Sock Summit Part IV, In Which We are Menaced by the Deep
Published On: August 1, 2011

The last time I came to Sock Summit, I rather over scheduled myself.  I booked a class for each class period, I planned to attend some of the after class activities, and I intended to explore the area a bit.  I should have known better.  I am only social in small doses, and I must retreat to a hotel room/car/cave to recover in between.  I’m sure this isn’t the most flattering aspect of my character, but I don’t seem to be able to do much about it, so I work around it.  Last time I ended up finding another student to buy one of my classes and heading out to the coast for the day.

This time I knew better.  I only booked three classes, and I planned to leave whole days for just exploring and relaxing.  One thing I was set on doing was going back out to the area of the coast I explored last time.  With that in mind, we woke up bright and early Saturday morning and drove out to Hug Point State Park.  It was lovely and foggy and gray and cold.

We wandered from Hug Point all the way up to Arcadia State Park, a distance of about 1.5 miles.  Now this wasn’t any sort of vigorous purposeful striding.  It was more of a meandering jaunt with lots of side ventures to look at rocks and shells and caves and creepy sea critters.  As such, it took rather a while.  At several points along the journey I made trenchant remarks about the tides and the direction they were going and the level to which they might climb and the likelihood that we would be able to get back out the way we came in.

For you see, part of our path had involved slipping out around a bit of a protuberance in the cliff that marked one side of the beach.  This was totally easy and safe when we scrambled over it, but the puddles and the various sea critters clinging to the ground and, um, wall suggested that the area might get a bit damp from time to time.  If you look at this handy overhead picture you can perhaps see what I mean.  We had not looked at that picture before we went.  If we had, perhaps my mentions of ‘tide’ and ‘stuck’ and ‘peril’ and ‘lost at sea’ and ‘total and complete waste of really good yarn’ would have been heeded.  Alas, they were not.

As something of a concession to my concerns, we did make the trek back down the beach at a much greater rate of speed than the trek up the beach.  This is where I got to discover that walking on sand uses rather different muscles than regular walking and that sand is a bit of an irritant when wedged into sandals.  We arrived just in time to see the path disappearing under the water.  It had looked like this an hour or two before.  Note the handy dry path and the complete lack of crashing waves of death.  For scale, please realize that the top of that light green band is just above my head.  (Mom, stop reading now, it’s better that way.)  By the time we got there, the water was up a bit past our knees.  It seemed like it might just be possible to scamper around in that without actually dying, so we splashed in.  A few steps farther along and the water was up to my hips, the waves were frolicking up around my ribs, and we were only a third of the way through.  This is when good common sense kicked in and I sounded the retreat.  I now rather regret that I did not take the equivalent picture of the area when it was under water, but I was too busy having hysterics and muttering about death and dismemberment and sea-ravaged corpses.

Of course we then began our walk back down the beach (third trip for those keeping score), except now we were soaking wet.  The weather that seemed charmingly cool when we arrived (58 F) was a tiny bit chilly when soaking wet to the elbows.  This was also the point where I made several realizations.  Namely, I was hungry, I had to pee, wet jeans chafe in all sorts of unmentionable places, and my feet really really hurt.  The less said about the next half hour the better.  I will simply record that I did not spend the whole trip whining, I did not pass out, I did not wander out into the sea in an attempt to end my misery, and I did not kill anyone and feast on their corpse.  We made it back to Arcadia, found a loo, and washed some of the sand out of our shoes.  We then made the executive decision that The Boy would hike back to the car by himself and come fetch me while I gnawed on a fruit strip and composed myself.

We drove into Manzanita and found a spot for lunch.  Then we went back to Portland, bathed (I deposited enough sand in the bathtub to make sand dunes), and fell into a stupor for an hour or so.  Later, and rather to my surprise, we roused ourselves and headed out to Stephanie’s lecture.  We finished the evening at Toro Bravo before hobbling off to bed.

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