Friday, September 17, 2010

where to start?

since this is my first post since arriving home from an incredibly wonderful trip to oregon, i want to share some of what i saw and experienced. that is not an incredibly profound statement, but it is, simply put, precisely what i will do...for since i came home, i have come to the conclusion that there is definitely something to be said for being in the wilderness..or on the beach...!
but aaahhh yes...the trip! first and foremost, it was absolutely wonderful to go on this trip with my dad, to have 2 weeks to spend with my brother and his meet their exchange student from brazil, gabriel...if we had done nothing this entire trip but spend time with them, it still would've been a tremendously wonderful time. when you're growing up with someone, be it brothers or sisters, you don't see as children the same things in them you see as adults. having visited now with my sister and her family in maine last year and my brother and his family in oregon this year, i can tell you...i love the adults these two have become (they are both younger than i)....i love spending time with them, i love their families...and i want to do it again and again and again!! thank you both for hosting us so graciously in your home.
let me tell you this....if you have never visited the oregon coast, please make tracks, as we say in the south, which is to say go there quickly and in haste. it is beyond beautiful, ever-so-peaceful, with wonderful little towns and terrific places to eat!!
for the majority of our trip, dad and i were in coquille, which is near coos bay...which is near the southern coast of oregon. it is a small town...very quiet...very comfortable. when we went "to town" however, we went to coos bay. there, i had the best pesto chicken sandwich i have ever eaten...and if you travel there, please try it! kafe 101 is the name of the place. my brother had the cream of tomato basil soup, which he so graciously let me sample...yum!
we visited shore acres park on the cliffs of the oregon coast, looking out into the pacific, where we saw a whale...and sea lions...and walking through the park, we saw beautiful flower gardens.
we visited the local farmers market on wednesday...and it was such a good find that we returned the next wednesday! we bought breads..several different kinds...again, if you go, try the breads from empire cafe...outstanding! there were so many fresh fruit and vegetable vendors...we got corn and eggplant and fruit at terrific prices... and they were delicious!! there were flower vendors and those selling nuts and jerky (buffalo, elk, bear, deer). and another wonderful treasure i found...a gentleman selling wind chimes he'd made from driftwood and fused glass that were absolutely gorgeous and made the most appealing sound....yes, of course, i had to bring some home! they are on the porch now...and in the gentle breeze they sing happy little songs to help me remember. we walked through the streets, in and out of an antique shop, to the waterfront...taking pictures.
there was only one rainy day and i spent the majority of it reading and drinking some of the wonderful coffee my brother makes.
we walked on the beach at whiskey run...there were stones and driftwood and shells (and yes, some of each made their way home with me!) and sea plants that had washed was a gloriously warm and sunny day with very little wind...perfect. i read in the paper while i was there that a humpback whale had washed up just north of there but we didn't go see. i went with my sister-in-law and the teenagers to eugene for a day on a shopping trip...found some great bargains and gifts to bring home. the ride there was 2 hrs and along the way we rode beside the river...we saw elk in the fields....we passed through other small towns.
we went to my nephew's first high school football game...and they won...go coquille red devils!!!
we spent saturday walking through the redwood forest at jedediah smith national park. such trees you cannot imagine!!! the coolness of the forest...the floor of which was covered with ferns. i stood at the base of tree after tree and leaned my head so far back in order to take a picture, i thought i would tumble backwards...but it was still impossible to capture the magnificance and size of those trees. if you haven't seen the redwoods, you should add it to your list of things to see before you leave this earth!
we traveled to gold beach, home of my sister-in-law's parents for a visit. it is such a great little town....also home of jerry's rogue jets, which is what we did the last day we were there...rode the jetboat up the rogue river 40 miles...through canyons and whitewater...past fishermen casting their lines for salmon and possibly sturgeon. and although i didn't get to see a bear by the river ( i really was secretly hoping!) i was not disappointed by the wildlife. a mink, heron, a family river otters, harbor seals, deer, ducks, cormorant, osprey, and a bald eagle. we were so far into the wilderness that our river guide told us there were parts of the river where, if you saw a home, you had to reach it only by river as no roads were there...can you imagine!? and there are parts of the river we did not travel to, as it's designation as a wild and scenic river requires special permits for travel. it is a breath-taking area...another to add to your list...go...make tracks!! :) and while you're there, have lunch at lucas lodge...the boat drops you off for about an hour, you follow the road through the woods up to the lodge, have a leisurely, scrumptious lunch of fried chicken, mashed potatoes with the best gravy ever...fresh vegetables (ours was squash)...homemade biscuits...yummmmm!
and when you get back to town, be sure to spend at least one evening on the beach watching the sun is spectacular!
i must add....i am a seafood lover...oh yes i am!! let me tell you this...i was extremely pleased with each and every mouthful of seafood i tasted while in oregon....and i did sample quite a few....the breading was very light, not greasy at all...ling cod, salmon, clams, crabmeat, fish and chips...and the best, hands down, the absolute best clam chowder i've tasted. where to eat when you go? well...fisherman's grotto, charleston, oregon for starters...or you can try captains choice in north bend...or colleen's if you happen to be in coquille...or the crazy norwegian on the coast between gold beach and bandon...and oh yes...bandon...go there, too! the waterfront, the historic part...all the little shops..and a great bakery that i can't remember the name of...but if you go, get the cinnamon swirl bread...that and a cup of coffee and you're ready to greet the day!!
and what did i learn on this trip? that there is a fortune to be made in my part of the country if someone with some cash will begin to put up coffee stands like the ones in oregon!! i'm talking gooooood coffee!!! the human bean, dutch brothers, etc....people were lined up at these coffee drive-thru places, paying out the wahoo for this wonderful coffee...and we don't have them here...what's up with that?! i also learned that someone in the pacific northwest with the cash backing needs...NEEDS, i tell establish a chick-fil-a, for there are none to be had. and this: at the places i ate seafood, the tartar sauce is much different than what i am used to here in the south....not so heavy, not so thick...with a dill base instead of a pickle base..and it is good stuff! i learned that i want to take my children and my son-in-law and grandchildren to this place because it is impossible to describe it to they must experience it! and i learned that i can be very happy deep in the wilderness, watching the river and listening to the wind....or on the beach watching the waves, walking, looking for treasures from the sea. i ran ahead to see beautiful things...then looked back where i'd been and saw all depends on your perspective....but it's out there, beauty is...

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