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.

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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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