First stop: Cape Lookout State Park
Highway 101 hugs the coastline, an elegant, view-packed route.
We're heading into one of Oregon's beautiful coastal state parks on a Friday to stay a couple days. See Cape Lookout toward the bottom?
It's a stunning sunset.
Next day dawns bright and warm in the mid-70s, a cloudless sky and a kiss of a breeze on the water's edge, where we spent a long day.
This guy was fishing for surf perch, with some luck.
Parked next to us in camp was a grieving family. We had some good conversations with a most friendly guy whose sister had died. He and his siblings plus the nieces and nephews all gathered for a couple days of campfires, surfing, and tenderness. The sadness was palpable, their time together precious, we could tell. You never know what stories you'll hear in a campground.
A rich sunset before a blazing campfire. We're so happy to be here.
Next day, we headed north to Nehalem Bay State Park
Driving either direction on this coast is clearly a passenger's delight (the driver not so much).
On our way, we passed through tiny Oceanside, population 326, whose vertical perch...
A brief southern exposure as we turn around to continue north.
Just a few towns up we reach Nehalem Bay State Park, where camp host Ruth and her husband take care of campers' needs, selling wood for campfires, answering questions, and the like. Ruth's husband accused her of breaking the speed limit in her camp cart, and I asked her about it.
"Hell," she said, "I'm lucky if I can get that thing up to 5 mph."
Low evergreens provide nice screens here.
If you're not the camping type, you can rent a yurt, though I'm prepared to admit some of you might still consider this camping.
We're ready for a beach walk and we're set up just across from the access path.
A reminder that our world is ineluctably connected, though this beach was spotless.
The tsunami logo is...what? Perfect?
The beach path climbs steadily up a very healthy dune...
Can't get enough of this Oregon shoreline. Storm's a comin.'
After our walk, time to light the campfire.