Curiosity: forget “Cherchez la femme” (Look for the woman.) “Cherchez l’histoire.” (Look for the story.)
We enjoyed the luxury of taking our time on the way home. Heading north after a leisurely breakfast, we turned off almost immediately at Trinidad. We drove through the town, which seems a much bigger community than when I lived in Eureka from 1970-73 when my late first husband taught at Humboldt State for three years. Our three kids were all under six. I often went with a friend, whose son was the same age as my older boy, taking all the kids to the beach. That’s when I discovered tide pools and realized my affinity for the sea. This was a bit of a nostalgia trip for me, too.
Next stop: Crescent City. The new municipal marina features study pilings and broad piers. But it’s empty–unlike the floats set further out for harbor seals and sea lions. I’m pretty sure that the small white ones are harbor seals, the big brown ones are sea lions.
Back in Oregon, we filled up the gas tank, bought fish tacos and headed for the upper, outer beach in Brookings. He ate the tacos and I enjoyed left-over cheese, nectarines and crackers–we both enjoyed the last of the wine and watched a family building sand castles.
We continued our drive up the Samuel H. Boardman scenic corridor, “a 12-mile, forested, linear park with a rugged, steep coastline interrupted by small sand beaches. This park was named in honor of Samuel H. Boardman, the first Oregon Parks superintendent (1929-1950). He and others of his generation felt this shining coastline should be saved for the public.”
I did not get a photo of the stunning Thomas Pt. Bridge, but we turned off and parked at the first opportunity, then hiked toward the beach.
We encountered fungi in the woods, beautiful fungi –of which, unfortunately I know none of the names.
Continuing along the trail, we quickly found ourselves looking over a vast drop off. No words are necessary. Only one applies anyway: breathtaking.
We forged onward to Florence, where Thanksgiving 1998 was a weekend at Driftwood Shores Resort, memorable for watching seagulls fly backward in gale-force wind. We’d driven down in pouring rain, listening on the radio to announcements of road closures behind us. This time we stayed in town, at the Comfort Inn on 101 where we woke to gentle pouring rain, which–fortunately–stopped soon after breakfast. We walked for miles on the beach: from the North Jetty, past Driftwood Shores, up to the next inlet–and back again.
At the Bridgewood Fish House, that evening, the hostess headed toward the ‘restaurant’ side of the room, but changed her mind, explaining that it would be a little less noisy next to the upright piano near the bar, than between a couple of exuberant parties on the other side.
She was right and the music was good. I put a few $$ in the pianist’s tip glass, remarking that we enjoyed the music and, seated just behind her, we could imagine that she was playing just for us. She did not look at me, but smiled and replied, “That’s what I like to hear.”
She continued playing for nearly an hour after we came. When finished, she put several items in her bag, then ran her hand the full length of the ledge above the keyboard. Then she reached up to the top and over to the right to find the tip glass–into which several other people had also dropped bills. She reached into the glass to remove the money and again to check that it was empty. She then felt with both hands to put the glass back on top of the piano. I realized that she was blind. She put the money into her bag and took out a folded walking stick, then made her way to the door at the back of the room. I had thought she was playing from cues on some sort of micro screen. No, she was playing from memory. Wow!
One more day on the drive home.We continued up the wonderfully scenic coast, then turned off at Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint just south of Yachats . Perfetto, as I like to say in italiano. Gary took his book over to a lovely overlook bench. I walked down to the beach, where I found tide pools.
I looked closer. Those beautiful blue baby mussels are about half the size of a pinkie fingernail. I had mussels for dinner twice on this trip . Yum. It’s good to know there are more in the pipeline.
We turned inland at Waldport and I thought, hmmm ‘wald’ is the German word for forest, that makes sense.