Chapter 2: Oregon/ Land of Under Rated Beaches, Beautiful Highways, Sunshine, and Yurts
by William Bossen Photography
Monday, September 27th after a few hours of driving south we reached the Oregon border via one of the most outstanding bridges in the state that crosses the Columbia River and stretches for over a mile. The town of Astoria was a welcomed site and marked the beginning of one big sweet surprise, Oregon.
Oregonians have several well kept secrets in there state: flawless highways, hundreds of well maintained and stunning state parks, mesmerizing beaches, friendly people, inexpensive gas, and oh my god, yes, SUNSHINE!!!!
Our first taste of Oregon hospitality was at Seaside Beach. We rolled in around noon and the sun was shining, we found a relatively private parking spot nestled up next to some dunes and the beginning of a beach boardwalk. This was the perfect place to heal our saturated souls with some sunshine and lunch and drape our drenched belongings over the car to soak up some warm rays. As our belongings were drying we waltzed down the boardwalk feeling light and carefree in the Sunshine. It is amazing what a little Vitamin D, white sand, swing sets, and a nap in the tall grass and dunes can provide. Three hours later, we were back on the road, headed to our next campsite.
Manzanita Beach in Nehalem State Park was yet another find that we felt blessed to happen upon. The campsite was sunny, clean, provided water and electricity, free warm showers, and was half as much as camp sites in Washington or those we later encountered in California. Praise Oregon!
Manzanita was nestled up to dunes with a white sandy beach that ran for miles in either direction. It was the perfect beach for running and yoga, both of which I enjoyed. It was also a curious camp site, well enjoyed by RV’s and their animals. Will and I saw a pack of Wolf Hounds; some of the largest and shaggiest dogs I have ever seen. They were actually used to hunt and kill wolfs in the country side of Scotland, Ireland, and England long ago. We also saw a man who had a large and aged Chimpanzee in white diapers crawling on top of his Scooby Doo Van, and were approached by one of the tamest and brave little deer, which we affectionately named “Bucky”.
Tuesday, September 28th, we continued the drive South along highway 101 and were met with more incredible vistas, sunshine, charming coastal towns and relaxed and lovely driving. At about 5:30 we were both feeling hungry and decided to stop for fish and chips in a quaint sea side fishing village. The little café was covered in hand painted murals and boasted all organic ingredients and no farm raised fish. The clams, crab, and cod were all locally caught. We proceeded to both have a mouth watering experience at Luna Sea Fish House, and after thoroughly enjoying our meal of homemade coleslaw, cod, clams, and chips decided it was hands down the best “fish and chip” experience either of us had ever had. Oregon hits home again!
Our camp site that evening was even more outstanding than we could have expected. We pulled into an inconspicuous site along the Oregon State Dunes. We practically had the entire site to ourselves and a private path that led out to endless mountains of sand spreading out for as far as the eye could see with only the faint sound of the pounding ocean in the background. The allure of walking further and further out into the dunes as the sun set and night fell was dangerous. It would be very easy to get very lost in those dunes. However, Will and I helped coach each other back to our camp site before we got to lost in the darkness and mysterious sands of Oregon. At our site we built another red hot fire. Every night we have enjoyed large fires, admiring this pure element and how alive and powerful its flickering light and fingers of flames are.
We woke up early with the intention of heading into California and camping in the Redwoods. Our plan was to continue down the Oregon Coast, into California, picnicking along the way and enjoying the relaxing pace of our drive and all the magnificent scenery.