It was April 2, and a lovely sunny day.
Off I went (as I have for the past 40 years) to begin my cherished swimming season at West Beach, only to find the entire area of the boat ramp/rail crossing area completely fenced off, even to pedestrians.
My last swim was Oct. 20, 2018, and although fencing was erected around the park, the grassy area south of the rails was not blocked off.
My path, steep and stony, down onto the beach is at the end of the grass right by the last bench.
I then walk another five minutes west to my (and other regulars’) swimming spot.
I begin to clear the path we make every year by “our” rock to enable those of us who are not as young as we used to be, to enter the water at high tide, leaving our sandals on top of the old woman rock.
I will say that this same path has been made every year since before the First World War.
Oh, not by me, but by those swimmers and sailors who were in their 80s and 90s when I joined the Clan in 1978.
I know and remember all their names as we readily welcomed newcomers to our treasured bit of heaven every year, and we all followed the rules.
Clear 12 rocks before every swim. Pick up the garbage others have left. Help the more wobbly among us in and out of the water when needed.
Plus the unwritten one of sharing our lives and stories and watch over our belongings when others are out in the bay.
I’m one of the first into, and one of the last out of, the water every year.
By the time June rolls around, I’ve cleared a path through the stones from the beach to our rock.
Come July, the path is clear to the first sand bank.
I swim from April into October every year – except this one, it seems. How much longer are we to endure the ugly mess and be denied access to this area?
The BNSF and town have had over six months to complete their work for the “new” crossing.
How utterly unprofessional of you all.
Yours in fury and disappointment,
Pat Patton, White Rock