The Beach in Winter

How was your Christmas?  Mine was good.  Big plans for New Year’s Eve?  Me, neither. A quiet evening at home with the husband and the cat (though there will be amazing food). And a hike tomorrow.  Which has become a bit of a NYD tradition.

Christmas was spent it down on the Oregon Coast with family.  I was delighted to discover that, though my tree was a bit smaller than usual, Dad and Mom’s did not disappoint.  It towered at 9 feet or so.  I can always count on Dad.  And, the apple doesn’t fall far from that tree.  Next year.  Next year I will test the Krinner Tree Genie XXL with a behemoth.  A tree that surpasses all trees.  Just you wait.

While in Oregon the husband and I made the short drive from my parent’s house to the actual coast.  Because, and I’ve mentioned this before, when in close proximity to a beach (any beach) the husband, born and raised in Southern Idaho, must scamper about on said beach.  It makes him happy.  I am, in most circumstances, willing to indulge him if it’s not super windy, super rainy, or super windy and rainy.  This is a thing on the Oregon coast in the winter.  And the spring.  Early summer.  Late fall.

Anyways, on Christmas Eve morning we headed to Newport, via “the bay road” (aka “the long way”).  Not our usual route, but a favorite of the husband’s.  His initial excitement quickly gave way to suspicion and, with slightly squinty eyes he asked, “This is a photography thing, isn’t it?  The only reason you want to go the bay road is because you want to take pictures.”  He saw right through me.  I countered with the fact that we were getting the best of both worlds…he, the long way…me, photographic opportunities.  He was satisfied.  Actually, I don’t think he really cared to begin with.

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As we drove west the fog began to settle in over the river.  Light at first, then with growing thickness.  Once-upon-a-time, early in my photographic journey, I wished for cloudless days when out and about.  Then I figured out how difficult bright light could be and I began to appreciate a good overcast sky.  These days, fog gets me a little excited.

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That being said, I was concerned when the fog thickened as we approached Newport.  Because I was envisioning winter sun on the beach, which can be so different from summer sun.  Winter sun is often filtered and soft.  Washed out.  Water-colored.  Beautiful to photograph.

Lucky for me, the weather didn’t disappoint.  Just as we rounded one of the final bends before town the sun broke out and the fog receded, draping over trees like a solid dollop of whipped cream.  Of course we had to stop and photograph that, too.

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We ran a couple of errands in town…a last minute gift, a trip to the liquor store…before heading over the bridge for a light lunch at Rogue Brewery.  Then it was back over the bridge and street parking at the edge of a path that wound down to the beach.

And it was a glorious winter day.

The husband has decided that he is the reason for the multitude of glorious winter days that we have experienced at the beach over the years that we’ve been together.  He may have something.

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There was a little bit of wind when we first hit the sand, but it quickly died down.  The sun was bright.  Extremely bright.  We started walking…he with no destination in mind, me thinking that we’d walk down and slap a rock at the North jetty before turning back.  Hotels lined the cliffs above us, but there were few people on the beach on that Christmas Eve afternoon.  Their loss.

It’s been years since I’ve walked the beach below Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.  Years and years.  It’s often crowded during the summer, so I take the husband to less-trodden stretches of sand.  I had forgotten the clear view of the old lighthouse from the beach.  And how, when you hit just the right place, you can see both the lighthouse and the Yaquina Bay Bridge.  We wandered down the beach and back, talking about everything and nothing, enjoying the company, enjoying the day.

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We’ll be headed back down in a few weeks to help celebrate my grandparents’ 70th wedding anniversary.  The husband will be with me…so I’m expecting sunny skies on the coast.

 

4 thoughts on “The Beach in Winter

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