At 9:30 Saturday morning I waved goodbye to Nancy from the airport parking lot. She drove here on Thursday from her home in the Adirondacks, 445 miles to go hiking on the shore. We met a couple years ago climbing the eastern high peaks of the Adirondacks and have gone on several backpacks since. She is always looking for a good adventure. Nancy arrived earlier than I anticipated which was great because we able to walk to the shack in the light, and take a short 5-mile beach walk toward Truro. We saw a couple of seals, which was exciting and arrived back after sunset in the deep dusk. It was beautiful to see the ocean getting dark as the sun went down. On Friday it rained, almost non-stop, but it mattered little to either of us. I thought since it was going to rain all day, we could start on the bike trail, walk over to Herring Cove Beach and walk the beach back to the shack. It would be a modest 10-mile walk partially on asphalt and partially on the sand and through the beach forest. I have tracked it a few times on my wrist GPS as one of my running routes.
Around Bennet pond we found a woods trail and wandered onto that, first following footsteps, then animal tracks. We were careful not to walk on the plants or dunes that did not already have trails cut into them. I can’t say we were lost because it is not possible to get lost; if you walk in a straight line you will come back to the bike trail, but I could not find our way out. All the dunes looked the same. In every direction I looked I saw the same landscape with small trails running through them. It was more my fantasy that we were bushwalking through uncharted territory, but it was fun to think that was what we were doing. Eventually we decided to backtrack because I could not find the correct path. When we got to Herring Cove Beach, one of my favorite places because the sea is more angry and aggressive at this spot, it was pouring rain. We stood on the beach, eating our snacks, a few people sitting in cars watching the water probably thinking, “Who are those crazy people.” We walked the beach at high tide over to Hatches Harbor, a inlet of water with lots of tiny little ‘islands.” Again we had to backtrack because it was not possible in the high tide and rain to walk to the Race Point lighthouse via Hatches Harbor. So sheepishly we had to backtrack. I felt a bit dumb about having to backtrack again, clearly I did not plan our walk well, but I was so excited about seeing new places and all kinds of cool sites, my dumbness subsided. We walked the bike trail back to our starting point. We ended up walking over 13 miles; we had a few spots without rain but not many. We arrived at the shack, stoked up the fire, and Nancy made a delicious lentil stew. This morning she was up early, before sunrise and made a fire. It was nice to wake up to a warm living room. I made coffee and we walked out to the seashore to drink our coffee and watch the sun rise. It is a clear beautiful morning. Nancy is headed back home and I am headed out for a 14 mile run.