Crescent Beach, Oregon

45.9195 N 123.9736 W
The image features a person walking in water wearing the Thatcher Women's Waterproof Sneakerboots in Toffee.

The forest was pretty dense and even a bit dark in places, except where shafts of sunlight broke through like stage lighting, and all of us stopped in almost the exact same place to catch a ridiculous view of the ocean and coastline, which was about 200 feet below us. I couldn’t catch up with Erin, but I settled for coming alongside her husband Kevin, who is younger and fitter than I am, which I still considered a small victory. The trip was our idea, after all, and I think we both hoped we’d have some proper bonding time away from the office.

The trail seemed to be getting muddier and steeper as we went inland for a bit, which forced a kind of choreographed hopscotch, switching from walking side by side to squeezing into single file. We’ve known each other long enough that it’s totally comfortable going long stretches without talking. That might be my definition of true friendship.

The trail became more like a mud-covered luge course, twisting and turning in a distinctly downward direction. For some geological reason no one could explain to me, this coincided with the most extreme root systems seemingly rising out of the ground like angry, branchy ghosts. This definitely tested the stability and grip of my new Range Lows, and I was happy they passed the test. As is customary, I took all the credit for it.

We finally all touched down on the sand and there was nothing but beach for what seemed like a quarter mile in each direction. Nak and Erin and Lin all headed north toward the falls, and Kevin and I followed behind at a more civilized pace.

When we got to the waterfall, Nak was standing at the top, straddling the falls with his arms outstretched, as if the water was somehow flowing through him. I had never seen a waterfall land directly onto a beach like this before, and it seemed almost contrived, or at least implausible.

We headed back the same way we came, except for a slight detour that yielded another epic vista of the coastline. Lin thought she spotted a gray whale breaching, which we knew was possible, since it was migration season. By the time we climbed the final hill, my legs felt like they had been secretly replaced with concrete. But the endorphins had done their work and I think we all felt like we had experienced something unrepeatable, that we had been changed in some subtle but meaningful way.

Photos by: Adam Levey