[Hi! I recently completed walking the Oregon Coast Trail, twice, since April. I thought I would share one of my stories with you. I attempted to “Choose Files” to atach but it appears the button would not work for me. Feel free to use my picture at http://i0.wp.com/www.humanitarianexplorer.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/wpid-wp-1437774644377.jpeg?zoom=1.5&w=830 Thanks!]
Name: D. B. Raines – Humanitarian Explorer
This story is from walking from just south of Bandon to Port Orford.
Website: www.humanitarianexplorer.com / Facebook.com/humexp
About the Writer:
Here’s the story:
A SMALL AIRPLANE PASSES OVER MY HEAD and I realize that I do indeed still exist to some extent within man’s world. It had been nearly 24 hours without seeing another soul on God’s Green Earth that I began to wonder if I would ever gaze upon one again- that human bag of skin containing so much beauty and masking it with the fine skill of a Japanese carpenter so dedicated to perfection and always feeling falling short. I missed it. I missed them: People. I would accept a thousand complaints and dulldrummed problems if only to look at them with a slight smile and gaze that would suggest I SEE WHO YOU REALLY ARE you marvelous wonder of the earth and heaven.
I had started my previous with a walk into the unknown down the road and then onto this beach. A park host I had met informed me that I ought to find a place to camp somewhere near there, although it was yet early in the afternoon, because I had missed the opportunity to wade through the mouth of the New River as it wanders in from the Great Pacific as though the ocean could not keep its bounds and play by the rules and needed to tread upon land forming this river I now would need to head. Yet I pressed onward with resoluteness that this was my day and on this day I would overcome this obstacle of nature to get to where I knew I wanted to be on this night. I had drive but from where this drive came and for what purpose was yet completely unknown.
The sand was soft s conjoined pebbles creating clouds of dirt for me to enjoyably walk. I saw families and a group of four people riding horses and kite-flyers and so much fun that everyone was having on this beach. This was nice.
The sand slowly turned to a bit more coarse as those pebbles seemingly began to separate into larger chucnks of gravely rubble causing great discomfort to my feet as they tired on. I thought “how easy this is!” in the beginning and that optimism faded away with each step into rockier and coarse terrain. Time to put on my shoes.
I knew this would absolutely ruin my shoes but I was out of options. For several miles I went back and forth from taking my shoes off and putting them on in places where I thought the sand was becoming soft again only to quickly realize the failure of my mirage.
I approached what I expected to be the mouth of the New River as it was the distance the park host had informed; yet according to my intelligent-phone’s mapping system the mouth should be another couple of miles to the south. Apparently this confusion was caused by the fact the mouth of the river transports itself from year to year depending upon the rest of environment as it is always shifting and changing. Sill I was befuddled and wished with fervor that I was indeed at the right place and on the right path toward home for the night.
I first dropped my backpack at the edge of the river and ventured submerging into the mighty rush of water to test the flow and depth. As I got to the middle and realized it only came to the waist I understood this to be a sign of great rejoicing. I could pass.
I walked back for my backpack, picked it up, and reentered the water. At this moment something occurred which I shall not forget. Not 5 feet in front of me, a sea lion swam ferociously through the water, stopped, poked its head above the water and stared at me with eyes of a quiet love and lonesomeness as if to unveil all of the world’s wonder and truths to me in that simple look. I had never been greeted with a warmer “hello” by anyone and in those seal-eyes knew that I could die happy yet there is still much more to be done.
I continued beyond the river walking on lands where I felt completely alone. I felt that I could scream and nobody anywhere would be able to hear. In fact I did to prove the point and I suspect nobody heard. I began singing and talking out loud to myself which is of course what is commonly referred to as “the first sign of madness” and yet we humans do it all the time with our incessant thoughts. Are we all mad?
The land in this territory had been split apart by that mighty river and I felt as though I were walking on an island in between the ocean and flowing river from whence all came. I was still in confusion if I was in the right place or if I ought to be on the other side of the river but I figured at some point this would all even out and become One.
I was told there was only one legal place to camp along this stretch of land, a primitive little spot just over a dune far enough away as to not be swept up by the tide in the night nor disturb any nesting grounds of snowy plovers. This was to be my home for the night- wherever it was.
I passed sign after sign saying “Do not walk beyond this sign. Snowy Plover habitat zone.” I wondered when it was these signs were put here and if anyone ever came to check on this area. It had been all day without a soul and it seemed these signs had been placed here thousands of years ago and never seen since.
Finally, after each sign presented the idea in my mind that “maybe this is the campsite,” I arrived. A small sign saying what it is, a primitive site, with a short form where ou can leave suggestions and feedback if anyone before you had left a mess. I walked to the small patch of sand-land that would make for a place to pitch one’s tent. There was absolutely nothing here but sand and beachgrass and 2 birds singing to one another. They and the ocean’s tides were the only sound I would hear on this night. And it was peaceful.
The next morning I awoke and my mind was utterly still. I was gone, man. The voices of humanity had utterly disappeared and I missed them. Although there is a complete understanding and experience of peace in being completely still, in being free of all thought. There is still a deep longing that we human beings are a big part of this world and must play our part. To check out would be defeating of life itself. I knew that I was here for humanity. I acknowledge that I am in one step continuous and connected with all of nature itself; but my role is to see that humanity learn to live according to nature and not to our ideas of what nature ought to be. And so my heart longs for humanity to be free. So at once must be rejoined to humanity and also must remain separate to see with freedom and clarity. That is the Great Dilemma of Life. To play the game while realizing it is a game and all the pieces will one day be put back into rightful place . The struggle goes on….
I walked for miles and miles and finally I saw tracks left from what I reckoned to be a four-wheeler. They weaved in and out from another pair of tracks suggesting there was one that was scouring about to and fro. Until at long last I observed in the distance an ATV approaching me. I waved and said “STOP!” The man stopped in a hurry and asked “What’s the matter? Are you hurt? Do you need help?”
I said “No, I’m perfectly alright. I just haven’t seen another soul in over 24 hours and I am in great need of having at least a moment’s conversation and connection with humanity.”
He chuckled with a knowledge that he had seen the likes of me before. For I know that by no means was I the first to trek this land although it seemed that way and in this way this interaction reconnected with the memories of all mankind.