Arrived in Coos Bay. Stopped into Porters RV repair to have a few things checked. They were professional and friendly. Took care of antennae problem and strut mechanism. They noticed the roof needs resealing. Got an appointment to take care of it Saturday. Stayed in Charleston Marina RV Park a night. Heard wind and rain storm would be coming in so I put a tarp over the back area with skylight to keep dry for resealing. The tarp stayed on through wild wind gusts. Sun is out this morning but strong gusts continue. Was pleasantly surprised at the reasonable price to reseal roof. I recommend Porters in Coos Bay for RV repair. Walked up the street to The Blue Moon, had a few beers, spoke to a few locals, and ran into Christopher who I met in Charleston. Met the boat owner, Jerrard. A young man who had no fishing experience 3 years ago. Bought his first boat and learned as he went. Both are from SE Oregon, loggers, and out fishing for Black Cod on a military boat that they revamped into a trawler. Bought him and 2 friends a drink with slot machine winnings. Took the dogs for a walk through Coos Bay. A laid back town. Seems a possible place to buy into.
In the morning drove down the coast from Coos Bay to Gold Beach. Sandy beaches are spotted with rock formations shaped by pounding surf. Pine tree covered mountains come down to meet the beach, adding drama to the scene.
Beach people are more sparse. Took dogs for a walk on Turtle Beach after checking into Turtle Rock RV Resort which rests on the south edge of Hunter Creek. There is a huge comical rock formation looks turtlesque, thus Turtle Rock.. More to explore here. I’ll stay another night before heading to Brookings.
Along the way are some most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen, surpassing Hawaiian beaches in my opinion. If you’re a surfer you may not think so. Waves probably don’t measure up.
The beautiful beaches continue driving from Gold Beach to Brookings; some of the best in terms of sheer beauty. Sun held out for me until first night in Brookings. Harris State Park was full. Went 8 miles east along Chetco River to Loeb State Park. Glad I did.
Forested, quiet, close to river with nature trails. Signed up for 3 nights.
Heard a crunch when I was backing into spot. Can’t figure out what got crunched.
My backing up skills are much improved. If you’ve ever tried backing a 30’ trailer don’t forget to give it a try in your lifetime. Everything is backwards. You’re looking in a mirror, backwards. Logic is reversed. It’s like learning to speak a foreign language.
The wheel turns opposite the way you want the back end to go.
I get one radio station here. I can play my Ipod, so that works.
Gray and rainy today. Feeling a creative urge. I’ll do some sketching today.
Went into a beer tasting at Chetco Brewing Company last night. People were friendly. Spoke to three bright, nice people. One young woman and two guys in semi-retirement.
She came up from LA gangland and started over here at brewery. She was nice and gave me directions to her fave beach, Secret Beach.
Keith was funny and over confident in a fun way, from Frisco area. He listed off at least a dozen occupations he’s had, from janitor to techie. He was impressed that I sold everything and changed my life, at least for a year. We both favored the same brew: Block & Tackle.
My 3 days in Brookings area went quickly. Most of time was relaxing, walking along the Chetco River, and exploring the beaches.
Crossed the border into California, Crescent City. Looking forward to seeing the Giant Redwoods. Suddenly my mind’s flooded with memories of art school in Pasadena. People I haven’t thought about in years (Liz, Carol, Lou, Ken, Gary, Mary, Jeff, and on...) I was so poor back then, and ashamed of being poor. Made the best of things (variations of Top Ramen). Graduated with honors (was a big deal). Art Center shaped my future (I did work hard). Wish I could go back and do it over again! It would be fun to go through new digital art courses knowing what I know now! I could absorb and learn fast. An art school like Art Center (I would expect) the early program still be centered on traditional drawing, painting, and design. Amazing new software to illustrate, design, and animate , would be fun to be learning again. Hey, why not start learning now? Actually it does feel like I’m learning new skills everyday. I can setup or breakdown camp in 30 minutes or less. Skills I’m learning now are how to live. Took a day walking through Jedediah Redwood Forest, it was phenomenal. I wanted a picture of me hugging a huge ancient tree, but I got too shy to ask someone to take it.
There were people spread out on the trail, so I only ran into a few groups.
