We woke to thick, dripping, fog. Thick enough to hold a spoon. Thick enough to slice like bread. Thick. Fog. We made the announcement last night that we were going to the beach (Wednesday is, by Tinkering School tradition, beach day - a time to rest and focus on something different, or to lose focus altogether, before resuming the project full-throttle on Thursday). After a brief conversation, we decide to do beach day anyway, despite the weather.
We pile into cars and head south along Highway 1, looking for a beach and trying to outrun the fog, which clung to the ground like a shag rug, or like jam from a dropped tub of jam.
Beach day is a reminder that everything is interesting.
Tinkering School was started as a laboratory where Gever could experiment on children. Other people's children. With tools. So it's pleasant to leave the laboratory behind and observe the children in a natural context. Clamber, and be joyful - we're taking notes.
We are not just scientists, we are people, and so it is our wont to sit in the sun and read like we hear some people do when on summer vacation.
A muddy little creek attracts the tinkerers like moths to a flame, like bees to honey, like kids to a creek.
What is it about mud? "It feels squishy!"
Children, who can't find shoes in a duffle bag (I'm looking at you, comrade "I only have crocs, my Mom didn't pack any" Che), can spot an oddly colored rock the minute they walk onto a beach.
And some rocks, inexplicably, became more valuable and interesting than others.
He probably did this to confuse future anthropologists...
Andrew Wyeth would have liked the view here.
This beach we found turns out to be a very nice place to spend a day, or a very nice place to live if you are a rock - in spite of the near gale force winds blasting us with sand.
We all foray out on to the wind swept sands, and we all return to the lee side shelter of our little muddy creek.
Gever entertained Anya by balancing rocks and laughing when the wind toppled the stack.
One thing you pretty much never hear from Gever at the beach is "You kids get down from there!"
An algae-fall catches the eye of the scouting party at far end of the beach.
Anya proved to be a stalwart companion on the long hike to see if we could find a basking elephant seal (we didn't).
It is a truism that children, upon finding a mysterious cave, will immediately plumb its depths...
Poke at every kind of slime they find...
And wriggle through every passageway.
Despite a lack of progress on the project, we can say for certain that every moment at the beach is a moment well spent.