It’s been a few days, how are you doing?
We are really feeling the trade winds and the effects of the tides on the heart of our adventure. First let’s catch up. When we last checked in we had just arrived in the capitol city of Washington – Olympia. We visited the state capitol building – which is beautiful, we toured surrounding suburbs (so very not beautiful) and spent time watching the harbor boats from a really great seafood place we found. If I don’t seem terribly enthused it may be that it was hot, Hot, HOT in Olympia. Our hotel room faced west and the afternoon sun just blazed away at the windows. The street level was even hotter. While the downtown area was super interesting and the farmers’ market was out of this world, overall, we just don’t think that it’s for us.
From Olympia, we headed on to Astoria. To get to Astoria we drove down the Washington coast and stopped in Longbeach and then Westport. Just in case you did not know (and why would you?) Longbeach, Washington is home to the world’s largest frying pan! As we explored these little towns the mist was coming off the sea, the wind blew hard and the temperature dropped . . . significantly. It was really nice.
By the time we arrived in Astoria is was windy and nearly cold. Here is where we started to re-think a few things. In Astoria, we stayed in a hotel right on the harbor and were surrounded by all manner of boats. We went to the Astoria Column, and we might have called the whole journey off and stayed right then, except . . . there are no damn rentals. We talked to a number of people and looked around and there was squat available. We took part of a day and went to Seaside (about half an hour south). Seaside is a fun touristy little berg. Lots of “shoppes.” Here we went down to the ocean and for the first time on this trip, really took it all in. And right there with the full majesty of the Pacific Ocean before me, I came unhinged. I cried and cried.
All of the sudden I did not know what we were doing. It became clear that there is a very high possibility that we are going to have to give up our cats in order to rent anywhere. Our whole itinerary of exploration no longer made any sense to me. The gray and tumultuous ocean was hammering the shore and my cheeks were burning from wind and sand and tears. There was so much confusion and anger and fear. I think that if I had still been hot like I was in Olympia I might have just walked out into the ocean and called it a day
Cody and I drove quietly back to Astoria, sat down and really talked through what we want and exactly what the f*** we are doing. It was a really good. When we started out in Missoula (elevation 3,209 ft) the road ahead seemed clear. We were following a treasure map to our own future. There, on the beach in Seaside (at sea level) the view was much less obvious. Those trade winds have shifted and we know a few things in a different way now.
We want to be on or near the ocean. We will probably have to part with our cats. Rentals on the northern Oregon coast are nearly nonexistent. It is so much harder to truly know what we want than it is to say what we want – because they are not exactly the same. Whatever we do, the choices we make, it will be together. That is a huge relief, crying on the beach I could not imagine what might come. This is hard and exhausting. It is made easier by the incredible natural environment for sure. Change is not easy (that is way oversimplified) we are finding however that our attitudes are key. We made this leap and now what we need to trust in is not some idea of fate or destiny, but rather just each other.
Today was a good day. We have reworked our itinerary in a way that best serves us both together rather than parts for each of us. We continued on south and stopped again in Seaside, today the sun was out. We went to the aquarium and fed bits of fish to seals and once again soaked our feet in the ocean. The sun on our faces and the warm sand on our feet was absolutely invigorating.
We also stopped today in Cannon Beach and Manzanita. We drove through Tillamook and on to Lincoln City where we are tonight. Our hotel room here is right on the beach. We played in the water and watched the waves from our balcony. We can see the tide come in from our bed. In a couple of days, we’ll be spending the Independence Day in Newport. It seems fitting that we right this ship and we reset our compass in the city where we honeymooned 16 years ago.
We’ll share more of our adventure in a few days. Thank you for staying with us, and riding the storm out.