It’s becoming a rare thing to find extended sections of waterfront that don’t have a road running right on top of them. Or at least a road that slithers down to the beach from somewhere inland, an unwanted reminder that there’s another world out there, louder, faster and meaner. It’s good when you do find a place like this; you want to spend time there, to soak it all in without the sound of gears shifting on the hills and brakes squealing on the turns right above.
And you want to take care of these rare places too, as best you can. Our group of four paddled from Clallam Bay to Pillar Point yesterday, part of the International Coastal Cleanup. We were the only people in our section. The weather alternated between drizzle and rain, with some fog and mist thrown in at times. It wasn’t cold but it wasn’t exactly warm, either. It was a day of constant remider that the summer is over, at least out here on the straits. A nice scotch at the end would not have been out of place.
We only stopped at a handful of beaches and it didn’t take long to fill our kayaks and strap debris onto the decks. When we got to the destination and unloaded it all into one pile, the result seemed substantial and small at the same time. Substantial, because it was about a hundred pounds of garbage, mostly plastic, that isn’t going to be on those beaches today, and that’s a good thing. But when I think about the things we left behind, the nets and the rope that we couldn’t extricate from the sand and the driftwood, demolition work that would take several picks and shovels to get going, our pile looked a little smaller.
There is a lot of work left to do. I’m already thinking of going back.