Oregon Coast Seduction

Posted by michael howard / February 13, 2009

Introduction

In order to accurately depict my favorite place, one must provide a little on my background. I am a native Californian, new to Portland. I have seen some beautiful sites in my lifetime of 45 years. I was born and raised in San Francisco. Better know as” The City by the Bay”. Golden Gate Bridge, Half Moon Bay and Hwy 1 to name a few; are some of the majestic sights of Northern California coastline. So I am accustomed to coastline. Some of the most beautiful coastline in the world is right across the Bay and down the highway from SF. But none as beautiful as the Oregon Coast. Upon being invited to tour the coast my reaction was lukewarm at most. After all, Pacific Coastline is coastline…. Oh how wrong I was my friend! Along the drive to The Coast” I thoroughly enjoyed the greenery and scenery along the way. This was much like an appetizer for an unforgettable meal. However this became a feast for ones senses of sight, smell, touch, and taste. To describe this is to describe a potpourri of nature’s beauty and wonders. First sense to be awakened was the sense of smell. Pine and forest, met ocean salt air. Your other senses automatically knew it was in for a wonderful treat. And treat it was, when these big brown ones focused on the pristine view in front of me. This is an awesome expanse of crisp blue ocean as far as the eye can see. There are huge mountainside of granite and brown shale, which in some spots touch the ocean, and in others are ringed by clean sandy beach.
There are many places to visit and stay all along the Oregon Coast. These range from small Inns to larger hotels and many bed and breakfast spots. I prefer the motels that have the private patios that lead straight to the beach.
From your patio you can witness the most spectacular sunsets with beautiful bright orange sky, leading to the brilliant blue of the Pacific Ocean. I love the long walks on the beach. In the mornings, the air is crisp and clean. You can feel the mist in the air and smell the seaweed. Seaweed has a salty, organic, crisp clean scent. Reminds me of many days gone past in my youth in San Francisco. The clean beaches with very little debris. Which is unlike San Francisco’s beach. The white sand and sand fleas hopping as you walk the beach in the mornings. A subtle reminder of all the life that has sprung from these mighty waters. Dogs and their masters enjoying the crisp morning air. You can hear the roar of the ocean pounding the shore; while nearby, lovers are strolling hand and hand. All along your mind is at peace, listening to the hypnotic music the ocean composes.
There are many other things to do at the coast. Let’s start with Crabbing for one. That is something else I enjoyed as a child in SF. You get a crab trap, which looks a lot like a basketball hoop {you can rent them) and tie something smelly and rancid to it {I like to use Chittlins left out day or two}. You purchase some fresh crusty French bread, good beer, and some cold cuts. Don’t forget a good smoky cheese like maybe Gouda. Then you find a pier, toss your trap over the side and wait for the Dungeness to come to Big Daddy! You can have your catch boiled and cleaned at the place you rent the trap from. I prefer cleaning them myself. It is easy, and you feel like you honestly have worked for a delicious meal.
You can rent a room with a kitchenette, reheat the crab, break out a Chardonnay, and more French bread ,and a little melted butter to dip you crab in. However I think that takes away the naturally sweet taste of Dungeness Crab. This is a taste like no other food in the land.. Almost impossible to describe, but the taste is like a cross between lobster and shrimp without the firm texture.

Getting past the shell is a conquest in itself. Kind of like solving the riddle of evolution. But once you gain the skills, there is no better eating!

Then there is the nightlife on the Coast. I have heard tell of Lincoln City with its casino and such. However if you are looking for something a little more intimate and friendly, then Manzanita is the place for you! Upon entering Manzanita the first thing you notice is a gas station and a very old Post Office. The kind you would find in a Wild West movie equipped even with rings to tie up your horse. There are quaint little shops and boutiques that offer a variety of goods and services. Such as, Restaurants and of course, a Pizza Parlor. There are several Pubs offering pub food and beverages to make one cheerful and warm. The beach is about a block or two from these places. I rented another motel that had a sliding glass door entrance that led directly to The Beach. It had a picnic table right on the patio outside our door. Perfect to enjoy our Crab and wine with the ocean surf as your music of love. Add a little Barry White and the mood is set.

After our little snack, I was off to tour Manzanita’s three small blocks in search of Music and fun. I didn’t have far to travel. Found a little pub playing R&B and knew it was a place I would be welcomed. And welcomed I was!! The service was great and the drinks reasonable. Waitresses were lovely and the patrons very friendly. So friendly and welcoming of a great sense of humor, I had to insist on paying for my drinks. Well, maybe not all of them. But you can get the picture. Manzanita has that safe small town feel. It gets very dark there after night falls. Yet you do not fear for your safety. The walk back was so calming. You can hear and smell the ocean once again. You just cannot see it, but you can feel its awesome power and wonderful beauty.
Leaving the coast is like leaving a dear and close family member for me. Remember I grew up on the mighty Pacific. And in a lot of ways I did leave a dear and close friend. I not only left my heart in San Francisco, but also left a small part there… on the Oregon Coast.

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Comments on this story:

  1. KR says:

    Nice description. Thanks!

    posted March 14, 2009 at 9:06 pm
  2. JoAnn Ross says:

    Oh, you’ve made me so homesick! I spent my first five years in a bungalow on Santa Monica beach, then moved to Oregon. My husband proposed to me at Depoe Bay. Then graduated OSU and took me to the desert of AZ to go to grad school. Many years later, we moved to the foothills of the Smokies to be closer to grandkidlets in D.C., but I’m STILL trying to get home to the PNW. Have a trip to the Oregon coast planned in September/Oct. And have contracted for a 6 book series set there.

    posted July 29, 2009 at 2:33 pm
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