Today I rode mountain bikes on the beach with my son, something I'll never forget. It was a glorious day, sunny and calm, and cold, of course. The stillness was a treat after a couple of days of such powerful winds. My son and I layered up and rode our mountain bikes a couple of miles to Fort Worden, a state park and former military fort with beautiful forests and cliffs above the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We rode through cedars, firs, and other trees, spotting an enormous eagle's nest at the top of one tree. A man I met recently has an eagle's nest in his back yard, and he told me the branches that form the nest can weigh up to 600 pounds. We rode up a hill past decaying military buildings, bouncing over all the roots in the path, and once had to carry our bikes over a tree that had been blown into the path. At the end of a long downhill, neither of us wanted to go home yet. I suggested we ride out to the lighthouse at the tip of Fort Worden. Once there, it occurred to us we could try to ride back along the beach.
I'd never ridden a bike on a beach before. We had to walk our bikes at first, as there wasn't much sand. The beach was covered in small stones that would have made a bumpy ride. Once the sand became plentiful, we jumped on our bikes and pedaled. The sand slows you down, so it feels like you're climbing, even when it's flat. There was nobody around, apart from a couple of beachcombers, and I felt like a little kid again pedaling along the shore. What a joyful day with my son. I have a feeling we'll both always remember this day as something special.