Along the Oregon Coast

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Today I’m thinking about the Oregon Coast. And I’m thinking about blue skies and sun. Perhaps a few colorful kites floating lazily in the sky, their long tails whipping in the breeze. Some kids playing in the sand, a few beachcombers, surfers, a sandboarder, the ever-present lovers and people under umbrellas smearing on lotion.

The fickle Oregon weather can just as easily change to storm clouds though, with gale force winds and pounding surf, but that won’t prevent an Oregonian from exploring all the wonders that abound.

It’s true the Oregon Coast has it all. I recently drove along Highway 101 and marveled at the diverse landscape – massive evergreens (even a few redwoods left), high cliffs, rocky shores, public parks, private homes, sand dunes, pristine sandy beaches, bays, harbors, bridges, marshes, estuaries, meadows, farmlands, sparkling surf, scrubby brush, grasses, wildflowers, wildlife and exquisite sunsets – each along its own stretch. Amazingly the entire 362 miles is public shoreline, thanks to a bill passed in 1967.

Along the way, from Brookings to Astoria, I found small town charm, abundant seafood eateries, museums, galleries, historic sites, an aquarium, distinctive shopping, a few festivals and other interesting places to visit and lodge for the night.

I made it a point to pull over at every breathtaking vista and follow the roads to distant beaches and a long list of lighthouse viewings. I was never disappointed. Every national forest and state park (more than 80) along the way were filled with abundant recreational activities and a plethora of campgrounds, hiking trails and fishing locales.

I’m one of those people that always gets a thrill from the first sighting of the beach every time I go. I’ve somehow managed to keep that wonder I had as a child on my first visit to the beach. I have a photo of my son, at about two, holding a pail and shovel, looking out at the distant horizon with that same awe on his face.

The ocean calls to us from an ancient place. And its a reminder we’re like a speck of sand. But everything that’s big is also small ~ somewhere ~ it’s all relative.

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