My Five Vacay Faves

We returned from vacation last week, which was a road trip lasting about a week on the Oregon coast and up in northwest Oregon. The best parts, of course, were being away, being with friends and family, and then, yes, coming home. Coming home and finding the floofs in good shape and the house standing and damage free is satisfying.

Past those obvious points, I had specifics that I enjoyed. This is not the definitive order or rankings. They’re just the matters I most enjoyed.

  1. Being in the Cape Perpetua area. We’re guilty of multiple visits to this area since moving to Oregon fifteen years ago. This time, we treated friends to our favorite spots. Rich with volcanic leftovers and WPA efforts, exploring it is fun and educational. Specific favorites include Thor’s Well the Spouting Horn. Hearing – and feeling – the waves thundering in and firing spray several stories into the air is mesmerizing, almost therapeutic. Also of interest is the old rock hut. My wife often misremembers and informs people that it was built by Boy Scouts. She doesn’t believe me when I say, no, it was a WPA project. But, yes, it was. She was embarrassed when the guide at the information center corrected her. Its location high above the coast provide amazing views.
  2. Powell’s Books. We checked out the Powell’s Books, whatever its official name is, in Beaverton. It’s clean, large, well-organized, and it’s full of books! Books, new and old. Non-fiction and novels, coloring books and chapter books, and things related to books, writing, and reading. I walked around reading covers and blurbs, and employee recommendations. My wife summed it up as a tonic that inspires more reading. It also inspires more writing for me.
  3. Green Salmon Coffee Shop. Again, not certain if it’s the right name, but if you find the Green Salmon place in Yachats, you’re probably there. The coffee was good but not brilliant. Their vegan, gluten-free blueberry lemon scone was a huge piece of tastebud pleasuring OMG experience. So perfect in so many elements. Take it from this scone fan, it’s one to try.
  4. Oswego Grill. Back in Beaverton for my wife’s birthday, we went to the Oswego Grill in Beaverton where excellent lunches capped off with a sensation dessert was enjoyed. Lowly doughnut holes were the foundation. Baked on site after ordered, the holes are rolled in cinnamon and sugar. Five of them are brought hot and fresh on a plate, along with a bowl of warm caramel sauce. Chomp. Chomp, chomp.
  5. The Pacific Ocean. Like the night sky, the ocean always demands questions about existence and our niche rises when I contemplate it. Looking out to a far horizon invites a symphony of reflections about what’s beyond that earth curve and the people there, along with humanity’s history of exploration, and then, just the awesome presence that the ocean brings.

Not a fancy list, but if you get to these places – Cape Perpetua, Powell’s, Green Salmon, the Pacific – please check them out. Tell them Michael sent you. They’ll probably reply, “WTF are you talking about?”

Back Again

Friends were renting a house in Waldport, Oregon, three bedrooms, three baths. They’d invited their family. Their family couldn’t make it. Would we like to come?

Twist our arms, ouch, ouch, okay, we give, we give, we’ll come! The house wasn’t on the beach, but on a bluff that overlooks the beach, less than a quarter mile to the beach. Topology and beach access rules and agreements made it a ten minute walk to the beach. Not a problem.

waldport

We drove through pouring rain to reach Waldport. The sky ratcheted down to a gray sunshine the first night, permitting a walk on the beach. Waldport has fine, sandy beaches, flat, wide, and unpopulated by many others in September. Rain drenched the area that night. We awoke to a misty gray day, but that burned off. Sunshine and blue skies arrived and hung out with us for the next few days, a very welcome guest. Temperatures jumped into the high sixties, flirting with seventy-one inland.

Waldport is a small, comfortable town. Not many eateries called to us but Yachats ten miles to the south and Newport fifteen miles to the north were easy drives up Highway 101. Down in Yachats, we returned to Luna Sea Food twice, and also visited the Green Salmon for some excellent coffee and food. Once again, we struck out when we tried to visit Bread and Roses, as it was closed for the week! Dinner on Tuesday was at the Adobe restaurant in Yachats, where the dining room presented us with an excellent seat to watch the sunset as we ate and drank.

I walked on the beach at least twice a day, in addition to our daily hiking. For the week, I ended up with sixty-five miles on my Fitbit, which was the same as the previous two weeks. I often walked barefoot in the shallows, enjoying the sun-warmed waters churning over my feet.

Meanwhile, we had terrific companions, Marcia, Art, and Lucy. The owners’ net situation kept us off computers except to check email once in a while. We traveled the local coastline, hiking, and visiting the sights. We also walked the Alsea Bay Bridge. Just three quarters of a mile long, the bay’s water were fantastically clear and often shallow. Seals sunned and swum below us, entertaining us with their pastimes (yes, we’re easily entertained). Amanda’s trail in Yachats offered a more challenging walk, giving us fifty flights of steps on our Fitbits, and offering terrific views of the Pacific. Signs warned us about a mama bear and her cubs in the area, so we stayed on guard.

Amanda’s head has been washed away, and has been replaced by a smaller, carved statue of her. Her sad history, shared too many times with other people across America, remains to remind us how inhumane and barbaric Americans and Europeans often treat others.

A return visit to Cape Perpetua was in order, with its short hike to the CCC era stone shelter.

 

When we were back at the house, time was passed reading, chatting, eating, cooking, drinking wine, and gazing out at the ocean. The moon was waxing and was almost a full moon by the week’s end, splashing its gorgeous glow over the calm, rolling ocean. Not much writing was done, but batteries were drained and recharged.

Got my coffee, and my ass is in the chair. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

 

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