I hit the beach at 6:30 a.m. The sun was rising over the Coast Range. Forty degrees felt invigorating. Gulls and terns sat in a rivulet. The spring’s lowest tide revealed tide pools and rocks teeming with life. I walked along the ocean’s edge and hunted for treasures.
In short order, they appeared: a keyhole limpet, then another, the latter the tiniest one I’d ever seen. Next was a hairy triton, Oregon’s official sea shell. I then scooped up a china hat limpet and a white sliver of sea glass.
I passed an ancient and titanic root wad buried in the sand. It might remain on this beach for the next 1000 years. Hopefully by then America will have moved well beyond America.
Tracks caught me eye. Not bird tracks. Critter tracks. I recognized coyote, raccoon, possibly otter. They all led from the creases in the crumbling cliffs to the ocean and I surmised the critters were feasting on mussels. The critters knew their tides.
I kept walking south. I saw an art installation dangling from the roots of a massive red tree stripped of its bark. The art consisted of crabbing gear washed ashore that some artist saw fit to make art with.
Something green in the sand ahead of me captured my attention. I pulled it free. It was more crabbing gear detritus and I added it to the installation.
A steep wall of mud, sand, and rock stopped me. I noticed a small log, the perfect size, and I picked it up and did my driftwood exercises for fitness of body and mind.
I finished my exercises and heaved the log into the surf. It made a pleasing splashing sound. I walked and walked until I came to the fort I started building a week ago. I worked on the fort for half an hour. As I left, I found an exquisite piece of bleached beaverwood the size of a cane. I walked home with the cane, twirling it like the beach dandy I am.