Socrates Digs South Beach… Pt. Reyes National Seashore

Photo of Socrates the Basset Hound by Curtis Mekemson

Socrates the Basset Hound fell in love with digging opportunities at South Beach, Pt. Reyes National Seashore.

Peggy and I didn’t make it out to North and South Beach this time. Three days were not nearly enough to visit all of my favorite Pt. Reyes sites. I have a few photos from my pre-blogging days, however, so I decided to do a quick post.

These two beaches are actually one. If you enjoy crashing waves and long, lonely beach walks, this is the place to go. I still remember my first hike along the shoreline. My companion at the time was a long-eared, short-legged basset hound named Socrates.  It was before leash laws were established so the dog ran free over the sand. Sort of– Basset hounds aren’t noted for their long, graceful gaits.

For example, Soc loved to chase jackrabbits. The only time I ever saw him catch one was when the rabbit was rolling on the ground and laughing so hard he couldn’t escape. (Kidding.)

But there was another reason for our slow progress down the beach. Soc had a passion for digging. He could move more dirt in an hour than a bulldozer could in a day. (Slight exaggeration.) Given what he could do with dirt, you can imagine what he did with the sand. I was hoping for a high tide to hide his destruction.

When I urged the Soc to stop hassling whatever poor creature he was after, he whined and start digging harder. I was in danger of being buried under an avalanche of sand. The dog had Zen-like focus; it didn’t matter that he never caught anything. I’d get him away from one hole and he would start another 50 feet down the beach. Our slow progress made for a long walk but it was totally worth it for the joy the dog found in digging holes and the pleasure I took in watching him and, of course, the beautiful Pacific Ocean.

Waves at South Beach, Pt. Reyes National Seashore. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Waves come crashing in at South Beach.

Years later I discovered that North Beach was a great place for writing. I would park facing the ocean, get out my laptop, and start typing. The rolling ocean, an occasional whale, diving pelicans and raucous gulls served as my muses.

Photo of waves at South Beach, Pt. Reyes National Seashore. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Another thunderous wave.

Ice plant at South Beach, Pt, Reyes National Seashore. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

This ice plant formed the border between the parking lot and the beach.

Close up of ice plant at South Beach, Pt. Reyes National Seashore.

It demanded I take a close up.

Raindrops captured by lupine leaves at South Beach, Pt. Reyes National Seashore. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

These lupine leaves displayed captured rain drops.

Iris growing near South Beach, Pt. Reyes National Seashore. Photo taken by Curtis Mekemson.

I also found this iris quite attractive.

The winds at North and South beach provide excellent loft for kite flying. I enjoyed the dragon but it distracted me from my writing.

The winds at North and South beach provide excellent wind for kite flying. I enjoyed this dragon but it distracted me from my writing. I wonder what the gulls thought about it?

Tules near North Beach, Pt. Reyes National Seashore.

I discovered these tules on Bull Point trail near North Beach. Miwok Indians used these plants in making baskets.

NEXT BLOG: The hippie town that tries to hide: Bolinas. Here’s a final photo of South Beach.

Waves pound the beach at South Beach, Pt. Reyes National Seashore. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

 

 

 

 

 

25 comments on “Socrates Digs South Beach… Pt. Reyes National Seashore

  1. It sounds like you had some fun times with your friend Socrates. I imagine that he also sharpened your ability to find patience. I like your Pt. Reyes series and just might make my way out there sometime soon for a first-hand look soon. It’s been a long time since I’ve been out there.

  2. A man and his dawg on the beach. If you were closer to Nashville, we’d have the idea for a country song.

    Me and Soc were walking on the beach.
    He dug a hole ’til the crab was outta reach.
    He stopped an’ gave the hole a curious stare,
    The he gazed around lookin’ for a hare.
    LOL. ~James

    • LOL right back at you James. Inspired poetry indeed. Old Soc indeed lived in the South for a while and is buried under a fruit tree in South Carolina where he spent many happy hours digging. –Curt

  3. gallivance reminded me of Grisman’s great “Dawg’s Rag”. We’ll offer that as a tribute to Socrates.

    I’d completely forgotten about the ice plants. Your photos are great as usual – and what a wonderful subject. I miss waves like that, too. We never get those unless there’s a hurricane brewing. 😉

    • And a good tribute it is Linda. Old Soc would really appreciate it, especially if accompanied by a hot dawg. Sitting on Banderas Bay in sunny Mexico as I type this. No impressive waves here, either. –Curt

  4. I really love that first shot of the waves. They have a fierce beauty. Yep. I never got how Californians could live under the threat of earthquakes — until this East Coaster beheld the Pacific. Aaahhhh. I relocated.

    (And I’m jealous of your being able to write out there. We are inland now and I don’t have the time to get to the coast.)

  5. Ah good ole Socrates.. he would fit right in with my brothers Basset, Samantha (see, same initials) she digs up air if she can..lol
    I miss the ice plants, had them in my backyard while living in Monterey. I think they are native to California?

    • lol on the digging. I guess if you have those claws, you might as well put them top use. My memory banks just reported to me that Bassets were originally bred to dig out badgers. As for Ice Plants… they are indeed in Monterey but didn’t know you had lived there. Was it part of you military career? –Curt

  6. A most endearing and cute story… I loved how you described Soc’s ambulation (Ha! I used a big word!) and most of all, the laughing bunny… 🙂 And indeed, what a wonderful place to ponder and write…you lucky dog.

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