It's about life - not "lifestyle"
Weird scenes inside the gold mine...
This photo was taken around noon on Thursday, August 29, 2002. I was coming off seven days of high stress life activity, and had just enough time available to make one quick beach run. The weather was obviously perfect, even if it definitely felt like Fall and the water was in the high 50's. A bit of South Swell was showing from somewhere and any halfway decent break would be crowded.

This place is a nothing spot, but I figured I could at least get a  swim in. Nearby surf lineups were teaming with daytime regulars, college people not back in session, and by this time the frenzied approach of high school students who either get off campus for lunch of go half day. Pre-holiday stress, as Labor Day Weekend was looming fast.

I pulled off the road, got out of the car, and to my surprise found only one person on the sand...with about 25 dogs! Up the road a piece was a van with side doors open and no markings. 2 or 3 of the dogs had leashes wrapped around driftwood logs; obviously the high strung members of the pack, they were the barkers. The rest were running free, chasing tennis balls the guy would either throw or hit with a racket into the surf zones.

The keyed-up part of me did battle with the more free and easy side: a beautiful beach day ruined by insensitivity of one person. I had no intention of entering a beach which had 25 dogs and their one human - there was no way one person could possibly control them all. And 25 dogs emptying their bladders and bowels on the beach is not an attractive thought or reality. On the other hand, the dogs were having a great time, and I do like most dogs better than most people.

I was hosed - my time was expended, and I had to get back to the real world. Soon it would be The Weekend, usually making the beaches a raging sea of people and traffic. This was probably going to be my best chance at getting wet for what will total a 12 day period of summer, and a good case can be made that traditional summer will end with Labor Day. I could get seriously down thinking like that.

But I'm a Californian, and I know (as do most coastal dwellers) that the best weather is yet to come. Seasons come and go, things change and change again, and the same with people. In many ways this beach situation on a Thursday afternoon parallels my relationship with surfing: rather than throw a tantrum about it all, I'll leave the beach to the dogs and their hours in the sun. I was here before them, and I'll be back after they've gone. Eventually all their deposited debris will move along too, even if I have to clean some of it up.

Have a good Labor Day Weekend if you are in the U.S. Pick up after yourselves and those less enlightened, enjoy whatever weather and people come your way, and relax a bit. The seasons are changing and the promise of that is something to be enjoyed.
View From Beach
Copyright (C) 2002. All rights reserved.