Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A day at the beach

We pick our way down the steep trail of rocks and hardened sand, packed and dry with lack of rain. Some rocks give way under foot, skittering down the sloped parts of the trail to a cut channel that could easily be filled with a rivulet of running water. It is as though we are walking on a dried up river bed that once guided a rush of water beneath the green canopy, cutting around tree trunks, down and down, towards the lake somewhere beyond the forest.

There is a beach here we are told, a sandy beach and a bay sheltered a bit from the open waters of Lake Superior. We have been searching a long time for a sandy beach for Bear. She is a southern Ontario girl, spending her first couple of years along the soft shores of Lake Erie. The rocky beaches of the north have been a bit of a disappointment. She’s tolerated it though, because there’s water and swimming and sticks to chase, but we could always tell she missed the sand between her toes.

The dogs run ahead on the forest trail. It is quiet, we are fairly certain there is no one around, but we call to them so they don’t disappear around corners, so Murdoch doesn’t get in to trouble. I hold his leash in my hand at the ready.

It is not too far in, just a couple of twists along the descending path, a bear print or two, and then we can see it, a sapphire ribbon through the trees. The trail fans into a sandy skirt that spills out beyond the scrub at the edge of the forest onto a long strip of beach. It stretches away to the right of the trail, ending in a point where the land scoops around to form the bay. To the left, the green water of a wide river meets the dark blue of the lake. Overhead the sky is a clear, pale blue, the heat of the sun masked by cool breezes off the lake.

The beach is deserted except for the skeletal remains of sun-bleached trees washed up on shore, their branches bristling at the water's edge. Sticks as far as the eye can see.

The dogs are in heaven.


  1. It was a wonderful day, only made better by the company I was with.... Awesome

  2. What a treat for dear old Bear. How nice to watch her happiness.

  3. I don't know how I got that long number above. Must have clicked the wrong button. Sorry!

    1. I was wondering about that number! Thanks for commenting. You're right, it was a treat for Bear and so very wonderful to see her so happy. :)