In honor of it being 108 degrees here recently, we’re going to the ocean.
The weekend before Shaun’s “procedure” we used the rest of her Hertz points to rent this for the two days, the grand total coming to around $11 dollars, US:
and drive just north of Bodega Bay…
We drove past Salmon Creek beach (above) and onward to one of our favorite beaches: Goat Rock.
I have a special relationship with Goat Rock. First, there’s the sign. (They aren’t kidding. We lose a couple of tourists a year here, because they feel safe walking near the water.
A few years back, Sunshine tripped at the canter: it was a classic rotational fall. Unfortunately, we’d been working on UP and ROUND and LEAPING into each canter stride, with a ton of collection. It was during a lesson, or I’m sure it would not have been as…bounding. I flew up and over first, rolling over in the air, and whumping down on my back. Sunshine followed in the same arc. I watched 1200 pounds of helplessly flying horse whump directly on top of me.
I thought: oh well, it was a good life.
My helmet split. My head was cushioned: I felt like it hit a pillow. I walked away with a bruise. A kink in my neck. One scratch.
That’s it. (SO lucky.)
I was fairly sore when the weekend came, so we drove to Goat Rock, to make hotdogs and S’Mores with the kids. All I’d have to do was sit and whine. While Shaun and the kids were setting up, a family of tourists poured out of a rented mini van, the children dressed to go in the water. They had kick boards and whale floaties.
At Goat Rock, this is the equivalent of driving to the Grand Canyon, and telling the kids to have fun jumping off the cliff. This is why I’m walking up to happy strangers, to tell them about hypothermia and a safer beach 10 miles back. If only I spoke Dutch.
Instead, I was a smiling psychopath making swimming motions and shaking my head NO while pantomiming drowning. The adults looked uneasily at each other. The kids started running for the beach. I wave them urgently to the sign, and gesticulate wildly, shaking my head no. They are starting to get it. I walk closer to the sign, as if this will help them understand, and walk right into the little roof, knocking myself out cold. Totally unconscious. Got a nice concussion out of it.
The joke in our family: I need a helmet to shop at Safeway.
My affinity for Goat Rock comes from falling into fits of laughter when I read “Most Dangerous Beach in California”, and remember I never made it out of the parking lot.
It also comes from the beauty and wildness of this particular beach. It’s a whelping area for sea lions, and if you’re lucky, you can watch them play in the surf or sun on the beach.
Look for the logs washed up on the beach. They’ll surprise you.