This past Friday evening after a hot, hot, humid day, we decided to head to the coast to hike over Morse Mountain and down to Seawall Beach. This off-the-beaten-track hike is one of my favorites. (I’ve written about it before (here).) Parking at the trail head is strictly limited (40 vehicles or so) and it’s about a two mile hike in to a pristine beach. Limited parking means no crowds and the long walk nixes beach paraphernalia and ensures that driftwood stays at the beach. There are no facilities at the beach. It’s plain, simple, gorgeous beach and when the tide is out, there’s a lot of it!
Arriving at the parking lot, we were already congratulating ourselves on our choice– at 6 pm there was plenty of parking and the car thermometer showed that the temperature had dropped 10 degrees during our drive down the peninsula.
We set out into the woods and soon emerged to wend our way through the marsh where the tide has carved deep channels through the vivid green grasses. Stopping to watch crabs battling in shallow water, we were soon locked in our own battle with mosquitos and biting flies. Unfortunately, this hike is often buggy, so we’d hoped for the best but come prepared for the worst. We sprayed our toxins and continued on our way trailing a cloud of Deep Woods Off.
Heading up the slope toward the mountain, we enjoyed the cooler temperatures amidst the towering pines, talking quietly and appreciating the interplay of light and shadow on trees, moss, and giant rocky boulders. At one point we saw a red fox casually step onto the trail ahead of us and then saunter across the trail and into the woods. Red squirrels chittered at us now and again and birds called repeatedly. When we reached the top of the mountain we took a short side trail to enjoy the view which, although hazy, was still impressive.
After that detour we hit the trail again, descending and weaving in and out of more marsh and forest. Salty air and the thunder of waves welcomed us as we finally arrived at the beach to find it almost deserted and filled with amazing evening light. One direction was sunny and clear, the other hazy and moody. The tide was out and the sky reflected in the wet sand. Clouds scudded across puddles.
We went our own ways, wandering, enjoying and soaking in the serenity. I was mesmerized by the interplay of water, clouds, and sand and the change in the light from moment to moment. Everywhere I turned there was some new wonder to savor. The trifecta of water, sky and clouds worked its magic again. A moment on a beach on a hot summer evening. A slice of heaven.