Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The White Sand Beach

And the object of crossing the creek was to get to this beautiful and secluded LaBarque Creek "beach" and find a perfectly smooth spot and lie there in the sun, in sand so silky it doesn't stick to your clothes. It also makes great quicksand, which I've been caught in only once, in the LaBarque beneath a highway bridge.

Fortunately I'd previously read about quicksand. The impulse is to put all your weight on one leg, hoping to pull the other one out. But instead of helping, that leg sinks deeper, and vice versa. It's impossible to describe the sensation of suction from which you can't free yourself. 1) Don't panic. Areas of quicksand are mostly no bigger than a puddle and no deeper than a knee. In very slow motion -- don't tread or churn, it only makes it worse -- free one leg, and feel around with your foot or hiking pole until you find solid ground so you can -- again, slowly and steadily -- haul the other leg up and out, or 2) if that doesn't work, having tossed aside your backpack, lie back -- and either you will locate solid ground behind you or you will float. Yes, you'll float in quicksand; it's sand suspended in water. Lie back and your legs will eventually float upward. Then use extremely slow and gentle swimming motions to get to solid ground. Better yet, use your hiking pole(s) to test for firmness before stepping in unfamiliar wet sand.

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