Saturday, September 19, 2015

50. Camping at Hoodoo Beach

That afternoon Alan had enough time to sketch the beach and the Hoodoos beyond it.
This beach was just south of Ghost Heads.

The Southwest Path looped closely around Ghost Heads, then cut behind some bluffs for a couple of miles before coming near the shore again. Alan was struck by how white and rounded the "heads" were. "Must be coated with bird poop." Chloe mused aloud. Beyond Ghost Heads Alan could see the tops of steeper, sharper rocks mostly hidden by the distant bluff. When they finally saw a branch path leading back to the shore, they came upon a pleasant beach adjoining a grassy hillside. A thin afternoon fog shrouded the place, and made the tall rocks even more enchanting.

"This must be Hoodoo Beach", Alan said, and Chloe concurred, adding, "Yep, I believe there are hoodoos out there..."

It was late morning as they pitched their tents, and Chloe went about gathering some firewood as Alan sat down to sketch the beach and the hoodoos, still diffused by the fog.

Chloe loved being the wanderer-gatherer. She left a pile of wood nearby, and then walked up on the bluff toward the hoodoos that Alan was sketching. She found coves with hidden beaches, and the misty hoodoos looming beyond. A couple of them were still emerging from the eroding bluff. The sun was quite warm as it burned through the fog, and Chloe, getting hot, had the sudden urge to throw off her clothes and jump into the surf. The water was bracing, but the waves were tamed by all the offshore rocks, so Chloe could wade in and simply float among the swells surrounded by these strange rock formations, whose tops were white and dotted with seabirds.

She figured she'd invite Alan for a swim like this soon, but she wasn't sure how he'd take the invitation. He was quiet about any opinions on decorum, but she sensed he came from a culture that had a lot of hangups about just being natural!

About two hours later, Chloe returned to find Alan right where she left him, still working on his sketch. "How is it going?" she asked. 

"Almost done."

"I just had a great walk, and a swim in the waves by the hoodoos!"

He looked up, "All by yourself? Isn't that risky?"

"Oh, I took a good look at the water first - it was quite calm in this cove I found. No sharks! Plus, I only stayed in for a few minutes." She felt she had to explain it all, and actually felt a bit guilty that she didn't invite him along. "Maybe later we can have a swim together, as buddies!"

Alan hesitated a moment, Hm, another chance to get used to this no-clothes thing if that's how she swims. "Okay, you're on!"

He finished up the sketch, and they had a mid-afternoon lunch.