Before we can set up camp, Wylder wants to go down to the beach. He tugs at me and I give in, camp can wait, or someone else can set it up. The boys and I dig through the mucky sand at low tide and find a dozen or so clams, still closed.
Wylder jumps in the shallow salt water. Winter runs back to meet the Mali Mish clan, now down on the beach and collecting clams of their own. Dan spots a grey whale, spewing water into the air as its back surfaces every few minutes for air.
A German man stops by our campsite, also on an extended vacation away from his current home in British Columbia. We meet a Canadian kid from Alberta, driving a VW Bus to Guatemala. Canadians in general are abundant. A small restaurant just down the sandy road from where we’re camping sells cheap and delicious fish and shrimp tacos. A young Mexican man named Luis takes us out on a small boat to get a closer view of the whales.
We see an albino whale.
“Ballena blanco,” Luis points, “aqui.” He doesn’t speak much English, but translates, “White whale.” It’s an albino grey whale.
Later a mother and her baby approach our boat. He urges us to touch them. And we do. And the mom blows her mist all over us. And the baby raises its head to say hello.
We share the clams that both of or families found on the beach. A little gritty, but all the more delicious as the sun sets over the Pacific even as the near full moon rises beyond the desert.
This is what I’d imagined in every way. Children splashing in the sand. Meeting new and foreign people. Free clams and Mexican beers. Easy living.
Thoughts of never leaving prevail. They likely won’t be fulfilled. But they do, indeed, prevail.