Thursday, May 12, 2016

Two Days on the Left Coast

Carolyn J. Rose

When I get an opportunity to go to the coast, I take it. No matter what the weather might be like, there will still be waves to watch, fried clams to eat, and agates to hunt.

So, even though the forecast calls for clouds and chilly temperatures, we pack up and head out with our friends Michael and Mia Lundergan. Thinking about what lies ahead makes the Portland traffic almost tolerable, and soon we’re at one of our usual stops—Mo’s. There are other choices for chowder on the Oregon coast, many other choices, and we can argue their merits all day long. But Mike’s father knew Mo, back when she first opened, and stopping off there is a tradition.

Bellies full, we comb a beach or two, getting our fill of fresh air and sunshine that defies the forecast before landing at a casino. Luck is with three of us. Not BIG luck, but enough luck to allow us each a small profit—profit we’ll spend at least three times the next day. Found money seems to burn a hole in a pocket faster than the cash you work for.

When the sun pops up again in the east, we head south, stopping at Goodwill and almost buying a mechanical talking turkey before laughing off the impulse. After combing a few beaches, we make it to Newport and find, to our delight, that Georgie’s has the artichoke-lime soup two of us have been known to dream about since our first encounter with it years ago. And—bonus!—we also spot a few whales blowing close in.

Stuffed once again, we head south for the Devil’s Churn, several more beaches, and a little shopping. By now wind is whipping the waves and each stop involves slapping on hats and zipping jackets. We find several genuine agates and a number of rocks we carry back to the car because we tell each other they’re interesting or unique or unusual. You’d almost think we’re out to raise their self-esteem.

We end the day eating another wonderful meal at Tidal Raves in Depoe Bay. The tide is coming in, but it isn’t full enough to send water spraying high in the air through blow holes. We watch for a time, then head back to our motel to take in the sunset. Here's an edited version of the sun being extinguished in the Pacific. Forgive the annoying logo of the free (ahem) software Mike used to cut it from it's original length. 

The next morning, souls renewed, we head home to mundane chores, less spectacular views, and meals that are more sensible for people who should be watching their calories and cholesterol.