Thursday, January 22, 2009

Distant Roar

Mad River Beach - Photo by Jack Durham
I have a dilemma, and I need to call on the expertise of my blogger friends who may, perhaps, have lived near the ocean longer than I have. This is an unsolved mystery that literally keeps me up at night.

I sleep next to a west-facing window. 2000 feet away is Central Avenue, and beyond that Highway 101. Beyond that is the Mad River. And almost two miles away is the Pacific Ocean.

At night, when I am experiencing my usual insomnia, I lie awake and listen to an endless distant roar. It ebbs and flows a tiny bit (cars on Central) but it never stops. I never notice it in the daytime, but at night there it is.

Is it possible that I am hearing the ocean from my bed at night?

It's the vast ocean over there, not the Bay. Can waves pounding the shore be heard from almost two miles away?

Other insomniacs would pay good money for recordings of this, yet it keeps me up. Not because of the sound; if it's the ocean, I am going to be delighted, lulled. What keeps me up is not knowing what it is.
Mad River - Photo J. Patrick Cudahy, from North Coast Journal
Hwy. 101, not exactly a jam-packed freeway, especially at night. Photo from West Coast Roads


Jen Crossley said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog.I hope you son is doing better after his accident

Ernie Branscomb said...


I don't know for sure but I would bet that you could hear the ocean at night.

Back when the train would go up the Eel river, we could hear it in Benbow.

heraldo said...

Yep, I'd say it's the ocean.

Maybe you can rewire your mind to let the sound delight and calm you rather than annoy.

Carol said...

We can see the ocean from our house over the Eel River Delta and the ocean is 4 miles away. And yes, we do hear the ocean and yes, it does roar sometimes. It can keep me awake, too, Indie.

When the delta was flooded a couple of years ago the water was just below our house all the way to the ocean. It was scary.

suzy blah blah said...

heraldo said...Yep, I'd say it's the ocean.

Suzy agrees but yuo never can be sure --unless you investigate. i lived for a while just a couple hundred ft from teh ocaen shore. i loved the sound i just LOVed it. The lapping sound of the waves soooo soothed my brain on nights when i lied awayke --tripping...

Then one time when i was staying in Illanois with my sweet grandmaother on my dads side i was layin in bed real quiet one night, not even the blah blah was going on in my head, and there it was --i heard the suond of the ocean! i'm like wtf!!! the ocean is like 2000 miles away! (pardon my french granma) so i got up and took a little walk ........ and traced the sound down --it was the wind blowing in some tall poplar trees!!! --the same exact lapping of the waves sound... exactly! soooo bueatiful. if yuo listen close its going --om om aummmmm LOL!

sweet dreams,

Indie said...

Heraldo, the sound itself wasn't bothering me; it was the mystery that was bothering me! In other words my mind and thoughts as usual. The idea that I can really hear the ocean is luxurious!!!!!!

Thank all of you for your answers. I got confirmation from a local that yes indeed I can hear the ocean from my house. I feel so lucky and blessed!

Suzy, I love the story of the sound being the wind in poplar trees. What a great story!

beachcomber said...

OK....I'm going to be the buzzkill here. We live in Eureka and we've been told that the roar we hear is one or more of the plants on the North Spit. We don't generally notice it except in the summer when we sleep with our west-facing window open. I much PREFER to think it's the ocean but it's constant not periodic crashing you'd get with waves.

Indie said...

Beachcomber, hmmm, that is far less romantic. But I don't *think* there's a great big plant anywhere nearby in Mack Town vicinity. I'll double check though.

A lifetime resident told me today that it is the ocean we're hearing.

Indie said...

Jen Crossley, thank you for your good wishes. Reading about your son helps put things in perspective. Your son's positive attitude is very inspiring.

Jack said...

I say it's the ocean.

Anonymous said...

Yes, K, it is absolutely possible that you hear the ocean from that distance, but... you should also consider that it could be the blood pressuring through the veines in your ears as well *lol* Love you girl, hugs, R.