Sunday, November 02, 2008

It's Like Walking On Marbles

Today, we timed our visit to the estuary of the Siltcoos River for high tide. Thunderous waves crashed on the beach making it impossible to walk a straight path. The unpredictable waves edged us further onto the loose sand and sent us scurrying inland more than once. Familiar pieces of driftwood where we had previously paused to sit and watch the ocean were either gone or partially submerged.

The changing river estuary has captivated Ed and me, drawing us back again and again. We’ve visited the spot on the Siltcoos Beach numerous times with camera in hand to watch the spot where the river meets the Pacific Ocean. Today, for the first time, Ed had carried his fishing waders with him. He wanted to actually stand in the water at the river’s mouth.

He found dry ground and switched out of his hiking boots to the waders. When he first inched into the water, he turned to give me a confident wave. Friends from Texas will understand, this was a “watch this y’all” moment. As he entered the channel, a series of waves advanced to the river. Water lapped to within an inch of the top of his Orvis waders. Ed did a little teeter totter move like an off balance surfer then regained his footing. I heard him yell, “This is like walking on marbles.”

I waited for a splash that did not happen. What did happen is he waded close to me and stuffed his wallet and cell phone in my jacket pocket. “I’m not taking chances,” he admitted. “Shoulda did this before. I forgot how the pull of the tide can rock your footing.”

Ed was like a kid in puddles after a rain storm. Wandering here and there, venturing in the Siltcoos then along the beach, and finally taking on a big wave behind the shield of a giant piece of driftwood.

Eventually, he offered me a turn to wear his waders. I declined. I remained the guardian of his wallet, phone, and the camera.

November 2, 2008

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