Today, I took the longest continuous walk since my foot surgery just over a month ago. I walked 4.5 miles in Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, most of it on the beach, although the first mile of the hike was along the bay and marsh.
I slept poorly last night and was awake by 5:30. I could easily have made this another dawn beach walk, but instead, I got up for good about 6:10, and relaxed with a mug of hot tea while listening to a Mozart piano concerto (#12, so lyrical and serene!), and read about great hikes in my latest Backpacker Magazine. Around 7AM, I drove to the refuge and started walking about 30 minutes after sunrise. The tide was ebbing, as shown by this screen shot from my GPS:
Here is my route, mapped onto my DeLorme Topo USA software from my GPS. I hiked south through the marsh, cut through the dunes to the beach, hike south on the beach about a mile and a half, and then reversed course to eventually cut back through the dunes north of my original beach access point:
There is something so tranquil about a early morning walk on the beach. It gave me some time to reflect on things in my life, think about the recent passing of my friend, Judy, and think about my sister and her illness. Along the way, I tried to be at peace with how things are right now. The wind was brisk and raw at times, but it felt good to be out walking and communing with nature. Here are some photos from my walk.
Cattails along the marsh:
Tundra swans, heading north towards the Yukon:
And resting in the marsh:
Boardwalk access to the beach protects the dunes:
This driftwood appears to guard the beach:
The ocean is so tranquil this time of day:
It is like this all the way to the North Carolina border about 9 miles down the beach:
Pelicans are such a cool bird:
This claw is all that remains of a blue crab, which survived against inconceivable odds to become an adult. Probably, some of his molecules live on in the muscle tissue of a gull:
This gull has managed to find breakfast:
Dunes protect the marsh. The dune zone here is about a quarter mile wide:
Swans fly in "V" formation over the ocean, heading north: