After a long day of driving, we were eyeballing the setting sun to our left, trying to figure out when and where to pull over to hopefully catch a glimpse of a West Coast sunset where the sun would actually set on the water (and not in a bank of fog, which happens way too often). We passed by several perfect sunset-watching overlooks, and Mom was starting to get a little anxious.
“Should we turn around and go back?” she asked. As the driver, I opted to forge ahead and see what was around the next bend in the road, then around the next.
We got lucky. Just as the sun was starting to warm up from its daytime white-hotness — Seriously?! Sunshine in California is so white! — we were able to turn into the parking lot for the Carmel River State Beach. While a small family watched their two little dogs play and chase sticks, a couple sat wrapped up in each other’s arm, staring out at the horizon. A group of four men walked up, and another couple sat in front of a small beach fire.
This small congregation of people stood or sat and watched silently, reverently as the sun set on the horizon amongst sorbet hues, listening to foamy white-capped waves crash repeatedly onto the beach. We all watched as the glowing golden orb sank itself, and put out it’s bright, warm light. Then quietly we all filed off the beach and back into our vehicles, to disperse into the night.