The White Whale Is Vanquished At Last


It’s 3pm when I pull up to the parking area and get out of the car. The peaceful silence that greets me is especially welcome after the spleen shattering forty minute drive over the unmaintained roads. This journey has been a long time in the making and it’s shocking to finally be here.

There are some folks down on the jetty, so I make my way over to the observation bench perched on the bluff and take it all in. The lake bed extends out for quite a distance before it reaches the water. The lake has been low for over a decade now. Ever since I first heard that the jetty was no longer submerged, I’ve been trying to figure out how to get here. Half a dozen times in recent years, I’ve made plans to make the trip, only to have to abandon them at the last minute. I’d started to think it wasn’t meant to happen.

After a bit, the other folks leave in their car so I maneuver over the rocks and down the shore to the lake bed. I stepped out onto the jetty and started walking down the first leg. It’s a surprisingly challenging path. The rocks are large and as you navigate around them, smaller rocks buried in the soft sand roll beneath your feet. You must focus on every step. It’s very meditative. The silence is filling my head with peace.

You must focus on every step. It’s very meditative.

But a moment later, a car pulled up and three loud giggling girls rolled out of it and started picking their way down the rocky shoreline, chattering and giggling the whole way. I kept walking around the spiral.

Once in the center, I paused for a quick photo of my feet, then made my way out onto the salt flat, the salt crunching beneath my boots.

Standing on the salt flat with the breeze blowing gently and the crows talking to each other far up on the ridge, I inhale the fresh air and feel the sunshine on my face. Suddenly there is a roar that quickly grows incredibly loud. It feels like it’s coming from everywhere. Searching the sky, I finally spot the fighter jet passing overhead, far ahead of the sound of its engines. In seconds it is gone, pulling the roar of the engine behind it. It’s just me and the wind and the crows, and the girls giggling far in the distance on the flat.

I decide to walk back to the center to walk the spiral in reverse and record my tracks on my favorite GPS app. As I walk back, I see bicycle tracks and wonder if they’re from the fascinating couple I met at the Sun Tunnels a few months back.

A motorcycle pulls up. I press start on the app. The girls yell and laugh in the distance.

I take a step and focus on my breath.

Amanda Summerlin
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Making neat pictures of nice people since 2009. You're not like everybody else, your pictures shouldn't be either.

 

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