29 August 2006

New Carissa

August 23rd, 2006 brought Bill and I to a long walk to see something that meant more to us than just a shipwreck. The New Carissa ran aground on the 4th of February in 1999. Bill heard of this while still on the east coast, ten days later he wrecked his car (totaled) in Burns, OR. He was on his way here to be with his kids and ultimately get full-custody of them. I had moved to Oregon about a week or so before the New Carissa wrecked to start a new chapter in my life and go back to school. Three weeks after Bill moved to Oregon we met and started our life together listening to the saga that was the New Carissa on the news.

Now let me tell you about the hike to see this hunk of metal. When we were here last Fall we tried to find the Carissa. Unfortunately for us we were not aware that it’s really only visible at certain parts of the year due to several really good reasons I’m sure. Anyway, last year we spent the better part of a day trying to find this thing, including Bill scaling sand dunes, if you’ve never scaled a sand dune, don’t laugh; it’s really hard work. This year we were determined again to find this ship that wrecked the year we both moved to Oregon and met each other. We drove out to Horse Fall Dunes, parked in the lot at the end, walked out to the beach, turned left and immediately saw it way off on the horizon. Bill said by his guesstimations (none of the maps tell you exactly where it is or exactly where you are) it was about 6 miles from Horse Fall. Let me just add that all the images in this blog are from right on top of the ship. We didn’t take any pictures from where we started because it would have looked like a dust speck on the picture.

Ok, so we start walking. How many of you out there have walked 6 miles in sand, come on, raise your hands. I had also never walked 6 miles in sand, and lucky me, it was 6 miles out and 6 miles back. That’s right 12 miles in sand. The tide was mostly in when we started our trip out to the Carissa, so the first half of the walk was in soft sand, the walk back was a little better, we could mostly stay in the wet sand since the tide had gone out. Did I mention it took us over 3 hours roundtrip, have I mentioned that 3 hours was walking in sand? Just checking.

About 3 miles into our 12 mile hike I strained my left calf. I don’t know how or why this happened. I just know that about 3 miles into it my calf really started to hurt. Awesome! Here’s me at the Carissa trying not to let my calf muscle cramp. Actually I was walking over puddles of water, but I had to keep moving. I knew if I stopped it would cramp and I’d be screwed, 6 miles from the truck.

It was really cool to finally see the New Carissa, a ship that has come to mean more to Bill and I than just a hunk of crap stuck in the sand. For better or for worse Bill and I were shipwrecked, as it were, in Oregon and we found each other and have been building and rebuilding our lives together ever since. So seeing the Carissa for Bill and I was a bit of pilgrimage, but I’ll tell you, I’m never walking to it again. NEVER!!

So you might be thinking to yourself, why is she posting so many pictures of a hunk of metal in the sand? I’ll tell you why, because I walked 12 miles in the sand with a sprained calf muscle. The 6 miles on the way back the fog rolled in and it was cold, bone chilling cold. The kind of wet-cold that your muscles have to work to stay warm even though you’re essentially working out. So, since I suffered through all that to see the Carissa, by god, everyone I know will see the Carissa!

Stay tuned for my blog with the Cape Blanco lighthouse in it. Adventure abounds.