Root canal Monday

Monday, January 25

Not bad compared to the extractions. Got through it and even felt like a bit of exploring. We’d passed through Murrells Inlet before and it seemed just a disappointing string of seafood restaurants and motels. Out beyond them was marshland, but we couldn’t figure out how to get there. Used to New England village centers with harbors clearly marked, we were looking for the wrong thing.




Today, we parked between two restaurants and found a charming water/marsh-side boardwalk that connected the whole strip of nautical-themed restaurants and ended in a long pier. The sun was shining as we strolled along, accompanied by a brisk sea breeze. We encountered a pleasant local woman walking her dog and struck up a conversation. Alexandra, an English teacher, recommended two restaurants for lunch, one being the Dead Dog Café. We looked in and found an inviting dining space with high-raftered ceilings decked out with every imaginable nautical, steam-punk, or interesting funky finds. We chose a sunny table and ordered bowls of She-Crab soup, for the numb mouth, which was superb, as well as a basket of hush-puppies, with a little crock of honey-butter which magically appear at nearly every southern meal.


Sated and needing to walk off our rich lunch, we walked the pier, where gulls, and pelicans were enjoying their own full bellies. On a dock below, a couple dozen cormorants were either basking or heraldically airing their water-logged wings in preparation for their next dive into the rising water beneath us, between the marsh-grasses and the shell middens.



We’d taken some Saltines meant for the soup and enjoyed the rush of wings while the crumbs lasted.



On an inaccessible marshy island, a group of brown pelicans groomed themselves, some taking off to fish, others gliding in to rest. Pelicans are just plain COOL! When they fly in a string of 5 or so, the leader drops ever lower to ride the thin river of air just above the waves, wings still, exerting no effort at all. Then he’ll flex his broad wings, maybe once, and in less than a second, his immediate follower will do the same and then the one behind, the same, and so on. This is COOL: their control, their poise, but I finally figured out why they enchant me, beyond the gulls, ducks, Canada geese whom I also love to watch in flight.



It is because, while their great long beaks may lead their flight, their heads, their brains, seem recumbent, just above and ahead of their winged shoulders, like bikers riding into Sturgess on their Harleys. They survey the water beneath them, sighting along their marvelous beaks, in such a relaxed position. They may then flap to gain altitude for a precision dive, but it’s all done with aplomb.


She-crab soup, sunlight, and brown pelicans: just doesn’t get much better than that!



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