Tuesday, June 13, 2006

9 June Ocean City State Park

The walk happened because I had some ground beef that needed to be cooked and while hamburgers sounded okay, I really wanted to do something else. My meager pantry didn’t hold a lot of promise but knew town was only just down the road and walking along the beach would be fun.
Ocean City State Park is nestled in the tree-line above the beach, but to get there you walk through three different ecosystems, the trees, the marsh, the dunes and then the beach. (I guess that’s 4!) The park is very nice, the spaces are wide apart and off set so you are not looking into your neighbors windows, or smelling his/her dinner. You wake to the sounds of birds and notice that any crumbs left from the night before no longer exist and wonder who dined after you.
From the park, the marsh is really a surprise. While I didn’t see them, I could hear ducks and marsh-birds and the sound of running water. Lilies bloom along a little creek, and spring blooms, clover, lupine, and sweet pea lined the sandy trail.
And then just as suddenly, your in the sand dunes, and your feet are slipping in the soft sand, and the wind blown erosion makes beautiful ripples, and the wild flowers have disappeared and in their place are dune grasses that also bend with the wind. While it was beautiful, it was also hard to walk in, so I headed for the waters edge where the sand here can support cars which are allowed on the beach, one of the few in the US.

While town didn’t look that far away, it was and the longer I walked it kept staying in the distance like a mirage, never getting any closer but not looking far away. I found three in- tack sand dollars which I placed on an old log to retrieve when I returned and kept trekking forward hoping that my feet wouldn’t give out before I got there. Signs of “town” did get closer. A herd of rental horses came into view. Tourists from the hotels began to come out and play in the surf, the blank sand now was full of last nights footprints and finally town emerged with its little tourist trap businesses, moped rentals and fast food joints that hawked fish and chips and oyster stew.

IGA was the closest market in town and I was amazed at the assortment of cheese and salads, sausage and well, lots of beach toys. I ended up with a bag full of some fresh veggies, nuts and no cheese. I also bought a book that listed the wild flower of the Pacific Northwest sea coast. Now I could name my new friends.

Walking back was beginning to get painful, but I had no choice and kept trying to focus on which log I left the sand dollars LOL, it took awhile as I checked about 2 dozen before I found the one and retrieved my booty and sat for awhile. Some gulls joined me, hoping I would feed them. They were mostly young ones, with brown coats, the adults seemed to hang back which is probably why they lived to be adults. One old crow (raven) was the bravest of the lot and got right up to the edge of my foot. By the time I returned to the motor home cooking was the last thing on my mind, I just wanted to sit and read. (I did end up cooking dinner and Roy came home and joined me and then returned to his doings stuff.

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