Tag Archives: Pacific Ocean

A beach in winter

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Tuesday, 28-Dec-2021


My friend Mike came to visit!

It’s been a while since I’ve seen him – Back over spring break, if I’m remembering correctly, and I was super psyched to hear that he’d have some free time over Christmas to come up to Oregon and visit. I came up with tons of plans – keeping in mind that weather would be a pretty major contributing factor to what trouble we got into.

Without giving a full blow-by-blow of the adventure, I’ll fill you in on a snapshot of the conditions we found ourselves in: The world was burning down (or rampantly infected, more accurately) with the Omicron variant of COVID. Mt. Hood was getting belted with a full-power winter snowstorm. The roads between Mike and I were similarly under a snowy assault. And, to top it all off, both of us were pretty well burned out from the rest of the adventures of the year.

So what do you do when the whole world seems a little bit crazy?

Go to the beach! Duh.




“But Ben! Those are pictures of snow! That’s not the beach!”

“Right you are, other Ben! For you see… Mt. Hood and Mt. Shasta weren’t the only places getting pummeled with persistent precipitation! The roads to the beach were also under snow!”

But hey. We’re two New England boys, in Mike’s car with brand new snow tires. We got to the beach without any difficulty or fuss.



Once at the beach, we grabbed some lunch at a local Brewery before walking said lunch off exploring the coastline.

Have I mentioned that Oregon is beautiful?

Let me reiterate that fact:

Oregon.
Is.
Beautiful.

The walk was perfect – for me, at least, but I’m pretty confident that it was exactly what both of us needed. Low-Key, relaxed conversation. With a gorgeous background.



And no – I’m not going to transcribe everything we talked about. Because that would be crazy. And, while I’m absolutely crazy, I’m thankfully not that kind of crazy.

Though… Maybe someday we’ll start a podcast or something. Pretty sure our crazy would sell pretty well. Maybe.

For now – Enjoy a few interesting signs that we saw before the final installment on the day’s adventure!




**CONTENT WARNING**

***BUG AHEAD***

****WE WENT TO RED LOBSTER ON THE DRIVE BACK****

(I didn’t even know we had Red Lobster, to be honest. Many thanks to Mike for introducing me to Maine Lobsters in Oregon!)

A drive to Hobbits – A beach day

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Saturday, 24-July-2021



I had a gloriously lazy weekend.

Had a gloriously lazy morning, too!


Around 3:00pm though, I started getting antsy and felt the need to go and get out of town. Kinda too late to do that, though, since I’d get back after midnight.

So, obviously, I jumped in the car and started driving out of town. Man, it’s a Saturday. Who cares it I get home after midnight??



My target was Hobbit Beach – I’d been there once or twice before, and the timing today was just right that I would be arriving a bit before sunset. I packed my book and some snacks, and planned on hanging out and watching / photographing the sun dipping below the horizon.

Of course, it was completely cloud-covered as I drove… but I’ve been around the block enough to know that if you don’t like the weather or conditions, then just wait 20min and it’ll change completely. Since I had a 3-hour drive ahead of me, I wasn’t particularly concerned about the weather – there’s no way it would be remotely similar once I arrived, so the best thing to do was just put the top down on the car, crank some music, and charge ahead toward the Pacific.


I was right, of course.



As I got closer and closer to the coast, the clouds thickened and the temperature dropped. It got darker, colder, and windier. I started considering ways to keep my dumb tee-shirt clad self warm; ways including wrapping my emergency blanket around me like a kilt, or using the self-heating ration pack in my trunk as a body warmer.

I mean, I could have stopped at a store for a sweater, or I could have given up, but… come on now. You know me better than that, right?



By the time I got to the trailhead, I’d already seen a massive shift in the conditions. It was warmer, the clouds had split to let the sun through, and any traces of traffic had been left far behind.

Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t actually warm yet… it was warmer, but still conditions where I debated lugging along the nice fleece blanket that I keep in the trunk.

I didn’t, though, and instead kept my warm hat on my head and promised myself I’d move quickly. Holding to that promise found me on the beach lickity-split, gazing in wonder at the clouds scraping over the coastal peaks to catch the red light of the sunset.



The wind was intense, and I was definitely not a particularly cozy camper… but thankfully I ran into a bit of luck, meeting a family who were quite cozy around their beach campfire. I don’t know the exact legalese for having a bonfire on the coast, but I’ll fully admit to being quite happy when they welcomed me to their fire circle and chatted with me as I warmed up my hands and toes (since I was barefoot, as I’m pretty confident that it is illegal to wear shoes on the beach).


I explored, took photos, debated re-warming myself by the fire, decided against it, and then headed back to the car after the sun had dipped down and I couldn’t quite feel my fingers anymore.



It was an excellent escape from town… and I even made it back home within 30min of midnight, if I recall correctly. I’ll take it all as an absolute win.

A hike to the Coast! The return of Cape Falcon!

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Sunday, 28-Feb-2021



The last few weekends, I’ve been up in the mountains. Snow, cold weather, beautifully crisp air… I love it.

Sometimes, we need a change of scenery though – Sticking with the theme of the weekend, I was hiking with a friend today, and she’d gotten into a crash while snowboarding back on Friday… so she wasn’t quite feeling like hanging out in the snow, which is rather understandable after cracking your helmet after flying through a whiteout.

We went in the other direction, trading cold snow and crisp air for warm breezes and salt spray!

Falcon’s Crest is a fairly short hike, with a surprising amount of mud in that short hike… but it’s a beautiful few miles, with light elevation gain and excellent views. The trees are covered in Moss, the forest is lush and green throughout the year… and while you can’t quite smell the sea air, you can still somehow sense that the ocean is nearby. Maybe it’s the subtle noise of the breakers, or the salt tint to the breeze… I couldn’t quite put a finger on it, but it’s still always an amazing feeling.

We hiked in, avoided as much mud as we could, and enjoyed a nice snack out on the point overlooking the waves.

We hiked back, rested for a while on a bench by the beach, and watched the surfers rock the breaking waves. Having Aliona along, I got to learn quite a bit about the surfers… or more accurately, the waves that they were chasing. That’s what I love about meeting new people, and spending time with friends – you can always learn more about something, if you have someone along for the ride to talk to.

Every activity has such surprising depth to it, and I truly love getting to learn the intricacies behind why people are doing what they’re doing.

After beach-gazing for a while, we headed back to the parking lot for a quick snack before driving back to town – Aliona pulled out a full camp cooking kitchen from the back of her car, and I got to enjoy a rather amazing late-lunch of indian-spiced ramen noodles. Not something I’ve ever thought to try, but it was gloriously delicious – smooth, spicy… an excellent end to a beautifully salt-sprayed day!