Wednesday, August 29, 2012

West Coast Adventure - Day 15

Having a couple days "off" was just what the doctor ordered. Huge thanks to my Aunt Kay and Uncle Jim for housing me for 3 nights. I was great to spend time with you, as always!

I hit the road at about 10:30AM this morning. I wasn't in a rush, didn't need to be, and it wouldn't have mattered if I had been. There's just no rushing to or from the Oregon coast. :) If you're from "back east" like me, you tend to think of cities like Portland and Seattle as coastal cities. The reality is, they're really not on the coast. Getting to the Pacific from either of them can take anywhere from an hour to 90 minutes, or more. Just thought I should clear that up...mostly as a reminder to myself. Besides the distance, there's enough traffic that they almost don't even need to post a speed limit. You have to work around a lot of other people to draw any attention to yourself if the police are around.

The ride from Canby to Lincoln City was a great trip through the foothills, back up through the coastal range, and then down to the coast. It was a little over 90 miles, took a little over 2 hours, and I only got rained on for a few minutes up in the mountains...gotta love that 20% chance of rain. I stopped for a quick bite to eat and got back on the road.

As expected, the Oregon coast offers plenty of beautiful views and beaches. If you wanted to take a slow family vacation down the coast, it would be pretty easy to fill up a couple of weeks with all the different state parks and visitor attractions. Of course, this trip is mostly about the ride, so most of the tourist stuff barely registers on my radar as I move from one small town to the next. I did stop pretty regularly to take in the scenic vistas and grab a couple pictures of some of the various beach locations.

Depoe Bay, north
Depoe Bay, south...and foggy

Seal Rock
Seal Rock

Cooks Chasm

North end of Oregon Dunes
I mentioned, in an earlier post, that I realized, about a week into the ride, that many portions of this trip are through places that Sara and I had visited together during our marriage. One of my stops today was Depoe Bay. I recognized it, as I drove into town, because of the sea wall the shops of the city overlook. We were here in 2004. I stopped, sat on the wall for a while and did my best to remember. I also rode past the beaches where we sat and watched the seals play and where Jim and Joshua flew kites in the stiff ocean breeze. Good days, good memories. As I experience them, I realize it's OK to enjoy them, to cherish them, to keep them...and OK to look forward to making memories on my own, and possibly someday with someone else. No matter how that feels, I guess it's growth.

Only 218 miles today, but lots of stops...over 7 hours of travel time
Nearly 3,700 miles so far
 Thursday brings the redwoods, the coastal giants. I'm looking forward to seeing them again.

Tomorrow is another day and another road. :)

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Chad Cole