We went to Oregon this weekend to visit my family. It was a short visit, down on Friday back today. It had been too long since I had seen the grandparents and I needed a hit. We had family dinner last night at Dad and Mom’s, which is always a treat. I’ll tell you about my dad, who is an amazing cook, in a later post. Anyways, all-in-all a good visit. Too short, but good.
We awoke to rain yesterday morning. They’ve been having an exceptionally early spring, too, with beautiful weather. But, we head to the coast and the heavens open up. A disappointment to the husband.
The husband is from Idaho. He grew up in southern ID, flat and full of taters.
I grew up a short drive from the ocean. You may think this means that my family spent every weekend at the beach. That’s the assumption of most who live inland. Not so. See, a strange thing can happen when you grow up near the beach. You don’t go there. The response of most locals? “The beach? Nah, we don’t go there…that’s where all of the tourists go.” And there’s a certain legitimacy to that complaint? statement? Have you been to the Oregon coast in the summer? Or any coastal area in the summer? It’s a bit of a madhouse. It’s all fun and games when you’re on vacation, but living there in “high season” can be….trying. The husband and I sometimes struggle similarly with our beloved Mt. Rainier–we love to hike but finding peace on a trail in high summer can be a challenge.
So, coastal Oregonian married desert Idahodian. Do you know what is on the top of the husbands “must do” list every time we go to OR? He wants to scamper on the beach. Now, I have gained an appreciation for the beach over the years. And stick me on a tropical beach where I can snorkel and I am one happy camper. But I also tend to be a fair weather beach goer. If it’s raining, misting, drizzling or dripping I’d prefer not to go. If the wind is blowing at gale force levels…I’m definitely out.
Now, I must admit that the husband seems to have some sort of weird beach weather mojo about him. There have been many a November, January, March where we have gone to the beach and the weather has been beautiful.
Unfortunately, the husband’s mojo failed us this weekend. We drove to the coast from Dad and Mom’s in some pretty persistent rain. We had determined that our national park annual pass would get us out to Yaquina Head Lighthouse for free, so that was our destination. He wondered, in our almost 7 years of marriage, why I’d never taken him there. I had to explain another coastal eccentricity of mine.
Up through my high school years the road to Yaquina Head Lighthouse was gravel. I don’t know if there was even a sign out on Hwy 101. What was cool about that was that not many went out there during the day and even less at night. It was a great place for stargazing. Then they paved the road, built a visitors center, put up a gate (you can no longer go out there at night), put big signs on Hwy 101 and charge you to go out there. Still chaps my hide.
Needless to say, there weren’t many people out there yesterday. I suspect it’s because the wind was blowing the rain sideways. Even the husband decided he didn’t want to to to the beach after walking around the lighthouse for a very short period of time. I managed to take a few pictures, though the rain kept spattering the lens.
Back in the car we looked at each other. Obviously the beach was out. So I spoke his other favorite Oregon coast words, “Wanna go to Rogue?” Rogue Brewery, that is. He nodded eagerly so off we went.
I’m not much of a beer person, though I do like Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown. It’s tasty. I was going to just get a pint of that, but they had a spring pumpkin and a couple of ciders on the menu, so I tried a sampler. It was pretty to look at, but I should have just done the pumpkin. After a light lunch and libation we headed back over the hill to Dad and Mom’s to await the arrival of assorted relatives. And a good time was had by all….
Oh, and I picked up a crepe pan this weekend. Can’t wait to try my hand at crepes!
How about you? Live anywhere that struggles with an explosion of tourists during certain times of the year? Love it or hate it? Why?