Saturday, July 30, 2016

Our trip to the coast

Today we went out to visit the Oregon coast. I was very excited about the prospect of going there because I love seeing the coast. It’s such an awesome place! We have not been there for years. I would say it’s been about 6 or 7 years since we last went there. Jesse was only 2 years old! So I was glad to go.

When we went last time, we saw the Heceta Head lighthouse (we didn’t tour it) as well as the Sea Lion Caves. We didn’t see those things this times. It would have been nice to see the lighthouse, but maybe some other time.

But we still visited one spot where a picture was taken of me and the kids: A large steel anchor in Old Town Florence. Jen didn’t want to be in that picture this time so it was just Jesse.

My back had gone out on me last weekend and today it was still stiff and sore. Even so, I was NOT going to let this ruin our plans to go to the coast! I just took an extra Ibuprofen and slapped on the brace.

I had planned to bring a book along to read during the drive there and/or back, but the trip was so scenic, I never touched the book! I just enjoyed seeing everything! All the land, the mountains, the farms, the trees and the cliffs. We drove up a mountain to get there and it was just beautiful scenery. I looked at the towering trees on our route and told hubby I wished this was our view every day! (After seeing the coast, I wish that was our view, too!) It was also cool going through a lit tunnel.

When we finally got there, we had trouble finding a parking spot, so we had to park somewhere near the harbor. It was VERY windy!! I was glad that I brought Jesse and my jackets. It was rough terrain, though. It wasn’t so much the sand that was the problem but going up and down steep hills. My balance is not very good so I had to be careful with those. I was not looking forward to that, but my resolve was stronger than my fear. I thought ‘Challenge accepted!’ and tackled those hilly areas all the same. Sometimes I fell and sometimes I got back up okay or my husband had to help me back up. Even with a large walking stick he found for me, there were still times that I fell. But I always got back up. I made it okay. There was also sand blowing around us that it went into our mouths, eyes and ears!

We went to another, less hilly area and loved exploring there. Jen and Jesse grabbed sticks and wrote things in the sand. For a while, we were the only people there, so we had total freedom exploring the whole place ourselves. At one point, I noticed a rocky area in the far off distance, with the river behind it. I wanted to go check out that view! But it meant going over shallow areas of water and lots of mud. The ground was not very stable. I told my husband about it and he said it might not be a good idea. I’d have to go across the water, which was not very shallow, and all that mud and wet sand. My shoes would end up being pulled right off. It was dangerous. He left me there mulling over those thoughts. I REALLY wanted to go out there, but I didn’t want to fall in the water or mud. I didn’t mind getting my shoes wet and muddy – heck, been there with that rafting trip I went on with Jesse!! – but I was worried about the mud. Specifically, sinking in the mud. But then I noticed there were footprints leading that way. Footprints of other people who went across the water to that area. That did it! I decided, If they can do it, I can, too! So I gripped my walking stick and crossed the most smallest, shallowest area of the water. I had to be careful because the mud was slippery. And at one point, I really did start to sink in the mud! (Forget about sinking in quicksand, people. It’s sinking in mud you gotta worry about!) But I realized that if I kept moving, and moved quickly, I would not sink in the mud. Yes, it WAS like my shoes were being pulled off as I moved, but I kept moving, anyway! I was not going to stop. I was not going to be deterred.

And apparently, I was not going to be alone, either. I turned to see that Jesse had joined me. I looked past him to see that my husband was standing on dry land, watching us.

So Jesse and I worked together to make it across. But before we got to our destination, I noticed something in the sand and dropped my stick in astonishment. There were oyster shells all around! And clam shells, too! Wow! It was so cool! So Jesse and I gathered the oyster and clam shells that we liked best. Then we continued on our journey!

Further along the route, I was glad to be on sand again and off the mud. But … I was STILL sinking! This time in wet sand! I was astonished my feet went so deeply into the sand. I even slammed my walking stick down and it went quite a ways down into that sand! Again, I had to keep moving and going fast. I warned Jesse about the “sinking sand” and told him to keep going. Eventually, we got out of THAT and were on dry sand again. And I walked closer to where this area came to an end and met more water. We were a ways up. If I wanted to go all the way over to the wall of rocks to see the river, we would have to climb down and go over more water. That water did not look shallow, either. It looked pretty deep. So I decided we had gone far enough and would just enjoy this view. Jesse stayed on the sandy cliff to look out at the water and I took a picture of an area nearby that was circled with rocks.

Then we turned around and headed back. On the way back, Jesse fell in the water but we made it back across okay. We were not hurt. We were wet, muddy and covered with sand, but still smiling from our little adventure. It was so AWESOME! I am so glad I ignored fear and warnings and went through with it, anyway. I was stoked! I did it! I made it okay! That was just so cool.

After that, we went to Old Town Florence to walk around and visit shops. Our first stop was a bookstore called Books N Bears, and Jen went nuts over a book she found there. She actually bought two in that series. I wanted to buy a particular book but it was too pricey so I noted the title and author of the book to look for later. It was a really cool bookstore, though! When we were at one shop, the lights flickered then the power went out! We had to leave the store. All the other owners were outside of their places of business too and I figured this meant their power was out too. Jennifer listened in on what everybody was saying and she told us the whole block was without power. Still, we were able to buy saltwater taffy (something every visitor to Old Town Florence MUST get!!) and also a couple other things. I bought sea salt caramel (so good!!!) as well as some chocolate. I also wanted to buy chocolate covered bacon, but because the power was out, they could not sell it because they could not weigh the candy for pricing. Still, Jesse was able to buy himself a souvenir.

At that point, we wanted to get something to eat. We had a short lunch in the car when we arrived (Lunchables), but it was some time since then and we were hungry. But the problem was, we could not go to a restaurant there to eat at because we would be paying with our credit card, and we couldn’t do that if the power was out. So we decided to drive around and find some other place to eat. We ended up at a restaurant called Clawsons Wheelhouse. While there, I got to try oysters for the first time. That was an interesting taste! Jen tried clam chowder for the first time and loved it. I also had clam chowder. (They had really good clam chowder! When I tasted it, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this stuff is so good!!!’) I also had the salmon for dinner and it was delicious. The service there was excellent and we really enjoyed our dining experience there.

Our ride back to Eugene was just as enjoyable as it had been on our way there. I didn’t get any souvenirs but I DID have my treasures! (And the local newspaper!). That was good enough for me. Oh, and the taffy, too.

As I type this, I realize I have sand behind my ear. I had washed off when I got home but that sand is hard to get rid of. But you know what? I am okay with that. I will fall asleep tonight thinking of beachtime adventures, clashing waves, flying sand and views of a magnificent river.

Here are pictures I took from the trip (and also a couple my husband took).   

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