Friday, September 5, 2014

to the Sea

Today is Sunday, the day before Labor Day. After attending a church in Forks, doing laundry, and filling our larder, we pack up the pugs and drive a few miles to Ruby Beach.

I guess I was hoping that everybody had forgotten about the beach on this holiday weekend, but the line of cars on the road in quickly dashes my hopes.  Yes, the beach is beautiful, but it is crammed with people determined to enjoy the view.  

I certainly don't blame them for being here.  This is the only chance many of these people will have to see such wonders before they trudge back to their jobs after the long weekend, so we leave their view undisturbed and get back in the car to make a plan. 

Our Benchmark Atlas has a large tree marked just a mile or two down the road, and it has been at least a day since we have seen a big tree, so we follow the road. 

Hubs is going too fast and we miss the tree turn, but a closer inspection of the map shows a pull-off with a trailhead going to the ocean.  We stop there and I go down the trail to make sure fat pugs can handle it while Hubs waits in the car with them.  I round the corner and see the beach, but also a large German shepherd without a leash.  

It sees me too.  

Before its people can grab it, the dog runs at me, barking ferociously.  Immediately I think back to what my dog-trainer friend Marla taught me about how to fend off an attack, but there is a large boulder to my right, and I would rather climb than jam my arm down a dog's throat. 

The owners catch up to their dog and leash it, and I hear "It's okay, you can come out now" from around the corner.  Tentatively I peek around my safe rock.  The dog is still barking and looking like it wants to eat me, but is safely tethered.  The owners apologize and explain that they haven't seen anybody on this beach for over six hours, hence the lack of leash. 

They are just leaving, and this sounds like the kind of privacy we were hoping for.  A few minutes later, pugs, Hubs, and I are picking our way along the rocks in search of a good sitting spot.

With the "home" mat down, the games begin.
Provider One bids three hundred Quatloos on the little one.  Provider Two bids twenty Quatloos that they both are untrainable.

Murray always starts.  Opening his mouth wide enough to frighten a shark, he angles his head around looking for the roll of flesh where Otis is least able to bite back.

They are good dogs and almost never bite too hard, mostly for fear of retaliation.  

The humans sit for a few minutes and enjoy the view.  Off in the distance is Destruction Island with its abandoned lighthouse. 

It is a grey but pleasant day, and occasional rays of light flash on the surface of the waves.

Tuckered out from their bitey-chasey game, the pugs turn their attention to the sea.  Murray has now been to the ocean once before, but only to wade in tidal pools.  He makes the startling discovery that the water chases him here.  

He is shocked when when the incoming surf splashes him from behind.

Our afternoon is passed in looking for colorful rocks, chasing seagulls, reading, and eating sand.  Well, Murray takes care of that last bit.

We feel at peace here, in harmony with each other and every living...

Otis!  Don't bite Murray so hard!

Ahhh.  Peace.

On the way home, we find our big tree and get out for a look. An ancient cedar tree quietly rots amongst the muted pine needles of its neighbors.  

Half of the tree has fallen down, but even what remains is larger than I can believe.  The tree isn't tall so much as it is thick.  

The stick figure represents me (for scale), since Hubs is already back at the car.  It is a really big tree.  Or a tiny me.


  1. Do you use a GPS device for traveling or do your Benchmark atlases provide enough detail for pulling your trailer?

    1. We rarely ever use our GPS and mostly rely on our Benchmark atlases. They have much better information about the terrain and what is around us than the GPS. We use the GPS when driving in cities, and it usually gets locations wrong.

    2. Thanks for the info. I was reading that GPS devices can offer detail about grades, sharp curves, and stuff that may affect the trip while pulling the trailer. I saw a Benchmark atlas for CO via your blog's Amazon but I need Utah. Will you still get credit if I link thru your blog to get to the Utah map?

    3. We sure do! Thanks for thinking of us!