Rest quietly. I just got back from the Oregon Coast, and the Pacific Ocean is still there. Not everything goes away or too expensive to enjoy.
Do you have wind? The wind is free there too. I’m still pulling hair out of my teeth. It was a pleasant moment.
We hit Bandon between thunderstorms so other than the ice blasts it was enjoyable. I remembered my hat, my gloves and my warm jacket with hood – all black. I didn’t realize I looked like a harbor seal until I saw people at the beach with their telescopes pointed at me.
Boy, were they disappointed when I waved a regular hand instead of a flipper.
We stayed at the Table Rock Motel, a favorite. The location is great, close to Face Rock and Bandon Beach. The managing sisters, Doreen and Rachel, are simply the best. They rewarded us for not taking a shower.
I can explain. After trying her shower, Lane informed me that the motel obviously had no hot water. When we mentioned it to the office later, we learned that the fault was due to an errant propane delivery man not filling both tanks. Later, I found a message on my phone offering us free materials for the inconvenience.
I happily accepted a Table Rock hoodie, which I wear proudly. Lane wondered if he could have a piece of petrified wood he had spotted near the desk. When asked, the office lady clarified that the landscaping was not included in the offer. He took a T-shirt.
Two beaches beckoned us to stroll their rocky, undulating offerings – China Creek and Bandon Beach, which has the most stunning sea stacks and tide pools. Meander we did.
China Creek Beach challenged my balance chops as we clambered over a pile of flared driftwood to cross the creek and hit the sand. If there was an easier way, we missed it. Lane scoured the area for petrified wood, but also took the time to take a fresh look at the landscape for future artwork.
For breakfast, we tried a new place in Old Town – Shoestring Café, where Rick, the owner, is a one-man show. Open for breakfast and lunch only, never on weekends; he cooks, cleans and talks about what you want in your frittata while making it.
We collected our breakfasts from the counter, still sizzling in the cast iron pans in which they were cooked. Fresh and delicious.
We delivered three of Lane’s new paintings to Second Street Gallery and visited owner Carrie Kreutzer. She said they were lively and expects things to pick up speed as summer temperatures rise inland.
After red snapper tacos and a glass of wine at Foley’s Irish Pub (yes, I know it wasn’t Guinness, but we drank it from the cupboard with an Irish accent), we walked to Cranberry Sweets, where everything was hilarious. (Maybe it was the wine that was laughing.)
No trip to Bandon is complete without a visit to the Coastal Mist Chocolate Factory, where none of our purchases made it past the bench outside.
OK, so we ate quite a bit.
Isn’t that what people do on vacation? It looks like we had just finished lunch and then started making dinner reservations, hoping we would be hungry in time. Two restaurants are exceptional in their breakers – Edgewaters, especially if you’re lucky to have Rachel as your waitress, and Lord Bennett’s, where Angela took great care of us. She was a commercial fisherman and enjoyed spending several days at sea.
A buddy and I thought we’d like to do this when we were 18. I just watched Jacques Cousteau documentaries and sang: “Aye, Calypso, I sing to your spirit!” I liked to imitate the way Jacques said “frigate” with a French accent.
Driving Highway 42 from Bandon to Coquille and back is pure magic. The Coquille River and its lush vegetation make driving difficult. Next, we reach the historic Coquille Broiler Restaurant and Lounge, where our server, Lisa, sang along to country music and served us lunch.
I will now rekindle a strained relationship with the Omega diet.
Peggy Dover is a freelance writer/writer. Contact her at [email protected]