Today was, at least for me, a somewhat odd day. As I spent most of today either out of cell phone range or driving, I was unable to give my own mum a phone call as is my custom on this day, as I did not arrive home until it was already fairly late in the evening back on the East Coast, but I made sure to send her a message anyway. Aside from that oddity, I must admit that I have not spent a great deal of time on the coast in Oregon, although I must admit that I find it to be a beautiful coast with a great deal of variety in terms of what it provides to visitors . It took me a long time after arriving in Oregon for me to see the coast at all, but thankfully it has not taken me too long to return at least a few times now.
As is my fashion, I had a rather slow and relaxing morning, although I slept terribly last night and was unable to sleep past about 6AM. At any rate, I was able to read and write some during the morning, enough to make the time not completely wasted, and before too long it was time for us to have our stuff packed and ready for us to go at 11AM. We did not quite make it out in time, as the housekeeper arrived close to 11:30AM with us still engaged in washing sheets and vacuuming the floor. Before too long, though, we drove off down to Pacific City, where there was the possibility of a beach. And so it was that a few miles south of where we stayed we ended up spending some time on a windy and sandy beach. Not being well-equipped for playing in the water, I found a log to sit on and to observe my surroundings while others enjoyed themselves in various ways–one of our party swam in the water and then took photos of her stuffed animal in various humorous poses, another couple of the members of our party used a driftwood log as a seesaw, and on it goes.
After we had amused ourselves long enough at the beach, we drove off to investigate some objects d’art in the area, finding a store with some massively overpriced and particularly fragile pieces of elegant glasswork. Fragile and overpriced makes for a bad combination in my book. After leaving that place we parked briefly in a nearby rocery store of sorts, and since no one was particularly hungry at that point, the three drivers conferred about which path to take home. The proposed route was a southerly one, and not exactly the fastest route for me, but not being in any particular hurry I was willing to go a bit slower of a way, and as it happens the way we went was the sixth different route I had taken to or from the coast, which if nothing else gives me at least some regional knowledge if I need to find ways to travel to the ocean for whatever reason. The trip itself was a beautiful one. We may have traveled close to the Spirit Mountain Casino, a place which advertises legacy acts and cover bands all over the Portland area, but if we did I did not see the place in the course of our trip.
We made only one stop, aside from the stop and go traffic between Dundee and Newburg, and that was in the town of Willamina. We stopped first in an antique store, where I saw some Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls that reminded me of one of my step-aunts who is fond of collecting those items. No one else seemed particularly interested in that sort of tchotchkes that were on offer there, and after an abortive attempt to find another store, we had lunch at a restaurant/cafe along the main drag. Although the food was admittedly not particularly spectacular, the serving sizes were large and the food was at least decent. On the other hand, the second glass of iced tea I had was particularly poor in that there was loose tea that was deposited fairly heavily on the bottom of my glass, which I was not particularly pleased with. Once we were done, we were off again on our way.
I decided to take an unfamiliar path home, in the hopes of avoiding at least some of the traffic that usually plagues me on 99W approaching the Portland area, and I went over the Chehelem Mountains on OR-219. Although the mountain path is more than a little bit windy, it was a beautiful way to travel, and is definitely a way I will have to add to my own personal repertoire when it comes to dashing towards McMinnville or anywhere close to Newburg. After returning to Hillsboro I did my grocery shopping and then returned home to relax for the rest of the evening. Even if it was an unconventional Mother’s Day for me, at least it was an enjoyable day and one that allowed me to travel done some unfamiliar roads and make them into more familiar ones. Sometimes that is the task that one has before oneself on a day like this.
 See, for example: