Saturday, September 1, 2012


 When I was a teenager my parents had a Pat Boone album that I played over and over.  I loved that album but several decades later I can only remember two songs from it.  I sang "April Love" over and over again because it was April, I was very young and I was head over heels in love!  "Blue Moon" was simply beautiful....

"Blue Moon
Now I'm no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own"

Fast forward 40+ years and here we are on a mini vacation.  Just the two of us, no cell phone reception and no land line in a beautiful beach cabin, almost completely isolated from the real world. The weather is perfect with clear blue skies, a light breeze and miles of almost deserted beach.

As the sun went down on our first day here, we couldn't help but notice the beautiful full moon that was shining in our windows.  Randy was quick to point out that it wasn't just a full moon, it was a blue moon-the second full moon this month. My first thought was "Wow I bet it's been crazy at the clinic!" followed immediately by the memory of Pat Boone singing "Blue Moon".

Even though the moon looked full on Wednesday and Thursday, last night was the actual full blue moon and Randy suggested that we sit outside our cabin and enjoy it.  Hmmm I thought it would be much better to enjoy it on the beach, sitting side by side with mugs of steaming coffee. We both agreed that would be new adventure for us, in fact even though I grew up watching beach blanket movies with lots of night-time fun around the fire I don't think I have actually stayed on the beach once the sun has set.

One of the things I have really appreciated about this beach on the Washington coast is that we are allowed to drive on the sand.  We walked to the beach the first two times, but after that we drove our van with our camp chairs, portable beach umbrella, beach towels, camera, books and snacks right down to where we wanted to spend the day.

Randy thought we would just walk down last night, but since I wanted to sit in a camp chair, he agreed to drive.  We packed up our mugs of steaming tea, a piece of pie to share, 2 forks and of course our camera.  We drove on to the beach and didn't see any other cars but in the distance there was a campfire burning so we knew we weren't the only crazy people waiting for the moon to rise.

Randy began to turn our van around just like he had during our day trips, but within seconds we knew something was different.  As in we weren't moving, just spinning our wheels.  We looked at each other in stricken silence and he tried again. And again. And again.  He stopped trying and we both got out to see what the situation was and found our front wheels deeply buried in sand.  We started "digging" the sand out with our hands, scooping out mounds of sand from behind and in front of the wheels, each of us on opposite sides of the car.  I got behind the wheel and he tried pushing but again nothing happened. I got the floor mats out and said lets try using these for traction so we started digging again when I saw dreaded headlights coming towards us.  Now on one hand knowing that someone was coming to offer assistance was a relief, but on the other hand we were hoping no one would notice us and we could get out and pretend this never happened.  No such luck.

The gentleman said this happens all the time and he went back to get a shovel to help us dig the van out.  We kept scooping sand out until he returned and then he and his shovel took over.  I stood back and held the flashlight and let the men work it out.  When our new friend thought it was good to go, he told Randy to get in the driver's seat and he and I would push.  We pushed from the front with the van in reverse but nothing happened so we pushed from the back with the van in drive, but still nothing happened.  So the verdict was we would have to be towed off the beach.  So now we are stuck and we have no cell phone and no land line. Our AAA card is in our cabin but we are in the middle of nowhere.  We thank our new friend for all his help and begin to walk back to our cabin.  Another car comes toward us and this time it is a Sheriff who of course rolls down his window and asks us what's going on.  We explain that we are stuck and headed to our cabin to call AAA.  The officer doesn't think AAA has service this far out, but there is a local tow company he could call for us.  He wonders if our car is inside the high water line and when high tide will be.  We wonder that too.  The officer offers to give us a ride to our cabin, but with a glance at the back seat without door handles and with a screen to keep the bad guys in, I think not.  We thank him for all his help and walk back up to the road, knowing that our landlady has just arrived for the weekend and is staying next door in another cabin.  She had already told us she has cell service.

Mary was gracious and brought out her cell phone and phone book while Randy made the call to AAA.  We found out they don't tow off the beach or out of the mountains. OK so local tow company it is.  Not too confident that they will actually find us because even though they are in the next town only 20 miles away, the person on the phone didn't know where Moclips Beach was.  So Mary got on the phone to give directions.  They agreed to rescue us and we agreed to go back to our vehicle and turn on our hazard lights so they could find us in about 45 minutes.  Mary had looked up high tide for us so we at least knew that we should be safe until 1:13 a.m.

Sitting on a dark, deserted beach without any cell phone was not romantic after all. In fact, it was almost scary...fragments of all those awful stories that kids tell in the dark came back to haunt me.  When a pickup truck pulled up behind us I didn't want Randy to get out because it didn't look like a tow truck.  It didn't look like a tow truck because it wasn't a "real" tow truck.  It was a big pickup with the company name written on the door and two slightly scary looking guys inside.  They might have been scary, but they knew what they were doing.  Five minutes and $250.00 dollars later we were driving back up the road and turning in to our parking space.

So, quoting my son-in-law's mother, "Just let this be a learning experience for you" I am pondering the life lessons I learned.  Was it worth it to recently change cell phone plans to one with not only a lesser monthly rate but one with lesser service? Possibly not.  Was it worth it to stay in such an isolated area with no land line available? Probably not. Was it worth it to drive to the beach instead of walking? Definitely not.  Was sitting on the dark, dark beach under the blue moon as romantic as I thought it would be? Unfortunately not.  Would I do it again? Well maybe...once in a blue moon.