I feel like the “getting ready” portion of this trip is exceptionally long. There is never a day that someone doesn’t ask me about the trip, how the planning is going, what are you actually doing, all the while with faces of either confusion or awe. This trip is being put on a pedestal and I’m not sure how it got there.
This past weekend I was lucky enough to get out of the city with my good friend Maren, with the intent of taking the van on one last mini-trip. Working out the kinks, figuring out what the final repairs need to be and while I was driving I was overwhelmed by waves of what is about to happen. I am moving into this car alone.
I am leaving my life behind, to drive around a country in search of something I can’t even name.
And as we were driving down the Oregon coast, taking photos of each other, the van, the surf I realized that moments like this are what I’m looking for. Sharing something. Showing someone a side of life that might seem inaccessible.
We left Seattle Friday morning, after a somewhat tenuous send off that included the van not being finished with repairs up until the minute we left, we drove south out of the city and towards Astoria. Maren and I have been friends for some time but this was our first real trip together, basically a first friend date.
We drove across the wide open Columbia River towards Astoria and were amazed by this small port town with an amazing bridge that sits on the Washington/Oregon border. As we were driving south we noticed many quaint signs for oysters along the side of the road. Maren being from the south, and me just liking oysters, we were excited to find some local dive.
We made our way into Seaside, Oregon we found the best oysters we had on the trip (we had a few oyster stops). Bell Buoy of Seaside was a wonderful place to stop and buy a dozen oysters for $8.00- I repeat 12 oysters for $8.00. Now call me a city girl, but oysters in Seattle are about $3 for one, needless to say the stoke was high.
We made our way to Ocean Vista drive, which we were told (by the very sassy and informed sales woman at Bell Buoy) that this was the spot to go. It had surfers, it had sun, and more importantly it had parking. Where upon we feasted on our riches with horseradish, lemon, wine and fantastic conversation that you only have when on the road. When you’re able to cut through the bullshit of planning, and Google calendars, and happy hours- that’s when we get into the good stuff.
In total our meal cost us about $15 with the cheap wine we bought. A great example of an epic road meal for little to no money.
After leaving Seaside we realized we should find a place to cook a bit more of a substantial dinner and camp for the night. We made our way to Ebola Lookout (a more awful name I never heard), where we popped the top and looked out at the most “photographed” lookout on the Oregon coast. We made pesto chicken pasta and gazed over the Pacific ocean, and once again were reminded that we are living the story right now- in this moment.
When it came time for sleeping we rolled our way down the mountain and found a lovely residential street that was quiet and right on the beach. We walked along the beach and noticed that others were lighting small fires, so we promptly grabbed some drift wood and fire started and attempted* (being the key word) to start a fire. Upon returning to the car we made our way to bed, only to be awoken at 4:30 am by the vigilant and relentless Seaside police.
Now after living in a car in New Zealand for a year, taking Penny to Yosemite, and Whistler over New Years this was the first time I have ever been woken up and told to move. The police officer informed us that there was a “No camping” policy within the town which included sleeping in one's car. Good to know. In all fairness he was the best cop to have during this situation, he didn’t give us a ticket and he actually told us of a place we could move our car to sleep for the remaining 2 hours of darkness. We moved our car to the allocated spot, which he also said he would “keep a look out for us for the rest of the night” and fell back asleep as best we could.
Overall a total gem as far as cops go.
The next morning we awoke, made our way back to Ebola lookout to have breakfast (some people just never learn) where we feasted on blueberries, oatmeal, and yogurt. We wandered around Crescent City that afternoon, tasting distillery and brewery as we went and found our way towards Pacific City.
The Oregon Coast is an amazing place where not having a plan is the plan. On the way to Pacific City we stopped by various oyster shops, got lost on the Three Cape Scenic lookout and somehow found our way onto the beach. After the debacle of sleeping the night before we decided to park ourselves in a campground for the night. We feasted on baby back ribs that I cooked over the fire and one of my camp favorites- cinnamon buns cooked in oranges. You scrape out the interior of the orange and place the pre-made cinnamon bun in the orange, wrap it in tinfoil and throw it in the embers. The orange acts as a mini oven and protect the pastry from the flames resulting in orange flavored cinnamon buns. It’s really a win win.
The next morning Maren and I sadly began meandering back up the coast, taking small roads and getting lost along the way. Now as I sit here recapping this modest two day trip I am once again overwhelmed with the task in front of me, mainly this generous glass of wine I poured for myself. But also overwhelmed with documenting this trip, keeping track of the places, but not losing the moments. Putting down the camera but also finding a way to share my experiences.
There’s a lot to do in a short amount of time and I have no idea how this going to happen.
Listening to: Divenire- Ludovico Einuadi
Stop by: Bell Buoy for Oysters and then Drive down Avenue U- turn left on any of those streets and go to the cove where the surfers hang to eat your oysters (this was literally how it was described to us)
Drink: Crescent City Distillery- they create all of their liquors on site in a room that’s barely larger than my apartment, so while I have a hard time finding a place to put all my shoes, these guys are making 6 different types of liquor...
See: Ebola Lookout - it is worth it
Drive: Tierra del Mar- you can’t sleep on the beach but you can drive your car on the beach