Thursday, September 02, 2010

Pebbles in the Rain (Road Day #3)

Tuesday. Rain began in the night: the storm Cliff Mass promised. It was raining when we went to the diner for breakfast, wind blowing the rain aslant; raining as we headed back to Rialto, raining when we got to the beach. We parcelled out the rain gear between us as well as we could, and left everything else in the car; field guides, snacks, cameras.

We both got wet anyway as we wandered along, each filling a pocket with pebbles of our preferred size, shape, and color. Considering that all the stones on the beach were wet and they all looked smooth and dark, every one, I did very well. Arrayed on the kitchen table, they are WONDERFUL.

The ends of the beach were invisible in the rain cloud. We were by no means the only people out in the wet. People striding along in the warm rain, heading for (invisible) Hole in the Wall, whipping out their cameras for pictures... A line of pelicans appeared, skimming the nearest breakers. Absent any photographs, we'll use Willard Bascom's word picture: I think I typed this out last winter from The Crest of the Wave: Adventures in Oceanography, since it's definitely not in Waves and Beaches.

"...there were only low plunging breakers on the inner bar. Lines of pelicans moving down the coast would glide parallel to a breaking crest, gradually losing altitude until they reached the end of the collapsing curl. As it squeezed air out the end of the tube, they would be lifted by that jet and glide seaward to catch the next wave. They traveled for miles without seeming effort, using only wave power..."

We could have gone back to the rain forest, or tried to go down to Second Beach (OMG, imagine crawling over a slimywet log jam). We stopped at the pullout overlooking the river to think about what to do next, but wet as we were it was somehow not an attractive idea to squeeze something else into this day. We headed home.

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