Even when living in California I preferred a winter beach to one crowded in summer. An empty beach is the best place to calm jangled nerves or indulge a funk. Even one in a mellow mood can appreciate the offered solitude. So, on this gray Sunday morning with rain in the forecast, I head out with Aki to a crescent of gravel near the old Auk Village site.
We drop down steep stairs to a trail that winds through a forest of alders and old growth spruce trees. I can see, through gaps in the trees, that the beach is empty but keep to the forest trail. The large spruce offer the kind of comfort that can only be provided by living things that have withstood storms for over two hundred years.
The beach is still empty when we leave the woods. We have it to ourselves for ten minutes. Then, a family of toddlers and water dogs crash out of the trees barking and giggling and sending a roosting eagle to flight. Another eagle screams when the startled one tries to land in its tree. Soon both are in the air, struggling to master strong gusts of a storm front. We will all be wet soon, the birds, dogs, and toddlers.