It’s an easy hike among the big cedars, and it feels good to be out with her backpack again. Lindsey threads between the massive trunks and steps along logs laid across bogs, enjoying the lush mosses, ferns, salal, and salmonberry of the rain forest. She’s been blessed by the weather gods, sunny days holding with a high-pressure front.
She raises her face to the burning crimson leaves of a vine maple backlit by the sun, tilting her head to play with the flickers of filtered light. Then she ducks around the bush to stand on the edge of the bluff, watching the ocean waves crash against dark rocks below. She finds the steep switchbacks, heads down, and strikes off along packed sand moistened by the retreating tide. Offshore, more jagged dark rock formations stand against the crashing sea, and ahead in the distance, the beach curves toward another steep headland she’ll have to round at low tide the next day.
She sets up her tent beside a tannin-brown creek and stashes her food in a bear-proof container, just in time to save it from a bold party of racoon burglars who invade the camp and start poking around the tent. She shoos them off, then wanders out over the jumble of drift logs. An endless sweep of sandy beach runs from one rocky headland to another down the coast, seagulls threshing the air with their cries. She shucks her boots and wades out into the froth of rushing and retreating waves, savors the cold, tingling touch of the sea. Spreads her arms to the open horizon and all that boundless energy.
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