Aside from the Ocean, the obvious main ingredient of this long beach is sand. Unlike the mostly barnacle covered rocky beaches of the Puget Sound, near home, this beach is sandy, miles… of fine tan-grey colored sand. Depending on the tide there is about twenty to one hundred yards of beach from the edge of the grass-covered dunes to the changing ocean line. Here the ocean licks the sand, packing it into a high-speed surface, making for a smooth run near the edge. Or where as Sarrah preferred it, sand piled loosely by the wind, storms and high tides up against the dunes where the grass grows and waves like wheat fields; catching the blowing sand into thick, fluffy unstable drifts for jumping and plowing through.
Sand is magical; it brings out playfulness in a dog, youth in the old and delight in a kid. Sand does not care how careful you are, it will get into everything. These little bits of ancient rock ground in the waves, spread by the wind, over time will get between your toes and everywhere else. Sarrah loved it! She did her part to share it. It seemed no matter how well I wiped her feet, she somehow smuggled some in.
Sometimes even the beach is Ugly
This drawing was a gift to me, from my daughter Heather, of a gift to me, from Sarrah.
Sarrah usually even enjoyed the attention from hoards of kids who are in excess when the weather is nice (Kids instantly forget everything they’ve ever been told in regards to “strangers”, let alone running toward me and Sarrah). Thanks to Sarrah’s typical patience and our many visits to parks, beaches, trails and sidewalks many kids of all ages got to meet a real life “Dalmatian!” I couldn’t even guess how many hundreds of these people enjoyed their gift of meeting Sarrah. She was the most popular and often photographed dog, every time.
We continued to discover and frequent gems of common interest. A favorite was a park, nearby. We became regulars to Salt Water State Park, a nice mile plus round trip walk from home. Here the small public beach is choked by privately owned beaches, sea walls, rock cliffs, logs and rules. The semi-sandy beach is about forty yards by twenty at high tide. Currently more than half covered by the naturally occurring, growing… log pile gifted by storms and kept in place by law. In the summer months the tide recedes further, if lucky enough or planned you can carefully walk out another fifty yards or so, on the Barnacle covered rocks amongst the tide pools. Here at an edge of the Puget Sound, where the ocean’s water works its way around the San Juan Islands, the small waves are more like swells. These tired waves sort of heave themselves, splashing, thudding and pounding against the rocks. Despite its shortcomings, Sarrah loved this place instantly. She would often Insist on going there by taking a hard right, instead of the left turn on our usual daily trek down Marine View Drive. I am certain that my occasional ‘giving in’ further fueled this action, but making time to enjoy small victories is good for all. We probably hoofed that all terrain trek at least five hundred times over the years, and around one hundred shorter versioned, driven in stops.
Sarrah loved the Puget Sound, especially all of the creatures and smells that come with it. She happily stole bits of clam, crab and mussels from harassed crows and seagulls, who had dropped them onto the paved pathways to break them open. We walked the beach in search of sea glass (to collect) and sand dollars (to throw back), along the gurgling creek looking for fish, around the grounds and trails for less crowded nature.