Monday, January 3, 2011

An Affair to Remember- New Year's Eve 2010

It feels like that. An affair, a little naughty and mischievous. But on the last day of 2010 we head to Drake's Beach instead of Kehoe. Seven miles as the crow flies. We'd heard from Richard James,another beachcomber friend, that because of the strong southerly winds this year the beach facing into the wind had a lot of plastic. Oh! Kehoe, we still love you, but today we want to go on vacation.

The dilemma— do we tell anyone? do we mix our finds?

It's cold but not much wind, just above 40°. The damp of the ocean plus all the rain we've had sinks the chill right into the bones. Off we go and as promised there is lots of plastic in the wrack-line and the geology is very different from Kehoe. Lots of silty mudstone from the same age as the rock at Kehoe but smooth and crumbly. The Park Service warns to stay away from the cliff base—there is lots of evidence of rockslides and we know just a few years ago a falling boulder killed a kid. But, that's where the plastic has landed so we walk through boulders balancing like a couple of drunks—arms out, shaky small steps. Teetering like the codgers we are becoming. A few lighters, red cheese spreaders (thank you, Kraft Foods), super balls the usual stuff to add to the collection. But the best are a Barbie® arm and a green hand with the #3 becoming a post-modern adaptation of the Sistine Chapel's creation.

Rain starts in again so we hurry back to the car with a three-bag load. But then a break in the clouds and on the way home, we stop at North Beach at the southern end of "Ten Mile Beach." We've gone around the lighthouse point, which is Point Reyes. From here we can see all the way up the beach to Kehoe and beyond. Miles. Past the inlet of Tomales Bay, the rift valley of the San Andreas fault. All the way to the houses perched on the edge of Bodega Bay.

There are lots of people here weather notwithstanding, families for the New Years celebration. Being in nature sets a tone for the coming year. Tables are arranged in the sand, a crowded jumble of food dishes, beer six packs, coolers. Two big groups of 40 or 50, all ages, kids out in the cold surfing, shirtless boys playing football, most are bundled with puffy coats, scarves and hats. Guys tending campfires. A big pot of Texas Chili is cooking trail-style with a cast iron lid for coals put on top. Faces are bent to paper bowls digging into the eats with plastic spoons. One guy carefully slides brats down the tines of an eight-prong pitchfork.

One of the shirtless footballers sits on a Styrofoam cooler to get his warm clothes back on, crashing through. Crack! Heads whip around then the space is filled with laughter. A group of serious young girls, all stork-y legs and big suede Uggs on the feet, are away from the group with eyes cast back, making Talmudic commentary on the behavior of adults. They are gathered around a 50-gallon plastic barrel, wave crushed but with the top still on. It’s from a chemical company with the designation, S.A. Sociedad AnĂ³nima, the corporate designation for Spanish speaking countries.

Rain in the distance and the sun cracks through lighting Kehoe six miles down the beach, like a spotlight. A rainbow starts up shining right to our beach. Then when it doubles - shouts all up and down the beach start a chorus of "Oh my god, oh my god, double rainbow, oh my god."

"Oh my god, the rainbow” terminates at our strange pot of gold. Kehoe Beach.

If you are not one of the 30,000,000 million people who are in on the "double rainbow" phenomena - Please click here: Double Rainbow.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous story, guys. Such a fine note on which to begin the New Year in our time of apparent madness all around. It swings and swings, and still we sing!