Monday, October 31, 2011

Oregon Coast Adventure


The night after our date to the Portland Art Museum and Apizza Scholls, Jackie and I had planned on heading to the Oregon coast to explore around a bit. Our plan included driving along the coast and stopping at multiple cities, starting at Lincoln City and heading north. Amazingly, in my 26 years, I had never seen any ocean before (other than from an airplane, but I don' think that counts).
It took almost two hours to arrive in Lincoln City where we ate breakfast at Pig'n Pancake. I got pancakes. The place was okay, nothing special, but good enough for me. Next we drove along the Pacific Coast Highway, our best friend for most of the day, to Pacific City and slunk our way along the road to Bob Straub State Park. We owned the beach at that moment, nobody else was around, save for a flock of birds.




The wind beat at our faces as we trekked along the beach. The sky was painted shades of grey. And, while we were alone, the howling wind prevented any sort of conversation or relaxing we may have wanted to do there. No problem though. To retaliate, Jackie viciously attacked the birds!



We could see Haystack Rock from here though. That would be our next stop. It was time to head there, but not before first seeing the town a little. The houses back from the beach were nice, the sort I would imagine from books I've read set in small beach towns.





Jackie searched in vain for any of these creatures, but to no avail.
Up the road we stopped at Cape Kiwanda. This time we decided to wear jackets. The wind continuously worsened. I blame Jackie attacking those birds. There were more people walking around on the beach here. We asked a gentleman if we could walk up a steep hill that seemed like everyone was avoiding. He said we could, just stay on our side of the fence because it is dangerous.

Of course, the first thing we did up there was jump over the fence.




Walking up the hill proved to be no easy task. The wind blew fine beach sand into our eyes. Growing up in El Paso, I learned from an early age to use my eye lashes to combat sand attacks engaged by high winds. Wind is my mortal enemy. My eyes nearly shut, I made it up the steep hill and began searching around. We saw a little cave, a bunch of waves breaking against the rocks, and even more interesting rock formations further down the line. In the danger zone of course. The best formation appeared to be a sunken ship that had been abandoned ages ago, back before gps and camera phones and blogs. I imagined the ships crew had angered the ocean somehow, some show of undue disrespect, and had been lured to where it eventually sank, being swallowed by rock, encasing the crew for its crimes.










Fortunately, despite walking to the edge of the rocks on a supremely windy day, neither Jackie nor I fell to our deaths. Success! (I can't swim by the way. So this is especially dangerous for me) Oh yes, we were also very near the Haystack Rock we had seen earlier. We got to see it from multiple angles.


We intended to head to Oceanside to see the Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge, but construction blocked us from heading there. Thanks to Jackie's smartphone, we found the detour was sending us in the direction of Tillamook and the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Before we hit the road, however, we were at a stop sign. Two middle aged women were there standing. Jackie, the driver, looked at them and was going to let them walk across. Why not be nice, right? Of course, no, you should never be nice to strangers. (As part of the back story, although both of us were living in Portland at the time, both of our cars had Texas plates because we had moved from there and it is expensive to get new ones) For some reason my window was rolled down a bit and one of the women said to the other something about how we should "go back to Texas" ostensibly for poor driving. Because, you know, random jerks hate when you let them cross the street. Jackie didn't hear and when I told her, "Can you believe what that lady said?" she wanted to go back and give that lady a piece of her mind (and probably fist). Ha! I love her. We continued on. I really didn't want to have to be a witness to murder.

Before we got there, we stopped at a designated viewpoint and snapped a few of my favorite pictures from the whole trip.


The wind is getting worse...

This isn't one of my favorites, but I just thought maybe you'd like to see what the road we were driving on looked like. Pretty nice, eh?

This is my absolute favorite picture of Jackie ever.
So we arrive in Tillamook and it starts raining cats and dogs. Strangely, only cats and dogs, no water as you would normally expect. We rush into the factory and it is bustling, people walking to and fro. Who knew a cheese factory would be such a tourist boom? We went on the tour of the factory. You get to learn a bit about the company and what products get made. Plus you get to look down on the workers making the stuff. Kind of strange, sort of like a people zoo, but whatever, it is fun enough. It ends with a sampling of many different kinds of cheeses and leads you to where you can buy it. Very smart, Tillamook Cheese Factory!

After that you can eat in the cafeteria. Both of us ordered grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. I used to dislike tomato soup, but Jackie made it for me and it was really good. This was too. The food was great. We ran out to the car. More pouring rain. Our next stop would be Rockaway Beach on a whim.




We only stopped at Rockaway Beach because I like the Ramones song about the other Rockaway Beach. I got out, took some pictures to prove we had been there and we left for Cannon Beach and Hug Point, a place Jackie was dying to show me.





Jackie had been camping near Cannon Beach before I moved to Oregon. I remember her texting me the whole time and sending me pictures. I was watching the Boston Red Sox blow their playoff chances that night. I ate a salad with chicken. She fell in love with me then, in a different state, in different timezones, and it was nice. So we got there together and the tide prevented us from doing much of anything unfortunately. We were both disappointed. I wanted to see the cave and waterfall and everything she had described. After some discussion we headed home.

That night we went out to the Bridgeport Village movie theater in Lake Oswego, we had some free tickets, and watched 50/50 [Blu-ray]. It is an excellent movie. I would like it on dvd for sure. We shared a giant cherry cola (I can't remember if it was Pepsi or Coke) and an even bigger tub of popcorn.

Our next adventure would be in a week...
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