Saturday, April 11, 2009

Vacation - Oregon Coast - Day Three

Day three came bright and early. Just after going to sleep in the cow field, a pickup drove past and kind of hesitated by us, honking its horn a bit as it drove on. I was slightly concerned that we'd be subject to some hillbilly harassment, but the night passed uneventfully. We did lose all air from our mattress again, and it rained heavily that night. We woke early the next day, around 6:30 and took off, heading South with the plans to hit Rockaway Beach around 1pm, where we would then spend the next two days.

Along the way, we drove past an exit for a state park and we impulsively took it. It was gorgeous. For around 20 minutes, we weaved through a primordial jungle on a narrow road, curving around thick old trees and lush undergrowth, before dropping us out in a beautiful big picnic and trailhead area. We wandered for a bit in the early morning mist, marvelling at the views of cannon beach below and Tillamook Head Lighthouse to the right. We had the place to ourselves aside from a few ravens, a half dozen robins and a woodpecker, and it was a great morning.

We followed a trail down to the beach. where we took the obligatory timer photo of ourselves, which was harder than usual, due to the sinking tripod, sneaky waves behind us and the difficulty making it to the photo spot before the timer finished.

On the way back to civilization, we had an elk leap across the road in front of us, then pause in the thicket, watching us carefully. As we continued, we happened to glance to the right and over a dozen more materialized from the woods, like magic.

They didn't even move, just one second it seemed empty, the next full of half ton animals. And people ask how Bigfoot could possibly exist if we've never found him...

We stopped and ate breakfast... somewhere, possibly Seaside, as we slowly cruised the residential areas of the cities, trying to get a feel for their non-tourist ambiance. We really liked Gearhart, a small town north of Seaside that had a great feel to it, a lot of cool houses and a city with a lot of character, but not a large commercial feel to it. We also came away more favorably towards Cannon Beach, where we'd previously found it far too tourism oriented.

We also found another little cemetery along the way, though I forget where now, that was the most unique cemetery I've ever visited. All of the plots were encircled in stone, with plants and bushes planted atop them. Everything was canted at different angles and some had sunken dramatically. There was also a section to the side that had been fenced off, for what appeared to be an anti-deer measure, but they'd easily bypassed it, and the sand around the graves was trampled and many of the fake flowers were half eaten.

The graveyard was full of gorgeous and unique monuments, many with lush bushes or little mementos on the headstones. It was drizzling again and as we walked through the cemetery with our umbrellas, there was a great peaceful feeling.

We hit Rockaway Beach pretty early, and spent the afternoon cruising around, checking rates on Motels, considering staying in a different place than our usual. Everywhere else in town however, was more expensive and had less character than our motel of choice, the Getaway Oceanfront Condos we first stayed here in 2007 with my mom and brother, in the middle of a 13 day road trip down 101, and it was one of the highlights of the trip for us. Each of the rooms is an individually owned condo, that is then rented as a motel when the owner isn't using it. That gives each of the rooms a unique feel, and all that we've stayed in have been comfortable and nice. It's also just a dune away from the ocean, and most of the room have a great view of the Pacific. We rented a room for 2 nights, unloaded our gear and relaxed most of the rest of the evening, eating some fish and chips from the Foghorn bar and watching the ocean from our window.

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