Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 28 - The House of Sand and Fog (The Fun One!) -or- Costal Living on a Valley Budget

We woke refreshed in Shirley’s house. Quietly, we made ourselves some coffee and traipsed our way out. Backing out of her driveway, we decided what to do with our day off. We turned the van toward the highway, ready to hit the coast again. Traveling over a range of hills, a quiet rain began to tap on the windshield, and a fog rolled across the highway. In about an hour we found ourselves twisting on the coastal highway, peering over seaside cliffs, beleaguered by a perpetual rain and blank white fog.

We stopped at a few pull-offs on the roadside to stare through the fog, trying to imagine an ocean underneath. Soon we found a Forest Service installation built to give access to a feature called “Devil’s Churn”. With a long descent down some sodden stone stairs, we found a rocky inlet that the sea had carved. Waves smashed into the rock corridor and shot spray 20 feet into the air.

Down another path we found great access to a rocky beach dappled with tidal pools and terminating in the ocean. We found the strangest plants and shelled sea creatures clinging to the sharp stones, the whole mess rinsed again and again with surging sea spray.

Back in the van, we saw seaside towns sprout up along the route. Most had just a little seafood restaurant and a small motel. This got us thinking about where we were going to stay for the night. As I drove, Blythe called motels with interesting names that were listed in the GPS, looking for a cheap price. After some time driving north, the small villages gave way to larger towns with movie theaters and grocery stores.

Eventually Blythe found The Ester Lee, a motel perched on a cliff overlooking a broad sandy beach and crashing waves. The lady on the phone gave us a deal on a room with a great view and a gas fireplace. We took it, eager to drink some and look out over the ocean. There was also an Indian casino conveniently located nearby with a cheap buffet.

This was completely our dream. Nothing does it for us like a cheesy casino, booze, clean sheets, and cable TV. Add a nice warm fireplace and a view of the pounding surf, and we’re in. We hurled our stuff into the room and drove 10 minutes down to the casino.

Now, Blythe loves to join the “player’s club” of these sorts of places because they usually give you a little free slot play. This evening it paid off in spades. We won enough money for our dinner with the free slot play. So we were pretty pleased when we walked out full of buffet food and with a successful little grift under our belts.

Back in the room we cracked a 3 dollar bottle of wine, watched TV and stood in front of that beautiful window. We even got a little work done on the computer. It was a good night. Around 3 am, long after Blythe had nodded off, my own eyes began to droop while typing up a blog. With a final swill of cider, I lay down and was carried off gently to sleep with the sounds of SeaLab in the background.

Thanks to Shirley for the place to stay, and to the Chinook Winds (Salmon Farts) Casino for dinner.

Tomorrow - Weather on the coast and weather in the valley, waking up in Portland, Langano Lounge, and our friend from Brooklyn Sarah Buckley w/ all her musical goodness and friends in tow.

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