When I woke up, the beautiful sun came bouncing in the window, as it did every morning. I lay there for a while with the blankets over my head. Portland mornings were deliciously chilly! After a while, I decided to get up because a new day filled with adventure was waiting. I put on an episode of “Friends” and began to stumble about getting ready for the day.
Earlier in the week, Randi* had repeatedly been telling me that I needed to see “the coast”. I didn’t have a way to get to the coast as I was at the mercy of public transportation and my sweet Portland girls. I figured that I did not want to bother anyone by asking them to take me to “the coast” and public transportation didn’t go out there, as far as I know. So, I wrote it off and didn’t think much of it. Randi* just kept saying that I had to see it before I went home. Clearly, I didn’t understand the magnitude of the magic of the Oregon Coast. Thankfully, my sweet friend knew and continued to insist that it was wonderful and so I agreed to go with her the day after we went to the farm, which was a Sunday.
After getting ready, I messaged my friend and she said she would be on her way soon. After a few minutes, Randi* and her sweet husband arrived and we were off. The coast was about an hour and a half away so we had so much time to chat and get to know each other. I was so thankful for this time because, at this point, I feel like I had not had a chance to really get to know Randi* the way I had gotten to know the other two girls; however, that all changed.
We talked, shared life experiences, and laughed the whole way up. When we got there, I stepped out of the car and was immediately awestruck. The beach was surrounded by this beautiful, quaint, little seaside town. This beach/community was called Cannon Beach. The streets were lined with an ice cream shop, an art gallery, a pizza shop, a bookshop, a kite shop, and dozens of little restaurants and clothing/souvenir stores. We walked down to the end of the street where the entrance to the beach was. Randi* and I decided that we wanted to walk out to this huge rock which was in the middle of the ocean that looked like a haystack. In fact, it’s called Haystack Rock. Her hubby wanted to stay on the deck so we headed down to the sand. We walked and talked and laughed for what seemed like forever. We kissed so many dogs that were enjoying the beach as well. It was another perfect day. I lost all sense of time. Looking back now, I know that these were the moments of my life where I really lived. Again, like other Portland days before, there were split seconds that day that I literally felt my heart was full.
The cost was breathtaking! The air was cool. I was actually cold but it was exhilarating. The ocean went on for as far as I could see. There was a mysterious little light house which peaked in and out of the fog. The waves crashed into the rocks along the wall of the ocean and it was just like in so many stories I have read or movies I have watched. Nothing I ever say here will do it justice.
We decided to walk back and grab a bite to eat at one of the adorable little eateries. As we walked back, we collected ocean rocks which I have in a little dish in my room now. When we got back to the deck we met up with Randi’s* husband and walked together to some little shops and looked around, purchased a few things, and enjoyed each other's company. After we had finished in the shops, we found a little restaurant that was located in one of the alleyways. When I stepped into the restaurant, I noticed something very familiar. The restaurant was adorned with memorabilia which was specific to my home state. How could this be? I was so far from home. In a moment of serendipity, I asked about it and I was told by the waitress that the owner had lived in my home state for 20 years; hence the memorabilia. Anyway, we ordered our food (I had a delicious eggplant sandwich) and continued our conversations and laughter.
After we were finished, we headed back to the car. I was thinking to myself, “It just cannot get better than this”. Well, I was wrong! We drove to Ecola State Park. When we were driving through the forest, the air was clean and crisp and the lush greenery was beautiful. We eventually parked and got out of the car and walked through the pathways of the park. I made a mental note to make sure to come back here with the Airstream and the pups. We came to a clearing and could see a beach. We were so high up that we had a bird’s eye view of everything. You could see huge boulders in the middle of the ocean. It was literally something that you see on National Geographic. It looked like I was looking at Fiji rather than standing at the edge of Oregon. Ok, so at this point, I thought, “It won’t be getting better than this”. Wrong again!
We drove to another part of the park, hopped out of the car, and proceeded to navigate the rainforest-esq terrain. We walked up, down, sideways, over logs, over rocks, etc. When we got down to the end of our trail, Randi’s* husband helped us down and I stepped onto a little hidden beach. It was called Indian Beach at Ecola State Park.
The beach was surrounded by a wall of mountain. People were surfing, enjoying picnics, sitting on rocks in the middle of the ocean, and (the best part) dogs were running up and down the beach. We walked down the beach and took so many pictures. We were just in shock at the beauty! There were precious little crabs scuttling on the rocks living very happy lives. I remember seeing two dogs running in the wind. They were playing and chasing each other; just having the time of their lives. I know they were feeling the same joy that I felt in my heart standing on the beach that day. Initially, I thought that these two dogs belonged to the same owner. Later, one of the dogs dad called him and he went home. The remaining dog was left there and watched his friend leave. My heart broke for a moment for the dog who was left. (His owner was somewhere on the beach, I presume). Then I realized something, one dog was solid black and one dog was solid white. The two did not know each other; however, they loved each other. Why can’t we be like that?... Just love each other anyway. There is too much hate in the world and these two dogs found a way to love each other in spite of their differences, in spite of not knowing each other, and without judgment. Why can’t we be more like dogs?
Anyway, it was getting late and we had to get back to Portland because my adventures for the day were not over yet. The other two girls, Breanna* and Marta*, would be coming to pick me up so that we could all go to cat yoga!. How cute is that? When we arrived back at my room, I thanked my sweet friends and ran upstairs. Within five minutes, the girls messaged me and said they were downstairs. I quickly rolled up my yoga mat (I had been doing yoga in my room in the evenings) and ran out again. I got in the car with them and as always, I was greeted with kind smiles! They asked how my day was as we drove through the streets of Portland to a little cafe called “Purrington’s” which hosted the cat yoga.
I was so sore from climbing mountains all day with Randi* that my yoga was awful. It also didn’t help that I was preoccupied with the kittens. They darted by and every now and then one would sit on my mat. They were for adoption and I wanted to take one home. At this point in my trip, I was beginning to terribly miss the warm, squishy comfort of my dogs who were so far away. I just wanted to take a cat home with me.
After the class, we all sat on our mates and talked and played with the cats. This was another moment of pure bliss with my friends who treated me like we had been friends for years. I know I keep saying this, but all three of them were a God-send! I do not think I have ever felt so much love.
Hope you enjoyed reading about my day at the coast and cat yoga! Stay tuned for the next blog. It will be the final post in my travel series. It will be out soon and it’ll be a good one.
Til next time…
*Names changed for anonymity.