This is the location for Star Wars with Ewoks zipping through forest fast on flying cars. I couldn’t snap enough pics! Inevitably, to capture the size of the tree, distortion is necessary. A sign said no dogs. Had to leave JP and GG in shaded truck cab. Some ignored signs and brought dogs anyway.
Trying not to judge people can be very difficult. Dressed up with jewels and hair like they’re going to the opera with 2 dogs to walk through the forest. It was so tempting to inform them there were no dogs allowed. I restrained myself and reminded myself, I am not enforcer or California citizen, just another creature of the universe. Somehow you know any efforts to announce rules are never appreciated by the ones breaking them. My years at Pike Place Market dealing with powerless people using rules to feel powerful. Watching every little thing you do so when the find a rule violation they can shout about it. I decide to not be petty so I petted the dogs. It seems like the dogs should be allowed and not the people. The dogs would not cut down the trees.
Maybe piss on them. I’m no expert but It would take tons of dog piss to kill a redwood.
I did not say a word to the people, just smiled.
Got back to Crescent City and walked around. Had dinner at the Charter House out on the bay. Saw two dozen Pelicans doing their quirky dances and rituals in tandem.
It looked to be a performance the way 3 would take flight, circle round, and hover above, drop down and sit gently on the water with some weird neck spasms.
There were 3 seals and many Terns and gulls. A salty old dude with his Jack Russell buddy said hello. I stopped and we talked a good half hour. He was retired from fixing Hobart machines. He said there were sardines swimming in bay.
Went to bed early to be rested for morning departure.
In the morning I decided my route. I’ll go to Crater Lake and cut across Oregon and Idaho to visit Grand Teton Park in Wyoming. Maybe head north from there to Yellowstone if weather holds out for late September.
I drove North to Medford and stocked up from Costco on dog food, beer, coffee, and gas. Made it late into Crater Lake. It was after 8pm. Pitch dark. Stars out in force. Made it to west camp called Mazama Village Campground. According to sign the camp was full. Found my way to kiosk and had a choice of 5 different spots.
There’s no water or electric hookup in the spot I took. The wi-fi is too weak to get internet. Morning is around 30F. I run the heater for a while but windows are covered with condensation (bad). So I shut off heat, open a few windows, and put on a coat.
Today I’ll discover Crater Lake.
Just arrived to Tugman State Park, 30 miles or so south of Florence. Tugman State Park is beautiful and peaceful, quite the contrast to casino at Three Rivers. Hooked up to electric again and it’s nice to play music without worrying about battery. Oregon Dune territory. Hiked around Eel Lake on a great nature trail. Dogs loved it. JP went for a swim and his love of water gets crazier. Some kids in small kayaks steered around JP saying “that dogs crazy...” They were seriously afraid. Its too hard to explain JP to people. One guy on the path said “I’ll just hold on to my dog” (which was unleashed) as we were passing by. I said “I don’t think you understand. Two killer dogs here. They want nothing more than to attack your Corgi.” I took mine on a side trail. They looked at me like I was an idiot. People have said dogs reflect the emotional state of the master. Maybe thats true for most breeds. Jack Russell's are truly an exception. They are tough and bred to chase critters and kill. I have spent hundreds of dollars ($600) trying to reprogram them at one of finest dog trainers in Seattle (Ahimsa), but thats how they roll. After the session with my dogs the dog trainers basically concluded there is nothing I can do but be active preventively. So I see them like flying kites. When you fly a kite you need to know the wind direction and velocity. You can steer the kites holding the leash, but you have to watch or they will twist up and crash. Watching kites glide through air is symbolic of freedom, or childhood happiness, or ___________(fill in blank). These two dogs on leashes fly along the ground like kites bouncing around in the blue. They dip, dive, turn, and if you don’t pay attention to other kites (dogs), they will be tangled (dog fight). It’s an active sport taking these dogs out for a walk.
People walk around with dogs unleashed saying; “oh my dogs are friendly”. Thats nice, but when a friendly dog comes over looking to sniff, play, and hang out, what they get is a full throat attack by JP and a hind attack from GG. How could such cute dogs be so crazy killers? These fox dogs were designed in England so you can blame the Brits! I keep a vigilant watch on these two. In a way they keep me grounded, from flying away. There are too many options when you’re on the road. Having dogs can reduce your options, good and sometimes bad.
