Besides my trip to a few mountain towns here in Colorado I haven’t left my city or state in months. As a frequent traveler it begins to wear on you after awhile. Most of the world’s borders are still closed to us but it ended up being a blessing in disguise. Viewing social media, it appears a lot of people are discovering places they never knew existed in their own backyard. This happened for me over Labor Day weekend. I’m not exactly sure how I stumbled upon the #OregonCoast hashtag on IG but I became obsessed with it over the past few weekends. I woulds scour the most recent pics for hours. I would scroll up and down the coast on Google Maps / Earth for hours figuring out exactly where to go. Finally, we had some free time on the horizon so I booked a flight to PDX.
One plus of traveling during a pandemic are the non-exisistent lines in airports. I made it through security and to my gate in about 8 minutes! Landing in PDX from DEN, the first thing that hits you is the humidity. While not as intense as a Miami or Cancun, coming from super dry Colorado, it hits you pretty had. It dissipates as you get closer to the coast. The drive to the coast was mind blowing. It reminded me a lot of the French countryside at one point and then transformed to this majestic mountainous rainforest that eventually spills into the ocean not unlike the Amalfi Coast or more famous coastlines around the world. I had never seen anything like it in America.
Over the next 3 days I covered about 600 miles, waking up at dawn and returning to the hotel exhausted around 11PM. I was so excited with the scenery that I would forget to eat all day. I closed out all of the circles on my Apple Watch for the first time in months. Oregon is truly a captivating place.
Two memories stick out the most. One, I’m driving around in the Newport / Yaquina area when I passed by a convenience store with a few people sitting outside eating. The smell as I drove by was AMAZING. I made a quite illegal U-turn and sped back to this place to investigate. This small unremarkable spot ended being my best meal of the trip. Always trust your nose!
Secondly, a few hours later I’m driving back in the general direction of my hotel. I’m exhausted but still curious on what I can find as it is my last full day on the coast. I peer over and see that the sun is going down so now I’m in sunset hunter mode. I have no idea where I’m going, just following the golden hues of what looks to be an incredible sunset. I end up in this area called Pacific City and get to witness possibly the most incredible sunset I’ve ever seen. I was speechless. To the right of me was this huge sand dune. Then a huge land mass sitting in the ocean. When in doubt, just follow the golden hues.
This also marked my first trip after purchasing my dream lens (RF 70-200 f/2.8 L IS USM). I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the storytelling.
Oregon, I have feelings for you.