Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Oregon Coast

We’d made the decision to drive the Oregon Coast instead of continuing along our inland route. While we’d regret not seeing Crater Lake or taking advantage of the 1 microbrewery per 5 resident ratio in Bend, we felt like we needed a dose of the coast. Ann’s also been a bit homesick for the small coastal towns of New England, and we were interested to compare West to East at about the same latitude.

Someone must have clued the first miles of Oregon in to exactly what they were supposed to look like - coastal redwood forests shrouded with just enough fog to give the light an ethereal glow – ‘cause they NAILED IT.




At the state line, we learned a few very important facts about Oregon.

1) People in Oregon like to fish.


2) People in Oregon like trees, interestingly both hugging them and cutting them down.



3) The attendants at the full service gas stations throughout Oregon do not want your napping baby to sleep soundly through the fill-up process and when you desperately follow signs to a viewpoint hoping that a hastily prepared grilled cheese sandwich will make up for an abbreviated slumber, it might just look like this.



In hindsight, the name “Cape Blanco” might have been a clue for us. After striking the requisite “cub weather reporter leaning into the wind as the hurricane builds” poses, we retreated into our silver studio apartment where, despite a little rocking from the gusts, we were nice and cozy. Unlike a lot of the coast, we had full 4G cell coverage out there on the unobstructed point and were able to look up live data that put the wind at 20-30 mph with gusts to 40. On our way out, we saw signs for Floras Lake which I’d been told by my kitesurfing instructor in Costa Rica was a shallow lake right on the coast perfect for beginners.

That afternoon, we pulled into a campground right on the beach just south of Coos Bay and everyone got a chance to stretch their legs.



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Okay, some people are still getting the hang of this walking stuff.


She’s okay!





The next morning was our “workout day” so I took an uninspired run up the road (should have just run on the beach) while Ann did some exercises around the campground. I told her that if she wants the trailer moved a little to the right, I could just do it with the truck, but she insisted on trying this way.


As usual, Wynne’s been a pretty good little traveler (as long as we don’t need to fill up at one of the full service stations). She’s pretty happy as long as she gets to wear her boots and gets to play in a warm bath every couple days.

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Continuing north up the coast, we were impressed with how many bicyclists there were, usually loaded up with camping gear. A lot of the signs seemed to imply this was a frequently used cycle touring route. Seeing these folks pumping up a long hill as we breeze by or still out on the road as the light is fading makes us really appreciate the comforts of the trailer. Then again, we have to take the bikes off the rack and find a place to ride once we’re parked.


Catching up on Facebook from the passenger seat during one of the rare sections of solid service, I saw a status update from Mali Mish -  a family of 5 we’d be meeting up with for the trip into Canada – that put them in Crater Lake. I replied with our regrets about missing the lake, and they commented that they’d cut towards the coast right after going there. As it turned out, we were probably only about 20 miles away from each other at that very moment. Despite our best mobile efforts, our schedules didn’t quite match up and, knowing that we’d meet officially in a couple weeks with the rest of the group, we followed each other up the coast without ever crossing paths.



Lunch stop in the cute waterfront town of Florence, OR.


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There were more than a couple times we just had to flip a U-turn across a double yellow line to go back to a scenic overlook.



Heceta Head Lighthouse…


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After fairly certainly striking it rich on Agate Beach – though we’ve yet to actually have an independent appraiser let us know the market value of our collection – we’ve been having fun “rock hounding” on the Oregon beaches.




This rock was moving really slowly…


When we took this bag out of Wynne’s hands, we realized it was really freakin’ heavy!



After a night at Beachside State Park, we stopped of at a town billing itself – and this is an important point since it’s likely not true – as the “Worlds Smallest Port,” Depoe Bay. It was neat to see the narrow entrance, tucked behind the concrete breakwater below, but the rest of the town was tourist knick knacks and other stuff we’re blissfully unable to take with us in a 19’ trailer.




Afterwards, we made our way to Cannon Beach, home of the famous Haystack Rock. I mean, famous ‘cause it was in “Goonies.”

We walked down for a stroll on the beach at low tide.


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The fog and wind would come and go every 15 minutes or so, at times making us feel like we were preparing for the dust storms of Burning Man.


But the beach was absolutely beautiful…






And a nice little resort/vacation town. We’d seriously consider checking on of these beachfront places out on VRBO.




In the largest, most catastrophic blunder thus far of the trip, we managed to lose one of my flip flops out of the storage basket of the stroller. I don’t wanna point fingers, but it couldn’t possibly have been my fault ‘cause I know how to use the stroller real good.


In any case, I tell ya, it was a disaster. It must have taken us at least 10 minutes to walk into town, duck into the grocery store and find a replacement pair before we could make our way to our table at the brew pub.


Sure, there are haters out there, but honestly – and it could be my second Foggy Notion Weissbier talking – I think they’re kinda pretty.