I’ve been to a lot of places with natural beauty on this trip, but the Oregon coast is truly beautiful. Not just beautiful, but more-so-with-every-turn kind of beautiful.
Green and lush at the top. Drier at the bottom. Spectacular vistas await you at every turn.
Amazing nature even on the small scale.
And it smells good. From the pine scent of the forests, to the fresh-ground-pepper smell of the low lake marshes. Flowers abound, both wild, and carefully cultivated.
That’s not smoke coming off the Saab – it’s morning mist.
People are friendly (even at PDX airport security). The abundant hippy hobos are polite in their panhandling (and probably a bit stoned). The supermarket check-out clerks seem over-educated. People look you in the eye.
At first, I thought it might be nostalgia-colored glasses that made me adore the Oregon coast so much. I spent a few weeks every summer of my childhood and adolescence here, and visited most years since. Grandma’s house (and grandma herself) is just as I remember from my 9th birthday.
I think the butter from her fridge may actually be from my 9th birthday.
It’s a place I can step back in time and see the stomping grounds and handiwork of my forefathers.
But it’s really much more than that.
I feel calmer with an ocean close on the western side. I like air I can breathe. I like a cool ocean breeze, and a state that had the foresight to freeze coastal development 40 years ago. What other state cherishes its coast enough to put pull-outs for viewing every half mile? Where else can you walk along a shore without being bombarded with a carnival-like atmosphere, casinos, funnel cakes and trash?
I have not seen a piece of trash on the beach yet.
I know it rains 9 of 10 days. I know it’s cold most of the time. I know there’s virtually nothing for a classically-trained bass player to do here for a living. But someday. Someday, I want to call this home.