Saturday solo run from home, the morning after a full moon. When I don’t meet my fellow runners, I exit my door and follow my feet which, this time, took me to the beach——OH I remember why! I’d read a “big wave warning.” Yep, I wanted to see the crashing breakers. And the full moon pulled back the tide, so I was able to run on hard-packed sand one way out.
Planning to run thirteen miles preparing for a half marathon, I ran six and a half miles from Newport past the Huntington Beach Pier, right along the surf. No particularly impressive swells, but I did see a group of “downward dog do-ers" taking a yoga class right by the surfline. Their yoga teacher walked among them, correcting. People of all ages took her morning class, their yoga practice enhanced by cool breezes off the water.
Beside them were five “twenty-somethings,” athletic looking guys two in matching t-shirts. One shoveled sand into a garbage can, while others walked purposefully down to water’s edge, filling buckets with wet sand. Behind them in exacting straight-line order were dozens of buckets, arranged by size.
“What are you doing?” I stopped to ask one of the group, a tall rangy guy with beach-tousled hair. “We’re building a sandcastle,” he said and snapped right back to work.
Still wish I’d have come back to see their creation which I’d estimate from the size of their bucket collection would grow to small-city-size.
At the Huntington/Newport border, just north of the river jetty I stopped. A big stainless steel 50,000 BTU gas grill, the freestanding kind weighing over 100 pounds, with two cupboard doors at the bottom sat in the sand under a pop-up tent.
“HOW did they get that thing out there?” I asked anybody within earshot.
“Did you notice those three dollies by the pop-up?” a more observant beach-goer than I replied.
Still, I marveled at their determination to give their friends a real Saturday dinner with an ocean view.
Other days, running from Newport to Huntington, I’ve seen a paint-ball contest, surfing contests, and co-ed-football.
On longer runs, I pass Huntington’s dog beach with it’s smiling canines showing anybody who’ll glance in their directions, what joy it is to be a dog, free of backyard fences and confining leashes.
Look what you’re missing if you’re not out Saturday morning, ambling about the seashore.
Oh, I didn't say that I finished thirteen miles exactly in front of my doorstep. Yeah, it took me a long time. NO, sand running is not a sprint. But, yeah, the scenery is unequaled and the salt air is magical.