My adventures and mis-adventures as I travel here and there

Going Coastal

Sally and I decided today was the perfect day for a trip to the beach. I had hitched a ride to the Portland area this weekend, and I suppose it’s my little vacation before starting a summer of lab research. Anyway, I ended up at my friend Sally’s house in Laurelwood last night, a place I’d never been and now wonder why. I was entranced by the house itself, which is half of what used to be a nursing home and so has a very wide hallway, extra wide doors, and extra sinks and bathrooms in the rooms. I was also thrilled by the fact that I got to sleep in a guest bedroom with a candle burning by the mirror. I don’t even remember falling asleep, but suddenly I was waking up to sunshine. I felt so wonderful that I rolled over and went back to sleep for several hours…. Later this morning, after a wonderful and very healthy (this place might get me back on track in that area) breakfast, we set off in a westward direction. The ride to Oceanside was beautiful, as was the beach when we arrived. Sally and I left our shoes in the car and made our way across the sand, through a tunnel in the rock, and onto a rocky beach on the other side, where I had the distinct fortune of learning to find agates amongst the rocks, discarded shells, and crumbling crab bits. Sally was picking them up right and left and I was very proud of myself when I finally began to find them on my own. I found the most amazing tidbit of driftwood as well, molded into a tiny ball.

Unfortunately, the clouds persisted, making things on the beach a bit chilly, so after a delicious in-car picnic, we ended up huddled in a blanket surrounded by waving grass on a beautiful cliff overlooking a great expanse of ocean and sea stacks that jumped out of the fog descending upon the entire coast. The fog was so thick that you could see it rolling past you from a few feet away. After the sea stacks had been completely obliterated from view and we had suffered a sufficient dusting with mist droplets, we hopped back in the car to warm our feet. Driving back down the coast, we stopped in front of a cheese establishment in Tillamook to watch some people herding sheep.

“Are you trying to get them all into the pen?” asked Sally.

“Yeah, want to help?” The woman in the grey coveralls replied.

We look at each other… “Sure!” Thus began our first sheepherding experience. It was a blast. We learned a couple of things, though. #1 Sheep are dumb. #2 They don’t always want to cooperate. Oh, and we learned a third thing: Llamas are nice and can help out by doing what the sheep are supposed to do, causing the sheep to follow their example. I felt a great sense of satisfaction as soon as those critters were finally all inside the pen, ready to get sheered. When the woman invited us into the store “where it’s ‘fun’”, we kind of hoped that our efforts had earned us a coffee or chocolate, but no such luck. We did have multiple jam and mustard samples on pretzel sticks, however. I never knew so many kinds of mustard existed. Flip.

The next thing we undertook was picking up Sally’s new dog and fitting it and its giant carrier into the back of her dad’s BMW. We were sure he’d love that arrangement. The dog was super sweet. In the middle of a Christmas CD (we’d run out of other music) and an intense conversation about something extremely vital to our existence, we came upon a hitchhiker and decided to pick him up. Looking back, we suppose he could have had a knife or something (in which case we would have been screwed), but we did the 5-second character judgment evaluation and decided that #1 we could take him and #2 he was innocent looking. Seriously, he was just a kid; didn’t even have all his facial hair sprouting yet. And he happened to be going right where we were headed. We stuck him in the back with the dog on his lap (hehe) and promptly subjected him to our conversation about something else super super important.

Sally and her parents are so nice to me and are happy I’m here. Besides, they keep giving me chocolate. I’m staying another night. Hello good sleep! Tonight was finished out with the best pasta salad w/ lettuce, a sauce, and goat cheese; a nice walk with Sally’s new dog; and a Marilyn Monroe movie (slowly moving through the classics). Tomorrow’s agenda may include tennis, so I’m going to get some sleep now. Moral of the day: goat cheese is the way to go.

July 22, 2008 Posted by | United States | , , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: