Mea culpa, dear Oregon

Admittedly, I’ve been a rather piss-poor brand ambassador for Oregon lately. There’s only so long one can ride on a love prose-poem to Oregon berries, and I think I’ve been on foot for at least the last 5 months.

After a recent weekend getaway, however, I herewith declare myself freshly infatuated with my region!

Not that anyone partaking of even a sliver of Oregon’s 400 miles of free-to-all*, delightfully unspoiled coastline could do anything but fall madly in love with the landscape (again). And since Mr Vix and I started off our very, very much needed weekend at the North Coast with clear skies, resistance was truly futile:

An ephemeral, sculptural shelter accents Cannon Beach's shoreline

Especially given that we kept encountering creatures that made us smile.

A walrus becomes one with a coastal art gallery's architecture

Proving shark kites beat shark bites

But April anywhere in the state is very much a “2 seasons for the price of 1!” experience, and near the ocean one must be prepared for sun, rain, and fog at all times. Mentally AND physically.

Especially if one has climbed to an elevation of 1600 feet precisely because locals said a cerulean sky at sea level meant we were in for a spectacular view of the coastline.

O TEMPESTUOUS LAND

Despite quick-moving spring fog obscuring most of our view, Neahkahnie Mountain's trail gave us peeks of Manzanita and Nehalem Bay

…but I still say oceanside hikes with obscured views beat no oceanside hikes at all.

On a related note, sometimes hikes that end with access to big ole picturesque tubs beat hikes that end at a campground or one’s sadly-detubb’d-during-renovation home.

Luckily, this weekend contained the former. I happily give the tub full credit for unknotting some of the lumps that work/life stress had put into my muscles—and partial credit for contributing to the delinquency of non-minors.

My coastal weekends usually involve a campsite, but living in a tub-free home meant this hotel room had me at hello

As we meandered up the coastline on the drive home, even the rain couldn’t dampen my spirits. Pre-trip, I’d trudged through sopping days and nights with one section of Etta James’ rendition of Story Weather stuck on a seemingly permanent loop:

Oh yeah / Life is bare

Gloom and misery everywhere

Stormy weather, stormy weather

And I just can’t get my poor self together

Oh I’m weary all of the time

The time, so weary all of the time”

But now I was practically singing in the pelting droplets.

Of course, it helped that in addition to rain, the streets and shores of one of Oregon’s most populated beach cities—home to many a taffy-n-Ts retail establishment—featured more gulls and gently rolling sand dunes than humans.

A saltwater taffy stop in storm-soaked Seaside included a windy coastal walk

Swamped in summer, but lonely in rain: the beach from Seaside's circa 1920 Promenade

Put it down to having had a little sun. A little sand. A little…synchronicity.Whatever the elements responsible, I was thrilled that less than 48 hours at the coast had lifted my spirits so high. And if Oregon’s foamy waves can do that for a documented curmudgeon, imagine what they can do for you.

* Thanks to the foresight of former Oregon Governor Oswald West, who in 1913 declared the state’s wet sands area to be “a public highway based on the customary use of beaches as wagons and mail routes” and thus immune to privatizing.

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2 Responses

  1. Austria definitely needs a shore. *sigh*

    I can hear the water drops dripping into the full hot tub. 🙂

    Thank you for taking me to Oregon for an instant.

  2. Ms P—

    Your photos/posts always depict so many of Austria’s wonders I hardly notice the lack of a shore!

    But I agree it would be nice if it could somehow nab one, ha.

    [If you ever need a fix of oft-rugged coastline, there are a million wonderful photos out there of the Oregon and Washington offerings.]

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