I wrote about a secret beach on Pender Island in October 2013: “The Public Market and the Secret Beach”, at a location I swore not to disclose. This beach is not like that. It’s nestled between two big headlands, Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain on the south and Cape Falcon on the north, in a hidden cove. It is Short Sand Beach, a half-mile hike from the highway, in Oswald West State Park, less than 6 miles up US 101 from the coastal town of Manzanita.
One afternoon we wandered down the trail to the beach. It was early June. The sun had finally burnt off most of the low clouds, the air was comfortably warm for the first time in at least a week, or maybe much longer.
As the sun sank lower, the surfers headed out.
I noticed the stratigraphy on the bluffs above the beach and close by, a trickling waterfall. I took a closer look and saw some brightly covered moss.
I saw a surfer coming back up the beach and approached her. Her name was Carrie, a schoolteacher from the Neah-Kah-Nie school district. She was originally from Oklahoma and came here because the surf called to her. She had just completed her first year teaching, and now, an endless summer stretched out in front of her.
Returning to Manzanita, we stopped at the weekly market.
All in all, just another day on this edge of the world.