We arrived at Forks close to 7:30 and quickly dispatched a series of "must sees" including Bella's truck, the Forks sign, the home of the Spartans and ate at the burger joint in town. The kids took turns trying out the vampire look by leaving ketchup on the corner of their mouths. The food was fried, fast and friendly and we noticed the sun easing itself down toward the horizon. We decided we might have enough time to make it to La Push for the sunset, as Savannah says, "It's La Push baby!"
We drove down highway 110 past third beach, second beach until we ran into the tribal community of La Push and the Pacific Ocean. The cloud shrouded the setting sun while several juvenile and adult bald eagles frolicked overhead. The ocean stacks silhouetted by the setting sun made for a dramatic scene. It was getting cold so we walk for only a short time and headed back to Forks and our Twilight themed motel room.
Pictures of the cast hung on black and red walls. The beds were made in black and red. The light switches had Twilight pictures on them. A lone apple sat on the nightstand. Traci almost couldn't hold back a squeal of delight at the decorations. Savannah had no restraint and jumped and danced around the room grinning uncontrollably. It was nice to see her so happy but a little weird at the same time. I am not ready for her adolescence.
The night passed without interruption. No bloodsucking monsters visited at midnight. No wolf people emerged from the local wood. The only break in the calm came from Traci getting up to use the bathroom. Traci offers a different version of the night explaining Savannah and I had taken turns moaning and talking in our sleep. Maybe some malfeasance was in the air.
The next morning we went to a local restaurant for breakfast. Traci ordered the number six but the waitress cautioned her and changed it to a number four stating she would explain why later. She returned fifteen minutes later with a large plate completely covered by a single pancake and squeezed along the sides of the plate were eggs and bacon. The waitress set the plate down and explained the number six was two of everything on the plate. There was enough food for a lumberjack.
We had enough fuel to get us through the rest of the day from eating breakfasts made for loggers. We headed out to second beach which was more sandy than first beach and featured an arch in the ocean stacks. The tide was low exposing starfish and other marine life. Sophia and I explored some of the tide pools and found fascinating colorful starfish and anemone. The tide started coming in so I told Sophia to go further up the beach while I explored a little further out. I watched as Sophie ran from the rocks to the sandy part of the beach. She loves playing in the sand so I turned back to the tide pools. I was being drawn further out on to the rock by the multitude of starfish huddled together on the rock. I turned back to see where Sophie had gotten to and noticed Traci walking across the sand. She shouted had I seen Sophie recently. I said no and turned back toward the sand while Shane and Savannah met up with Traci.
We all began calling out Sophia's name, over the rush of the surf it was difficult to tell if our voices carried. As I walked closer to the sand and realized no one knew where Sophie was I started running and slipped on the rocks crashing my left shoulder into the rock wall. I couldn't feel anything beyond the panic, fear and desperation quickly consuming my every thought. I shouted louder in hopes by my sheer effort Sophie would materialize and be fine. She didn't show. She was no where, the tide was coming in and the last sight I had had of her was her running inland from the incoming surf. Had she slipped and hit her head and now was drowning in the water? Had she gotten turned around and is lost in the woods or another part of the beach? Had some malicious figure grabbed her and run away with her? Would we ever see her again, feel her sweet hugs, laugh at her little smile?
I reached the sandy beach as another mom approached mother and engaged in the search. A moment later Sophia emerged from behind a pile of driftwood. Relief, joy, release. She was not gone forever she was only playing just out of sight from us. Further investigation revealed Sophie had heard our frantic calls and chose to ignore them. My relief in just knowing she was still with us overshadowed any frustration or anger over her disregard for our calls. We spent several minutes explaining she needs to answer us when we call and she stated it wouldn't happen again. I hope we never have one of those situations again. Ironically Traci told me moments before the incident she had thought she was having one of her best Mother's Days ever.
We hiked back to the car, drove back to Forks and stopped at a couple more of the town landmarks popularized by the book. We saw the Cullen's house, the Swan's house, Dr Cullen's parking spot at the hospital, and the police department where Bella's father worked. We left Forks for the long drive home via more beaches.