Thursday, July 26, 2012
"Touchy, feely" in the Dark
The winds had died down, we left at midnight. The only ones out and about in Port Orford were the homeless. The young man on a bike knew of a rest area by the beach with a shower. It wasn't time for that. The other man appeared standing on a wall over the beach. He had an even "dusty" hue, even under the parking area lights. He had a large box of food that he offered to share from. I was freshly loaded for the walk so he hefted it up on his shoulder and disappeared in the night. Few cars passed in the still moonless night. A few miles down the road we slowly came upon a flag crew under bright lights. They were sending traffic over the one remaining lane of the highway the ocean had not reclaimed. I scared the worker, in the distance the Antarctic flashed a white beacon against the lights as it rolled toward him. He knew of us and had seen us the previous morning but still was not prepared for the visual as we orbited close. We then walked down into Humbug canyon. Only the white line was visible most of the way through with the sound of rushing water on one side and the brush of rock and fauna touching my staff as I skirted the other. Walking the canyon at night is the only way to get the World past there without creating a traffic problem in my view. In the daylight the wind and heavy traffic make for slow going at times. We made ninteen miles before exhaustion had me stop at a bench at the Ophir rest center overlooking the beach.. Just before we stopped I had seen from the road a group of horse back rider in the distance walking along the beach. A short time after I had sat down. The handler of the horses came up with some children. He had led his horses alone the beach many times but couldn't figure why the horses become excited until he had led them back to cross the road and then saw us rolling closer. Once I explained my purpose, and my situation, he offered a ride so I could retrieve the van. I was very thankful, being so tired I was going to fall asleep there at the park table. The children watched the World until my "road angel" and I returned. I slept without interruption into the night. Now with just nine miles to Gold Beach the road is dark and silent. The scenery is different along the ocean in the dark of night, but not less beautiful to the senses. I'll get to see it later when I drive along at fifty miles "per".