Hug Cape, OR
The night before, I had walked down the beach, pursued by the onrushing tide.
By the time I got to Hug Cape, it was high tide and an hour from sunset. I couldn’t continue south without rounding the headland through crashing waves; I saw no way up the high cliffs to the highway turning back in the wrong direction. When the tide started to recede, I pitched my tent by the high water mark and set my alarm to wake me up an hour before the next high tide, early the next morning.
I sat alone on the deserted beach and watched the sun set. The cliffs above me glowed; sea gulls manned their patrols along the surf. When night fell, I was ensconced by starlight. I lay on my back and marvelled at my good fortune.
A few hours later, the clouds blew in and the wind howled through my tent. I shivered and lay sleepless for hours. When dawn came, I packed camp and climbed a steep trail over the headland. I filled up my pot with water and ate oatmeal in the stoop of an abandoned deli as cars and trucks raced by on the highway.