Friday, October 30, 2009

Cliff Jumping: A Tale of Terror

It started out as the perfect fall day. Indian summer was performing one last display of warmth and clear blue skies in Northern California. Halloween was just a day away, and the promise of mystery and fright filled us with excitement. We were driving up Highway 1 along the cliffs of Big Sur, the wind whipping through our hair and the sounds of Wahanahu evoking recent memories of Lahaina (that's what I heard mom say, anyway).

We ran along the cliffs just north of the Bixby Bridge, happy to find a place along the beach where I was allowed to hike to the ocean with Mom and Dad. The hike down to the water was a thin sandy trail bordered by vibrant green and red ice plant, showcasing the warm colors of fall. When we got down to the sandy shore, the waves were alive with motion and sound. The three of us forgot all of our worries and cares running along the soft sand and watching the waves crash against craggy rocks.

We decided to walk back up the steep path to the car once the tide began creeping in. Mom and Dad stopped to watch some weird things called "surfers", who used boards to race along the breaking waves. I knew that these guys were bad news, and took a long detour around them to be safe. All was good after that, while we retraced our steps up the cliff and along the edge to get one last view of the ocean before heading back to Monterey...

But suddenly out of nowhere, a surfer carrying a big board came walking toward us. He was a menacing figure- a dark presence scarier than your worst nightmare. I bolted so fast and with such fearful strength that I ripped the leash right out of Dad's hand and raced towards the ocean. Mom and Dad kept shouting for me to return and to stop running. "No Watson! No no no!" I turned around a couple of times to look back, but the surfer kept on his path in my direction. I backed up further and further until I fell off of this:

With my life flashing before my eyes, I tumbled straight down about 50 feet of ice plant and rocks before miraculously landing safely on the sand. Mom was way up above me, shouting for me to stay still. I stood as still as I could until Dad came running for me and hugged me for a very long time.
It was a very scary and confusing experience. I was nervous every time we passed someone on that walk back to the car, and Mom and Dad made me go the doctor to get checked out. Luckily, Doc said that I seem fine, except for some scratches. Mom kept yapping about "internal bleeding", but the doctor told her that as long as my gums look nice and pink, I'm probably cool.
This tale of terror has a happy ending though. After the doctor visit, we went next to the store and I got a ton of treats, a huge pumpkin cookie, a pig ear, and a giant octopus.


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