|The second childhood of Don and Joan ...|
A COASTAL OUTING in JANUARY: January 31 to February 2, 2007
no where to hide. Now I'm to suffer and pain for days to come, that we hid the bag of worries and work and snuck to the Coast.
Recent years we make New Year’s Resolution about making a get-away at least once a month, but those good intentions make their fly-away quickly and we settle for 1 to 3 for the whole year. January was about to slip away again this year. At 8:00 am. January 31 the sun is shining; a forecast for a couple more sunny days with temperatures in the 50’s on the Coast before winter and rains return. Too much work and too many commitments again, yet? Seems to be. The sun still shining at 9:00 in a cloudless sky. Still too much work and too many commitments? Well, we could cut that, re-schedule those, pretend to forget about all else. Yeah, NOTHING to hold us back!! Sandcastle Motel in Lincoln City has just the room available we want, at the mid-week price, if we go today. Clothes and essentials thrown into bags, a quick early lunch gobbled, and we are out and away before noon.
Our route takes us through the Van Duzier Corridor on Hwy 18 to Lincoln City, passing through the area where 100 log trucks of logs were hauled out as result of hurricane force winds blowing them across the highway a couple months ago. From TV pictures at the time, we feared the worst. The worst was somewhat imagined but fortunately, only noticeable damage occurred in one area of about 300 to 500 feet along the highway but of considerable distance up this canyon and down the other side of the highway. Every tree was broken or had fallen. A devastation never having seen since the Columbus Day storm while in Corvallis, Oregon in 1962. Hardly a fallen tree or broken bush seen the rest of this highway. Along Coastal Hwy 101, no damage seen, but then this area is more accustomed to strong winds than farther inland, and especially forested areas where a clear cut logging operation is within close proximity! Wind and rain did trigger erosion problems along some of the cliff areas adjacent to the beach, causing home owners concern, attempts at repairs.
Driving the length of Lincoln City twice upon arrival, we finally found pastry, of sorts, for tomorrow’s breakfast, and a lame chicken for supper, before checking into Room #20 at the Sandcastle Motel. Previously, our motels are only studio rooms, with or without kitchen facilities. Aye, here we have a separate bedroom, two comfortable recliners, a couch, a mini kitchen, and fifteen feet of windows to the surf …… and still affordable for us that squeeze Pres. Lincoln’s penny to look as clean shaven!! We must also have acquired that antique-ish look about us as the innkeeper only charged us $113 for two nights instead of the $134 advertised. A second floor room as requested, steps of which we negotiated with great stride …. a left, a right, a rest. A left, a right, a rest!!
We look for motels with low beach access so to get there without a drive or without hundred’s of stair steps down, and the fearsome …., back up!! Here, we have only five steps down to the sand. The sun is warm, there is no breeze, miles of sandy beach stretches on in each direction. We chose to the north this late afternoon, walking so many miles we nearly lost sight of our motel!! We did walk a long way though, then resting before hobbling back to the comfort of our motel to watch the beauty that only a Coastal sunset can bring, after a tremendously wonderful day. At this time of year, the sun sets much quicker. The hour expected before the sun reaches the ocean horizon, becomes only 30 minutes and the sun’s final look takes only 5 minutes, and not the 15 or 20 we normally assume! The thrilling colors of reds, of oranges, that stretches across the horizon as the sun sinks below the sea, is a sight to behold. This show is not completed in just a few minutes but continues for 30 to 45 minutes as changing colors and hues evolve, encompassing the whole of the horizon and radiating outward beyond!! Darkness descends but the shine of the moon soon emerges this night to brighten the waves and the surf. By morning the moon is setting to the west, glowing across the sea in it’s own brilliance and grandeur!! So bright as to lighten the room as if by day.
Another cloudless day awaits us. A day with the sun casting it’s radiance across the crest of waves, hi-lighting the spray generated as they crash into the surf and push their way inwards with this incoming tide. A high tide of 9.3 feet at 11:30 am. discourages walking on the beach, as a slight sneaker wave could rush one to the base of these shore-lined cliffs. Low tide of a minus .8 feet at 5:30 pm. allowed plenty of beach time to leave footprints in the sand. Footprints? No trouble following our prints back as these oversizer’s kinda stood out amongst the delicates!!
