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!
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.
It was a wonderful day.