Day Forty Seven: North by NorthWest : Oregon, Washington

(Events of Friday, May 1st, blogged Wednesday May 6th)

This morning dawned with bright sun and clear skies. And a tad less windy. I strongly considered staying another day, but there appeared to be no room at the inn for the weekend, and the rates were much higher.


But I did have time to take Annie for a leisurely stroll on the expansive beach. It was low tide, so we could walk right up to a series of rock formations jutting out of the ground known as Neptune’s Garden. During the day they are partially submerged, but we were able to walk right up to the towering monoliths. Of course, I had let my phone battery run low, so the pictures are scant.

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The plan was to spend the day tooling up the Oregon Coast (exploring sites further inward had to be abandoned due to the unanticipated day off, with the aim of making it to Washington by nightfall.

The Oregon Coast is gorgeous, albeit not vastly different from the Northern California Coast: crashing waves, rolling hills of tall pines abutting the shoreline, and tons of rocky outcroppings. I was in search of one outcropping in particular, a spot known as Thor’s Well, a spot on the coast, where cracks in the ground allow the sea water to flood in with the tide, and then explode out with a bang once it fills. I located Thor, and his neighbor, Cook’s Chasm, but for once my timing was terrible. They are really only active around high tide, and we had arrived fairly close to the low point. It was still pretty cool to look at, but I was a bit disappointed not to get to see the spectacle. Ah well. There was a nice little hiking trail for Annie and I to gambol about on for a bit.

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Thor’s Well was just outside of the tiny town of Florence, Oregon, and I decided to take a spin through the area to see what looked interesting. And what did I find? Only a perfect little English tea shop tucked away down a side street! Just yesterday I had been chatting with my dear pals in the TDMG (Twitter Dog Mum Gang) about how run down and ragged I was feeling, and they suggested that was I really needed was the restorative powers of a proper cream tea. And it had set me to craving one, and now, lo and behold, ask the universe for something, and it provides. Lovejoy’s was quirky and welcoming, with cozy loveseats and tasty scones (cream first, then jam), and the somewhat scatterbrained elderly gent who waited on me was well impressed when I requested PG Tips (a brand of tea not easily found here in the States). The whole experience was just what I needed, even if it did leave me longing for my pals in the UK and the mayzin time I had there about this time last year.

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A little bit later, I stopped, as one does, at a random gas station to fill my tank. Before I could blink, a female gas station attendant (which is unusual enough in and of itself) came out, started pumping the gas for me, and, out of the blue, handed me a dog biscuit, asking if I “just had the one back there?” A full service gas station with free dog treats? Now we are BOTH falling in love with the coast! (Lame receipt picture, but I thought it would be weird to take a photo of the attendant , so this is all I gots for illustrative purposes.

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Now you all know I like my “wacky landmarks”. So I had to hit the brakes when we passed by the “World’s Shortest River,” with the succinct if nothing else name of “D”. A little digging reveals that the 440 foot river actually lost its claim to fame in 1989 when the Roe River in Montana was able to boast a shorter length. Not to be outdone, the good people of Lincoln City remeasured the D (which runs into the ocean) at “extreme high tide,” which gave it a length of only 120 feet! Booyah! In your face Roe River! Perhaps weary of such riparian shenanigans, as of 2006 the good folks at Guinness no longer list a category for ‘shortest river”.

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As we traveled further north, our route wound away from the coast, and into farmland and pastures (and yet more cows).

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Late in the afternoon I made it to Astoria, the last stop in Oregon before I crossed this really big bridge into Washington. I wanted to stop, as it had been given high marks by the lady at the Windermere, but the sun was slowly sinking, and we needed to press on.

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We made it to Washington! Huzzah! Since schedule alterations will prevent us from heading up to Vancouver, this will be the northernmost leg of our journey…

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So we celebrate with pizza! (Which was actually pretty mediocre, as was our hotel room at the Rodeway Inn, but beggars can’t be choosers, and the pizza place shares a name with my favorite German Chocolate lab-so it had to be visited!

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Day Forty Six: Time Out: Oregon (Bandon)

(Events of Thursday, April 30th, blogged Tuesday, May 5th)

So I’m in the homestretch now, and it’s looking like it will be hard to string together multiple energy days in a row. For any day that I accomplish a lot, I am wiped out the following one. I woke up in the campground that had been so lovely and inviting only a few hours before, and I just wanted to get out. It was cold and damp, and even though it had working showers, and they were not that far from my campsite, the idea of walking there, and then back with a wet head, was exhausting. As was the idea of boiling water for a simple bowl of oatmeal. Impossible. I dozed a bit, and then decided that perhaps if I drove to a cute little cafe and treated myself to a real breakfast, that would lift my spirits and energy level. (You guys-as I am typing this now, Annie is snuggled next to me in Marigold, and she is making the cutest little snuffly snores. I can’t even tell you.) Anyhow. I located two prime looking candidates on Yelp, and set off. A few miles down the road I found them. Across the street from each other. One with a For Rent sign, and the other with a For Sale sign. *sigh*

So I continued on, and seeing as how basically everything is clustered along Highway 101 along the Oregon Coast, I hoped to just stumble upon something promising.

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Hmm… or maybe not. We drove further. Annie seemed stricken by the same malaise I was…

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Finally, we happened upon the quaint little village of Bandon. Although it was near deserted early on a Thursday, it was right on the ocean, and filled with cute little shops and restaurants. Including the wonderful Bandon Cafe, where I enjoyed something called an “Egg Mitt” which is basically a fried egg on your choice of bagel (I chose cheddar bacon) (Side Note to the Food Police: I only blog about 1/4 of my meals, so while I am not eating as healthily as I might have hoped, I am eating more fruit and protein and healthy thing than it appears. Also, you all give conflicting advice). They even had Diet COKE! But despite these culinary delights, I still felt like crap on a cracker (or maybe a mitt). I decided it was time to take drastic action and just find somewhere halfway decent I could crash, take a shower, and use the WiFi. (Not having WiFI, or even enough cell service to use my MiFi has been the hardest thing for me to deal with this trip. Not being able to blog, or even just reconnect with the world, is a major frustration.)

On the way back to the car to plot my next move, I passed this cool art exhibit featuring faces made out of trash salvaged from the ocean.

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I hit the Jumbo Jackpot when my efforts yielded up Windermere on the Beach. Ridiculously cute little cottages steps from the beach, with ocean views from the bed, kitchen, or dining area, AND I was there on the least day of their low winter rate season! AND the older dude running the place let me go ahead and check in at 11:45-so I’d have almost a full 24 hours to recuperate!

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Did I mentioned his assistant was a little black and white terrier named Booker T Washington? Who roamed the place freely and never uttered a peep the entire time I was there? Hmmm…


I gave my own terrier assistant a little treat and then flopped on the bed exhausted, only to scroll the internet for the next hour or so because I was too tired to actually sleep.

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Later on I rallied enough for a short stroll on the beach, but it was too windy to linger long.

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And still later, I drove into town and got some amazing clam chowder and Dungeness crab (proteins!) takeout from this little hole in the wall. And enjoyed it on my personal patio watching the sun set over the ocean. If this won’t cure me, nothing will.

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