January 3, 2012
Fire on the Mountain
A few cars parked on the shoulder made me take a second look as I rounded the bend on 101 heading north on the Oregon coast. Seeing cliffs, ocean and foam though the sparse trees, I deliberated. If I head back to Portland now, it will be dark by the time I get back. No point in hurrying. Some few hundred feet past the pull out, I turned around in a gap in traffic and headed back to investigate.
Turning off the ignition, I unplugged my iPhone from the stereo and kept Fire on the Mountain Cornell 77′ playing through the speaker phone. An unseasonal south wind blew in warm air, making January 1st feel like April and I left my sweater in the backseat. “Blooop Blooop” my alarm sounded as I shoved my phone in my breast pocket, and grabbed my camera.
Disregarding the family of four walking towards me on the trail, I continued my air guitar solo and passed with a smile, hair still wet from a surf session at Short Sands.
“I wonder if they can guess which car is mine?” I chuckled to myself.
The sound of waves bashing against the cliffs beckoned.
Soon, the trees and land stopped, abruptly, a few hundred feet above the ocean. From this vantage point, the swells’ dark shadows lined up towards the horizon. Hopping the fence, I brushed some gravel off a ledge and sat. Fire on the Mountain wound down to some cheers from stoned college kids now in their 50s. Being in no rush, I pulled out the my phone and pushed repeat.
Pebble throwing, idea jotting.
As far west as it gets.
An hour of daydreaming, pebble throwing and wave watching passed. Despite feeling like April, January shadows reminded me of my hour and a half drive back to Portland. Taking one last look, I climbed back over the wire fence and walked back towards the pulloff.
Happy New Year. Longer days are coming.
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