially when a jagged story is ten feet away. I’m a journalist at heart, not a maker-upper.