That day, I drove north, as far up the coastal road as I could get, to where the road finally turned to dirt and a sign basically said "unless you belong on this Reservation, don't think of continuing." I pulled down into the little town (name to be consulted and included later) and stopped at the trading post (about the only business in town) to buy smoked albacore and sturgeon. There was a dugout with eyes and a face like a salmon painted on it, up on blocks amid old car hulks and junk on a vacant lot. I could see that boat putting to sea... I probably created gossip, this lone white chick coming into the trading post in the middle of nowhere and buying fish, then getting into her pickup and heading back.
On the way back, I discovered you could drive down to the beach at Moclips, and so I took advantage of it and drove for miles. Sometimes I'd stop and go walk by the surf, where a few zillion clam siphons studded the sand. Again, I thought of digging clams in my youth, in areas now all clammed out, just as the abalone had gone, which used to encrust the rocks so thickly you could just go pop off your limit. It brought home that this was a wild place, where clams could still be had for the digging. I tunneled toward one with my hand, but he could dig faster than I could. ;-)
Some places, usually where a stream joined the ocean, the beach was closed to vehicles, so I would drive back to the road, then find the next way down. I realized I missed driving down the beach at Pismo, or over the dunes at Morro Bay. Another part of my adventurer soul, from a previous life as a mad biologist, revived. On the way back, I stopped at a wood sculpture place I'd seen on the way north, and bought a small bear for a friend who's into bears. I doubt the proprietor gets a lot of business, as it's very out of the way.
Back in Ocean Shores, I drove out on the beach and drove north, this time, past the big new Indian casino looking out on the beach, north over 3 miles. I still hadn't run out of drivable beach when I stopped and got out and watched the ocean. Near me, I found a piece of driftwood, encrusted with deceased barnacles, just the right size for a walking stick. I held it up, westward, to air and water, then turned and held it with blessing to earth and fire, asking permission of both. Then it ended up in my truck bed, where it still is. It's been out a few times, playing walking stick, and has come a long journey from its origins and its time in the ocean.