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Bulleted for your painless ingestion

Went last we spoke, I was hurriedly throwing towels, CD’s, and too many pairs of pants into a duffel, preparing to charge south on I5. Marta picked me up around 10:30 and, after a little more fussing on my part (I like to be prepared for anything, even if that something requires three different pairs of shoes), pointed the nose of her ’89 Golf towards the onramp. In Portland, we stayed the night with Jenn and her boy Kirby, a very well-mannered computer nerd, then in the morning loaded the gear and drove to the beach. I won’t try to find appropriate adjectives for the trip; I’ll just say that I was very, very happy during most all of it and pleasantly sleepy for the remainder. Some snapshots:

  • After taking stock of our food situation near Olympia, Marta and I concluded that we would have to survive the next two days on two carrots, four oranges, and three packets of Lipton instant soup. We brought this fact up roughly three dozen times over those two days, even after buying more food than we knew what to do with.
  • People in Oregon are too friendly, and they don’t know how to drive. Stuck behind an endless line of station wagons driving exactly the speed limit, at the first break in the yellow line we would pass in a roaring cloud of diesel, shouting slurs and making obscene gestures, only to be greeted by a friendly smile and wan little “thank you” wave. Alright, this never happened, but Oregonians seriously need to learn to speed.
  • Our campsite, an hour or so south of Canon Beach, was a lush navel in the earth. Even having grown up among old-growth rainforests, their beauty strikes me every time I visit one – everything is green and verdant, and the rich, damp smells that permeate the air set me at ease. A five-minute walk away from our tents was a quarter-mile stretch of Pacific beach, framed on both sides by rugged cliffs. The sand flat creeps for hundreds of yards out of the waves, and we found anemones, sea stars, and tiny little fish in tide pools near the rockier bits.
  • Canon Beach is home to Haystack Rock, the largest of the three that Mikey uses to find One-Eyed Willy’s treasure in The Goonies. Yes, I am so saturated with pop culture that this was my first thought upon seeing it. We foolishly left a package of cookies on our blankets as we walked for a closer look at said rock, and shortly after we started back I noticed a flock of around twenty seagulls wheeling around the prize. I sprinted back and chased them off, but they’re pretty tough for lower life forms. Even after I sat on the blankets, clutching the cookies to my bosom, the birds ringed me ten feet away, coldly appraising me with their hard black eyes. I started to wish Jenn and the others would return so that primate body-mass would once more be in the majority.
  • Later in the day we parked closer to the Rock so we could explore it (it’s connected to the beach at low tide), only to be repelled by a sign saying “NO CLIMBING! DO NOT GO BEYOND THIS SIGN! DO NOT DISTURB WILDLIFE!” Of course we disobeyed it on all three counts, playing with the critters in the salty puddles and scaling one of the lower peaks. In Jenn’s words, “Don’t go beyond this sign unless you want to have lots of fun.”
  • It poured rain on our campsite in the early hours of Wednesday. Marta and I, in the green Timberline A-frame generously donated by my father, were high and dry, but Jenn and Kirby, crammed like sardines into the low-slung bivouac Marta brought, got soaked. Shouting between the tents in the morning, Jenn revealed that “Wild Waves has been rerouted right under our tent.” We were literally wringing liters of water out of blankets and sleeping bags, and Marta and I all the while nursed a nagging guilt about being the dry ones. Of course, the night before we had offered to give them the good tent, an offer they declined. Suckers!
  • On the drive back we took a detour to Seaside, a quaint little capitalist machine that must rake in millions of tourist dollars. I fell prey to their ploy, coughing up cash for salt-water taffy. I don’t even really like taffy that much, but they had so many flavors, and they were all so pretty! I avoided buying a colorful kite big enough to pull a semi, but just barely.
  • Don’t you just love when I write in bullets, rather than real prose? It saves me the effort of connecting my random thoughts, and the little dot preceding each one lends it an air of authority, as if you were digesting facts rather than my own lunatic opinions. I hope you weren’t fooled. I’ve poisoned enough minds this month already.

    Posted in Musings.


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