Saturday, January 9, 2010

Soapstone - 9 JAN 2010 - Beach Day!

I don't mind getting lost. Which is a good thing, really, since I do it with some regularity.

When I woke up this morning, the sun was shining bright, bright, bright and I decided that I MUST go walk on a beach. Though Soapstone is on the Oregon coast, it's not actually ON the Oregon coast -- it's inland, and woodsy, and wonderful.  But today I craved ocean.

I was heading for Manzanita, which is slightly north of here, on the 101, but for the second time (and despite having printed out directions), I was unable to figure out how to get north of Nehalem. I ended up, after several interesting turns through the very scenic countryside, going south on the 101. So I decided to go with that. It was a beautiful day for a drive.

I hummed along the highway, which twists and turns through small towns that have built up along the water. I drove through Wheeler and Rockaway Beach. I passed Lytle Lake, which was still as glass, and lovely, and well-stocked with fish according to my Oregon Coast brochure.

I ended up stopping at the Barview Jetty County Park, just because I had to use the restroom and it looked like a likely spot to have one. It was gorgeous! I mean the park, not the restroom.  The unassuming sign on the highway didn't do it justice.

There are camp sites available there, which I drove past on my way to their very impressive jetty, which is overseen by a lifeguard in a tall tower. Even from the parking lot, you couldn't tell there was a lovely beach that stretched out from the jetty as far as you could see, but I found it (after I found the restroom) with the help of a nice ranger.  She even gave me a map!

I walked along the jetty a bit, then down the beach a bit, then circled back.  I passed two women who were feeding the seagulls. One of them told me she does this every day, and it's got so they recognize her car, and stalk her. I passed a fisherman, and an interesting driftwood contraption (replete with hat) that someone had built, and several people with dogs, and a couple who like Oregon State a LOT and were wearing matching windbreakers. It was so lovely not to have anywhere I had to be!

After my walk, I was beginning to get hungry, so I forged on, continuing south along the 101. I stopped in at a Myrtlewood shop in Garibaldi, because it caught my eye. I bought a few postcards and trinkets, and asked for a recommendation for where to find seafood. The woman working there sent me to the right place -- the Fishermen's Korner Restaurant, where I had their famous fish and chips, and the Garibaldi Cannery next door, where I bought some seafood to bring back to the cabin with me. I could see the boat the fish came in on, docked right outside.

By the time I finished my purchase, it was time to get on the road, if I was going to make it back by dark. (Between the twisty roads and the infrequency of road signs out here and my getting lost thing, I thought it wise to get back by dark.

I drove back up the 101, then turned off where I thought I was supposed to, thus discovering an entirely new town (Mohler!) and possibly figuring out where I'd gone wrong earlier, which had caused me to lose the entire north coast.

I soon stumbled upon Highway 53.  Once I saw the sign for the fish hatchery, I knew I was on the right track.  And the names of the small roads are starting to look familiar, now.  

I made it back by five, cleaned the little window on my wood stove, and started up a fire.  Made a cup of ginger tea.

Now it's time for dinner -- brown rice, and crab legs straight from Garibaldi!  Tomorrow -- more writing. Driving around and walking by the ocean, I think I had some good notions, including a whole musical back-drop to my play that I scribbled on a note card in the restaurant and need to explore...

It was a wonderful day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow. yes.

it sounds wonderful.

thanks for sharing.