Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Oregon or Bust, Part 5

Back to the beach just below the Packer's beach house, Johnny and I began an afternoon of exploration. Since I grew up spending many wonderful hours exploring the beach at Ocean City, Maryland this is one of my favorite ways to enjoy life. Johnny does not share that experience but he already has picked up a love of the seaside — probably from his several trips to Hawai‘i.

Just where the path meets the beach, we encountered this hut, currently occupied by two other beachcombers. Someone obviously spent a lot of time constructing this shelter using driftwood and grasses from the sand dunes.

Steve told me that most of the driftwood is washed away each winter with the storms and high tides. That means that more than likely, this hut will be history by the next visit. So glad we had a chance to experience it.

After the previous occupants evacuated the hut, Johnny moved in to claim it for his own. He was so enthralled by it that he wanted to build his own version. I thought that sounded like a lot of work but you hate to suppress a young man's imagination and enthusiasm.

Since someone had left a couple shovels next to the hut (perhaps the builders had been a bit absent-minded) Johnny began excavation for his hut. It did not take long before his ambition was downsized to just a bench to sit on. We worked on it together and the resulting structure sort of worked, if you weren't too heavy.

Accompanying us on our beach exploration was the Packer's dog, Colby who loves the beach and quite willing to join us even though we had just met.

It's funny how kids and dogs will find and enter any water laying about even if it is quite cold. Here Colby found a channel of water fed by a hillside stream which eventually had cut a path to the ocean.

Colby is getting along in dog years but still loves to chase sticks thrown down the beach or into the ocean. We probably overdid it but Colby seems to enjoy it immensely.

I warned Johnny that the water would be cold but he had to discover the truth for himself. "It's not too cold", he claimed. But you can't fool someone who lived near Santa Cruz and whose feet would cramp up just doing what Johnny is doing here.

We all have our favorite things at the beach and Johnny loves shells. He is holding an intact mussel shell that he discovered. It was added to his collection.

Less interesting, in his mind, are things like this seaweed. We also found pieces of jellyfish — a bit more interesting if only because we had to be careful to avoid any tentacles that might still sting our feet.

Forwarding the clock to our last day at the beach house, I captured Johnny again — this time using my iPhone camera. These things are getting pretty good — this is my favorite shot of Johnny at the beach on this trip. Enjoy this last look, little buddy, but we will visit the beach somewhere again soon. And maybe the water will be warm enough to swim.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com