In mid-October, Adam and I took a much needed break from our jobs, packed up our bags, and drove westward to the Oregon Coast. We took our new little kitten, Podrick, along for the ride and after a short adjustment period, he slept peacefully in his backseat bed while we drove around. Our trip was just short of two weeks and we saw so much in that small amount of time. We saw so many little towns and left our footprints on countless beaches. My memory is just awful so many of the small places we passed through have lost their names in my head, but here are my favourite photos from my favourite places on this trip:
We started in Astoria, which we fell in love with. The main street is littered with local cafes, shops, bookstores, a grand classic theatre, but mostly with many, many antique stores. Their trash cans are designed and painted to look like cans of fish. There's a small film museum that pays tribute primarily to The Goonies, which we honoured by watching the evening we stayed in Astoria. There's a tall tower you can climb up to see panoramic views of the town and its surrounding beauty. I'm sure Google has the exact answer to just how many stairs we climbed to get to the top, but I measured the height in beads in sweat and the amount of breaks I took. There were so many. But it really was worth it. (Imagine my horror when during my twentieth break to catch my breath and stretch my legs, two fully geared-up firefighters - who entered the tower long after I did - raced past me, huffing and puffing, and beat me to the top. I worried that there was an emergency, but nope. They were just climbing up hundreds of stairs for entertainment.)
Afterwards, we explored the beach and small aquarium in Seaside. We were so delighted to find swing-sets in the middle of the beach, directed out toward the ocean. It was quite the experience, breathing in the ocean air as we sat swinging and watching the waves crash on the shore. Best idea ever.
Canon beach treated us to one of the most beautiful beaches I had ever walked across. The low tide made the beach a giant mirror and the Haystack Rock was amazing. We sat on the beach for a couple minutes before we left, leaning against giant logs, digging our fingers in the sand, watching people walk hand-in-hand and sharing laughter while the sun set. It was so lovely.
Tillamook had a cheese factory, so I was obviously overcome with joy and claim to everyone who will listen that my life was changed by our visit there. It was truly heaven on earth. They have an entire cafe with cheesy menu items, including deep-fried cheese curds that I have thought about every day since I had them. One road trip that made me fall in love with ocean mist and a ton of cheese later, we slowly wandered our way over to Newport.
There is so much to see in and around Newport. We visited an incredibly unusual group of small shops and markets near our hotel, all designed to look like a fishing village from a cartoon. We were in absolute awe at the aquarium, spending hours wandering through the displays and underground tunnels and gift shops. We visited Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area and saw a lighthouse up close for the first time in our lives. We drove down to the Sea Lion Cave only to discover that it was not the season to see actual sea lions there (but don't worry, they lowered the regular $14 admission to $12, because $14 would be absolutely ridiculous to spend on seeing an empty cave, but $12 is just peachy.)
Newport was as far south as we went. We visited a couple places on our way back (including Tillamook again to bring cheese home, obviously). Our very last stop before we ended up back home was Seattle and the highlight had to be our visit to the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit. It was unbelievable.
I love road trips. I love the long, winding roads. I love watching the sun rise and set from the highway. I love all the places you get to be in and all the places you pass through. I love the hours of scenic driving, filling my ears with loud pop music and our favourite podcasts. I love never feeling like I'm in a rush. I love all of the uninterrupted time adventuring with my best friend. I loved wandering the Oregon coast.
Never say die.