A bit over a week ago, spouseinbox and I went on a short trip to the coast.  The plan was to camp on the beach and do – nothing.  Well, we did have to eat, so took a Coleman stove and a cooler of food.  A camera and the appropriate camping outfit rounded out the load in the car.  Getting to the area was interesting as the road did one of those turns at an intersection and the straight road continued with another designation.  We figured out the dilemma after about half a mile and discovered that the city beaches allowed no camping, but on return to the main route, the state beach did.  All told it was $20 per night to camp on the beach with the only provisions provided being a port-a-potty, and a cold water tap.  There were no designated camp sites, however, we did find an open picnic table and claimed it for our camp site.  There were sand dunes right there and an open area in one of the dunes at about 80 feet away was where the port-a-potty and water tap were.  All those in proximity seemed like a good choice.  We set up camp.  The water was about 20 feet away from the front zipper of the tent.

The water had a bunch of seaweed in it for about the first 50 feet out and then it cleared a little bit.  It was sort of walking on a coarse carpet.   Spouseinbox discovered that the seaweed also thinned a bit to the South about 200 feet away from our campsite.  There were a few things we noted: spouseinbox found three crabs – 2 hermit crabs in shells about 1″ wide and a baby (what I think was a) blue crab smaller than my fingernail.  There were clams about 1/2″ – 3/4″ in width in the sand such that walking had an interesting feel under the feet.  There was the soft sand and pieces of hard gravel-like mixed.  It was interesting to think that each piece of “gravel” was actually a clam which would stick out its muscle to the side to help push and then slightly open and close to work itself down into the sand.  The wave would wash a top layer of sand and the remaining sand with now exposed clams would then “boil” while the clams worked into it.

There were the sand crabs on the dry ground who could run incredibly fast sideways and poorly frontwards and backwards.  It seems like they have a simple programming – eat, make more crabs, dig holes.  As for the first and last, one could see the tiny claws picking through the sand and picking up towards the mouth on the underside of the crab.  The crab would also pull out sand from the hole, get to the rim of the hole and toss it.  On arrival, it looked like there were a bunch of umbrella holes in the sand.  Actually, there were a bunch of crabs digging.  The crabs weren’t alone in digging, there was also a pregnant ground squirrel.  She had prominent nipples and a fat abdomen – the reason I believe she was pregnant.  This character had several tunnels through the dunes and would stop, stand, watch us, then dive back into a hole.  Spouseinbox was in very close proximity to her as she approached and came to the edge of spouseinbox’s chair.

Also noted was that the gulf is rather noisy.  When one hears of the wave simulator, there is a quiet pleasant woosh sound which comes and goes in volume.  The actual thing is a bit higher on the decibel scale and constant in volume.  The volume is apparent when sitting on the side of the car which made a wind/noise break.  The difference was impressive.  It isn’t hard to accommodate the nose, and I was informed that I slept through a midnight storm.

There were also several varieties of birds and one gave me a thought.  It was flying at water level with its lower beak in the water scooting along at flying speed while fishing.  What occurred to me was that the birds were drinking sea water.  There was not fresh water to be had.  That means there must be a difference in the osmolarity in the bird to allow ingestion of salt water.  Just a thought.

I was not thinking about my feet.  I had a hat for my head, swimsuit, and plenty of sunscreen.  This was applied to the shoulders, back and a bit on the arms.  After all, we were going into the water.  Well, my feet got plenty of sun and I paid for ignoring them.  It was painful to sleep on my left side due to that foot and by Sunday about noon, spouseinbox and I realized that we were just hiding in the shade as the weather had become so much hotter and with the sunburns we didn’t want to go into any more sun.  A retreat back to large city was executed and we relaxed with a cool room and actual shower.  Will we do this again?   Probably.  I will wear more sunscreen next time.  No sense simulating a lizard a week later.

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