A day as this, leaves us anxious to get out and about to see the sights of the area, visit some of the gift shops and maybe a chance to visit my cousin Kelly at his shop selling Tee-shirts and candy in Depoe Bay. Well, we are going to miss contact with him this time as his winter hours are Saturday and Sunday only. Still lot of other shops in Depoe Bay to browse and look for that something special to grace the kitchen window at home. Each shop with hundreds of items, and each with their own variety of secret treasures. I had spotted a really cute, glass-blown fish embedded with many different colors during it’s making, in the first shop visited, but we wanted to explore more shops with a reason for doing so. Remember what it was, where it was, we may go back. Of course, visiting that many shops, the other person is bound to find something more striking, that … don’t you think??? Well I did think and think before wisely making the appropriate decision …… as if a different answer might have mattered!! We compromised. Joan bought hers and then we went back to the first store so she could buy mine. How’s that for dealing??
We toured as far south as Newport this day, stopping at nearly all waysides along the way to thrill in the beauty of this sunny day and the beauty of the ocean waves from these viewpoints high above. Along the way we stopped at Cape Foulweather and the gift shop there. Nothing of interest to us in the shop but the view of the ocean at this 500 foot elevation allows distant sightings and to see down to Devil’s Punch Bowl State Park and Resorts along Otter Crest loop. On occasion, we have seen whales in their migration route to Mexico when they happen near shore at this location. These are the Gray Whales that surface and blow spouts but don’t breach nor slap the surface with their flippers as do the Hump Back Whales migrating around the Hawaiian Islands. Always a thrill to see these huge creatures even at the distance necessitated.
Enough of the shops by mid afternoon and time to get those boots printed into the sand as the tide is retreating. Looking out our window we see about a hundred sea gulls on the beach crowding around some people kneeling on the sand. Apparently the birds thought a feeding going to happen and maybe it had prior, but not now. The people moved on, the sea gulls seemed bewildered. Soon a dog and it’s owner approached from the south. Maybe the first time for the dog to the Coast. The dog determined no birds should be on the beach. The birds determined not to leave. Run and run and run. That dog running full bore for at least 20 minutes chasing any bird with thoughts of landing. The dog won, and still able to make it home …………… with a smile of satisfaction on his face!!
The Sandcastle Motel at SE 34rd St. is probably only a 1/3 mile north of The Inn at Spanish Head Motel by walking the beach, but nearly a mile by Hwy 101. And so we walk south this afternoon, down beyond Spanish Head Motel and it’s six story building built out from the cliffs down to the beach, with the top floor at Highway level. Joan’s Dad as a carpenter, helped build this Motel in about the 1960’s. Remember him telling of the 70 mph winds during that winter of continued construction. A great looking building but not of our “class”!!!
Returning from Depoe Bay this afternoon we saw a slash burn in the timber area some miles to the East that was generating lots of smoke. That smoke finally drifted out to sea by sunset creating a most beautiful sky of reds and oranges, blues and purples as the sun shone as a much deeper red than normal, peering from within, while making it’s journey into the ocean for the day.
Another glorious day closes. Tomorrow ends our two night, winter get-away. A get-away that again refreshes our needs for mind and body. One night in January, one night in February, does that mean we have fulfilled our resolution of a get-away each month? Now we have to wait until March?? Yeah. March 31 to April 1. Can we be that lucky??
We are home by 1:00 pm to a house so cold we turned up the heat and went outside where it was warmer. Nights in the low twenties while we were gone. Thermostats of the pellet stove and of the electric furnace were set at 50*. Should have thought!!! Do you know how cold a house is at 50*???? How long to warm it??
And now we eagerly return to our ‘hobbies” with a refreshed mind and body, having enjoyed these days of relaxing without worry or wonders!
May your special days be as delightful as ours!! Don and Joan K.