On a Beach Walk: No. 34

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Silence on this day as most of the birds – the herons, sandpipers, sanderlings, and pelicans are silent. Even seagulls frequently gather to stand in silence – but it seems they also enjoy hearing their own squawk.

I’m away from the sounds of the street – no cars, no trucks, no motorcycles interrupting nature’s natural sounds. The low tide stimulates my auditory sense with a variety of pleasures.

People sounds at the beach are minimal. It’s the off-season, so there are fewer people than during the region’s prime time (summer) – and present are primarily seniors. Other than friendly hellos as people pass, my ears don’t detect a human presence on the beach.

The rolling sounds of waves approaching the shore stereophonically pass by. An occasional thunderous clap serves as a warning of a high probability of a splash.

Today is a luck day as I notice my favorite beach sound – the steady, gentle splash of water gliding across shallow sand on its way to the beach. The sea seems to be speaking to me – Hush – Be quiet and enjoy – Shhhhhhhh – Listen and enjoy.

I hear the wind interacting with my ears. It’s easy to detect – from what appears as a light touch to a persistent whistle or even a roar. Then the wind’s auditory message changes as I turn to face the opposite direction.

I hear the regular rhythm of my feet on the sand with each step. It resembles a bass drum keeping the steady beat on a glorious sound of a marching band playing a classic march. I loved my band days.

My feet splashing through the water seemingly muddles the steady beat, but it’s still present.

I stop to stand and look out to sea. I listen. I hear the light popping of tiny foam bubbles caressing my feet.

Sounds are my thoughts on this day. One can hear so much when they take time to listen. Meanwhile, walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.


On Beach Walk: No. 26


I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

From the balcony, the sound of the waves is less rhythmic than when walking along the shoreline. Yet I still hear a stereo effect of moving from one ear to the next. The sound is like constant hum containing fluctuations as I hear an accumulation of many simultaneous actions. Yet, the sound of the ocean from the balcony across the beach is soothing.

As I walk near the water’s edge, the sound is different. The waves are still constant and repetitive – however, each day is different. From the calm days to the stormy waves of anger, the waters speak in different tones as if they were different languages.

We commonly refer the sound of the waves as a roar – but it’s not the same roar as a lion or tiger. While both are sounds of power and might, the lion follows the roar with silence – but the sea does not.

The waves coming ashore roar – but it is not the same as the roar of a crowd at a sporting event. While both provide a constant as background, the crowd’s excitement is not a predictable rhythm.

The waves coming ashore roar – but it is not the same as the roars of laughter caused by a comedian. Those are sounds of joy and approval – but not even close to the consistency of the sea – which can also bring joy.

The waves coming ashore roar – but it is not the same as the roar of a jet engine. Yes, the jet engines starts as a loudness then fades away as it moves down the runway – but it is more gradual than the roar of the sea. Sometimes when I walk I hear the jet’s roar across the sky, then look upward to find it. Other times the sea mimics the flight, and then I look upward to find nothing.

The waves coming ashore roar – but maybe the roar of thunder is the best analogy. Thunder rolls across the sky just like the roar of the waves roll across the beach. Thunder loudly claps to announce its nearby presences just like the waves. The wave’s thunder clap also announces that water is coming my way – sometimes splashing me – yet also touching my feet.

The roar of the waters of the beach are relaxing, serene, and reliable. They carry a sense of freedom that makes walking good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: No. 2

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I like walking the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing my feet.

The rhythmic action of the waves catches my attention. Each wave washing ashore is different with its terminal points resembling a changing graph with many peaks and troughs – but each wave retreats to interfere with the next incoming wave.


No matter the day or time, the waves have a rhythm – but they differ from loud and roaring to a gentle ripple – yet all are refreshing on my feet.

Waves – the heartbeat of the sea delivering a reliable steadiness – the steady presence of the message they deliver.

Waves – the poetry of the sea singing tones of aquatic melodies for our souls.

Waves – one of nature’s languages sending bliss to those enjoying their mere presence.

Waves – the rhythms within a rhythm – a different rhythm, but no less a rhythm – the tides affected by Mr. Moon. The tide is either moving in or out – a movement I can’t tell unless I know it’s timing. Yet, this relentless rhythm keeps its own time – the time of the next tidal crest.

Waves and tides – two of the timeless, reliable rhythms of life that make creation and the nature within it so grand.

I like the walking the beach for it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.


On a Wave

To beach vacationers, the rhythmic the sound of the waves coming to shore provides peace and relaxation. To water skiers, waves are the peaks and troughs created by the boat pulling them along the aquatic surface … yet the surfer eagerly awaits the ultimate ride.

To physicists, waves are disturbances transferring energy; then again, different types of waves exist. To sports fans, the wave is the standup-sit down ritual to create a rolling motion across a mass of people. Yet with hair, it refers to a curve or curl.

As a verb, wave is associated with a variety of hand actions including a common gesture. Wave can indicate a sudden surge in emotions or numbers, but it can also be a persistent condition. This post is not about any of these or any definitions not included, but a place known as The Wave.

Steve and I met as college freshmen on the windy plains of northwest Ohio. Through those college years, we shared a dorm room, had many of the same friends, and shared many memories. We were each other’s best man at weddings and though many states apart, we have stayed in contact and visited each other.

Several years ago, I saw his photos of a land I had never seen or knew it existed. Figuring that many readers may not know this place, enjoy the Q&A and pictures about The Wave at Coyote Buttes in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area. If available, Steve will also try to answer comments and questions.

You have visited your share of national parks. Why did this one take so long?
The Wave was supposedly ‘discovered’ sometime in the 90’s, and I saw pictures of it sometime in the early 2000’s. Once I figured out where it was, I was determined to see it. As it turns out, by then many others had discovered it too; and there was in place a 20-person per day limit into the area. I managed to acquire two passes for July 4th (2007) coinciding with a mountain bike trip that a group of us had planned for the same week. One of my friends and I hiked there on a very hot (near 100 degrees) day.

As a geologist, what impresses you about The Wave?
The Wave is formed from mainly wind-worn Navajo Sandstone, one of the most photogenic formations in the West. The layers of sandstone were originally laid down by wind in a huge sand dune field, and looking at the layers one can see the dune patterns. The really cool thing is that the formation was created by wind, and now the wind has created this beautiful formation.

As a photographer, how does The Wave differ from other locations?
It is a unique blend of colors, textures, and rock shapes. I have never seen another place like it, either in pictures or in person. There are similar rock layers in some of the nearby areas, but none approach the perfect combination of features seen in The Wave.

How difficult was the climbing within The Wave?
It is a 3-plus mile one-way hike across sand and sandstone to get to The Wave. Generally, it is not a difficult hike for somebody in pretty-good shape, but the temperatures in the summer are brutally hot, there is very little shade, and no water. Carrying a camera, extra lenses, and tripod limited the amount of water that I could carry, and on the day we were there, I ran out of water by the end of the day.

Tell us anything else about The Wave that you have not already mentioned.
Now, it is nearly impossible to get a pass into The Wave, as so many people want to go there, and there is a lottery set up to get passes. Most days have a hundred or more applicants. I have applied a couple of other times, unfortunately unsuccessfully.