Cruising the Oregon Coast

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My trip to the Oregon coast came a little as a surprise. Jacob and I knew we wanted/needed to take a real vacation away from Ottawa and our busy schedules. We had talked about Scotland, Costa Rica, Argentina, but never thought we could manage a full cross-continent trip.

On July 11th, however, two months after starting to plan our trip, we left Vancouver for Portland, and a couple of days later we were driving to the Oregon coast, not knowing what to expect.

I had never seen the Pacific Ocean and I was dying to see some whales. I wanted to taste the local food and make some meals on a wood fire next to our tent. I got all I wished for, and so much more.

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The first glimpse I got of the ocean I screamed with excitement. It was so blue and beautiful, and the whole coast looked like a gigantic beach! We drove south through small towns on Highway 101 toward Beverly Beach where we would sleep for the next 4 nights.

OregonCoast_SugarCoatedBaking_10Every town was inviting, colourful and so alive! Tourists were stopped everywhere admiring the beautiful sunset that was welcoming us. At that moment, I remember feeling like everything was at its place: Jacob and I holding hands, the windows in the car were all down and I loved feeling the fresh wind in our hair, the Pacific to our right and the forest to our left. It was an incredible feeling that lasted our entire stay in Oregon.

There is so much I could say about the time Jacob and I spent on the coast. I guess the first thing I noticed is how happy local people seemed to be. From the guy serving us our latte at the coffee shop to the owner of a souvenir shop, we were always welcomed with warmth. Jacob and I spent our days driving around, stopping, taking pictures, having the time of our lives.

OregonCoast_SugarCoatedBaking_12Everyday, I would spot some whales in the distance. You could see them coming to the surface of the water for air and going back in the cold ocean. A lot of people would also do kite surfing and traditional surfing, the wind being constant and probably perfect for those activities. We would lie on the beach for a while and watch them surf the big waves.

One of our favourite discoveries was Pacific City. We were driving without really knowing where we were going, following the coast, when we arrived in this small town of just over 1,000 people. While approaching the side of the beach, I saw some people riding horses next to the water. We made it to the next beach and stopped at BJ’s Burgers and Tacos to get some delicious tacos and burritos. We ate them looking at the ocean, sipping on homemade lemonade and daiquiris, and sitting next to two men and their dogs.

We also stopped at Moment Surf Company, a store designed for those who simply love the ocean. Everything in the store was designed to please the surfers and fit into their lifestyle. Once again, the people in Pacific City just made it so easy for us to enjoy our time there.

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The beach at Pacific City

Another great and unexpected spot was Cape Perpetua. That place was crazy! The waves were coming and going, crashing into the rocks with a huge splash. The wind was strong and the small pools of water were filled with starfish, other small fish and mollusks. Nature really is a powerful and beautiful thing.

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Jacob at Cape Perpetua

What about the food, you may wonder? Well, I indeed had a baking disaster experiment. On our second evening I decided to make a cake in our cast iron skillet and put it on the fire to bake. As this was my first time making a cake on the campfire, I have to admit that I didn’t know what I was doing. My strawberry clafouti ended up burned on the outside, raw in the middle, and tasted like burnt wood. Jacob cursed about it for two days before he could finally get rid of the last pieces of the burned cake from the skillet. But I learned a lot about making cake while camping! Next time it will be a success. Hopefully.

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Overall, our time on the Oregon coast was amazing. Against all odds, we didn’t have a single day of rain – in fact it was sunny and beautiful everyday, something that doesn’t occur often on the coast, a local would tell us on our third day.

The fifth morning, with a heavy heart Jacob and I packed our gear at 4:30 a.m. and started driving toward Montana, another place that would take my breath away. But that story is for another time.

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All the pictures in this blog post are from the talented Jacob Fergus.

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