Sunday, August 14, 2005

The fog gnomes

Here I am, down here on the Oregon coast, and it appears that the fog gnomes have opened a branch office. The fog gnomes, Enrico and I hypothesized, are the creatures responsible for the absolutely unbelievable fog on the island of Kauai, whose ancient, sunken volcano crater is now the largest swamp in the world, or the wettest place in the world, or something like that. (Sitting in an internet cafe as I am, I don't feel like spending time Googling the precise superlative, but I know it's something like that.) Fog rolls out of that vast impassable swamp like a live, sentient being, moving and slinking as if it has a destination, a goal, a plan.

And such is the fog that we have here on the central Oregon coast this week. We wake up to it; it hangs heavy and thick until noon; and the rest of the day it allows us our sun, but it is always visible, hanging over the ocean, sending occasional little fingers inland seemingly randomly, as if to remind us that it can envelope us at any time.

The locals all say the weather is very weird this year. But we're having a nice time anyway. We saw the sea lions at Sea Lion Caves, and hiked the rocks and beaches at Cape Perpetua at high tide, watching the sea send thundering, sky-high spouts of water through the cracks and gaps in the volcanic rock. Today we're hitting the Oregon Dunes, 50 miles of freakishily huge, Sahara-like sand dunes that are sometimes three to five miles deep along the coast. I really do like this little corner of the world.

Things I should have packed but didn't - very atypical of Cousin Flora to be so scattered:

  • Any kind of windbreaker, which I am sorely sorry for most days 'cause the wind is from the north and damned chilly.
  • My watch.
  • Cliff bars, which I've now bought, which is a darned shame since we still have half a gross of them at home left over from Enrico's backpacking trip.
  • The wildflower guide book

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