I'm walking along a stepped beach, stepped in the
sense that there seem to be sandy levels, roughly 6 ft
in height between each, that fill entirely as the tide
rises. each level has a series of shallow tide pools
that either have remaining standing water, or show
sandy ripples of the dry tide pool bed. Ever half
mile or so walls of grass cut across the steps and
seem to reach for nearly a kilometer into the ocean.
one has to vertically climb the walls of dirt to get
over the embankments to the next section.
after traversing the first two grassy walls i start to notice giant purple clam shells embedded in the sand. the shells are empty though most still connected. they are each about 3 feet long and a foot wide, roughly oval in shape with a slight point at the connection between shells. the front of each shell has a series of flutes running lengthwise, about 2 inches apart and 1/2 inch in height. the color is a velvety purple and the shells are slightly soft, almost like nerf material. i extract one from the edge of a tide pool but am unable to rinse the sand from the interior as the water is only a few inches deep. i look down the remaining steps to determine the distance to the water's edge and how many steps i'll have to jump to get it to it. i start counting, but can never seem to be on a stable number by the time my eyes have reached the lowest step extending to the ocean's edge.
i seem to still be moving southward and come to a terminal embankment of grass over which i cannot see. however, the wall of dirt corrals one towards a forest on the island's interior. a fair seems to be set up on a grassy hillside. randomly distributed green and gold lettering announces that it is an old(e) scottish fair from the 1500s. we seem to have entered an obstacle course of some sort, though the path and eventual outcome are not clear. at this point a man resembling dan aykroyd takes us aside and explains that each of the stations has hidden elements that would let the natives get through the course faster than outside competitors. to demonstrate this he jumps feet-first into a large wooden barrel filled with hay. he struggles through the material until we hear a loud thud. at this point he pushes aside hay to reveal an ascending wooden spiral staircase that lets him easily reach the exit from the interior. he then explains in real life the natives would have struggled while climbing the staircase to make it look as though they were having a rough time within the barrel.
he then stops at the last obstacle and points out that we shouldn't use the prong devices available to thread a large metal tie into a series of wooden holes and metal rings. these are long wooden poles pained in dark green and brown with an end resembling the nibs of a large fountain pen. the tie would be placed in a small groove at the base of the nibs, but it falls to the ground each time he places it there. instead, he pulls a long aluminum pole and maracas-shaped device from an unknown location behind him, ties them together with rope, and places the tie in the small space between the maracas and the pole. he then easily threads the tie through the series of holes and rings to compete the obstacle.
we're walking down a long corridor that should be indoors, but seems to be lined with trees and shrubs, with an easy view of a live oak and cyprus forest. spanish moss dangles from most of the trees and catches odd slivers of peach-colored sunshine. we walk down some stairs into an equally indoor/outdoor room that has a series of cubby holes on one site, and wooden frames demarcating a door and elements of where the dry wall would be, if it were there. someone explains the daycare center just opened (what we see on the right), but we can use the phone at the office at the end of the hallway.
we can't find an office, nor a phone, as the entire complex rapidly dissolves into the forest before we ever reach the end of the corridor. i see a road to the left which seems to be clear, slightly orange from the afternoon sun hitting the pavement. once we reach it, an old black man sitting on a park bench tells us it's 2 miles to the nearest station, but we could cut across some parking lots to shorten the trip a bit, or we can wait 3 hours for the bus that goes downtown. we decide to walk it, though it's not clear that we ever get to where we're going...