Friday, April 26, 2013
coasts and a roller coaster
Yesterday morning, when the skies went through a dramatic and unexpected change to bright sunshine for once, the prospect of a jaunt around Point Pleasant Park seemed more inviting than has been the case most days these past four months. I almost took my camera but habit won out, as it usually does, and it remained in the drawer while I kicked myself for not having it when we got to the long beachfront part of the walk. The sky was blue, waves broke in jade crests flashing white tips of spray and, best of all, Dartmouth was obscured by a low cloud bank making the eastern passage look like wide open sea. Not that there's anything wrong with Dartmouth per se but it is a bit boring to see gas works, container ships and warehouses rather than seemingly endless sea. I tend to fall into those kinds of reverie quite easily as you may have guessed. I've never found the profusion of beach glass I'd imagined littered every shore either.
It turns out there aren't very many beaches that glitter with the remains of ancient glassware, only four or five worldwide, but eventually I learned I'd spent nearly 18 years not all that far from one of the best and had never known. There's an oceanside park in northern California next to Rte 1 where people threw their garbage for more than one hundred years. In those days there was no new-fangled plastic so when they tossed an old jam jar or beer container or fishing float, the thing was invariably made from glass. That glass was made from sand - a fact which makes it having it gone back to the seaside a remarkable, albeit accidental, bit of recycling. In the early 60's the state determined it was time to remove the garbage and carted off the cars, refrigerators, furniture and all the other assorted detritus that had landed there over the decades - but they left the glass. The park, called MacKerricher State Park, is close to Fort Bragg, CA if you ever go that way. It's even on the route through the Redwood forest if you need a bit more incentive. The beach now looks like the picture at the top, or this if you want a closer view.
Ah well, you never know what you'll find on coastlines. This is a film made about a drive along Norway's Atlantic Coast Road:
In many ways the landscape doesn't look much different here but imagine that as a daily commute to work and back. Worse still, imagine having been on the construction crew.