Still, I love’m for every other reason. They are tough as nails and seem to be in a great mood at all times. They don’t need coffee. High octane on life. Fully charged and ready to plunder. Brings to mind Lady GaGa, Born This Way. Little Monsters. I need to understand dogs nature. They have accepted me as I am. Closest thing I’ve had to pure unconditional love in my lifetime (que the violins)
Having my coffee in the morning with sunshine surrounding me, day in front of me,
a new camp spot in Tugman State Park. Very well maintained. Clean and natural. I feel good!
Took dogs to dunes in evening after setting up camp and watched the sun go down at the Umpqua Lighthouse. Its easy to dismiss a sunset for being too ordinarily beautiful. This one was close to being that. However, there were two pencil clouds across the sun and they were lit up like tungsten filaments (how inspiring). They looked like doobies or some deco design. It was another cool painting by Mother Nature, something I’ve not quite seen before. If I could paint it like I feel it; well that’s the s___t. I’d like to give myself permission to occasionally swear in my blog since there are only a few ways to give these communications the necessary expression.
If I wrote a poem about it would you go to sleep? Would you read a poem about a sunset without swear words? Ok I’ll write one of each. You can decide which is more effective.
eyelids on fire,
Praise dance sing!
Now I'll write a poem with expletives added for artistic expression:
Rim of fire,
Bitch cancer die!
If people don’t read it does it exist?
Ramblin’ Route statistics show an average of 100 people a day finding their way to Ramblin’ Route blog. Yet seldom does anybody COMMENT! My writing is either perfect and needs no improvement, lost in the vastness of cyberspace, needs a bump up in interest level, or something else. Truthfully, I have been bored with my own way of rattling off this dog poop. How can I penetrate the fucking layers of my mind? Who wants a simple surface description like everything is wonderful? Is that what this world is come to? So much going on in my head that dissipates as fast as it flashes. Writing is like sneezing. You have to stop living to write.
Need to borrow memory skill from Kerouac. I guess he remembered all the details of his travels and wrote them down later. On the road was one rambling scroll typed out. I forget how long it was...30 feet?
Shall I describe my cracked tooth and filling that popped out? How long before it rots my gums? How long can I wait to see a dentist before it’s not possible to fix? What about Dental insurance plans?
Almost everywhere I’ve gone has been awesomely beautiful. Overwhelming beauty. Now I need something ugly to enjoy. American stock market has crashed while I was walking on a fabulously beautiful beach. The only crashing I feel are ocean waves. Don’t even want to look at my stock portfolio. Laugh at the values we place on things. Its fun to blow money at the casino and let it come and go like the tide. Just looked on my phone and the stock market is up 200 points after falling 300 yesterday. Enjoying life, yet I cannot stop searching for hidden meanings. I want more meaning in life. Discovering truth by comparison can be satisfying.
Should I just give up and dumb down? Seem to find lots of happy dumbed down. Do you want an answer here? Maybe you can find something here of value. I call it Ramblin' Route for a reason.
Washington beaches seem so much more PRIVATE than Oregon beaches. How can anyone hog this beauty for themselves? Maybe ‘owning nature’ gives meaning to these obese starving creatures. A counter-response to the fear of meaninglessness.
What is the meaning of fat? Stored energy? Extra padding? Low resistance to temptation? Being fat is cool. Being what you are is cool.
I was in the casino pressing buttons on the slot machine for a few hours.
Felt like a rat in someone's scientific experiment. How long will he push the button with no reward? Push button. Push button now. What signal will cause a hesitation?
More fun to win money than to lose but can’t think of anywhere I would want my white privileged dollars to go than back to Native Americans whom my ancestors committed genocide on. We relentlessly hear about the genocide of 6 million Jews in WW2. Yes, that was terrible. What about genocide of 50 million Native Americans killed over 4 decades? Just as adamantly we are not reminded of Native American genocide. Casino money gives back to the tribe as it allows tribe to improve conditions for its members. Sounds a little like white guilt.
Now I am headed into another incredible day. Going commando.
You know something? When you’re walking around with big balls they can get in the way. I hope going commando will take the pressure off down there.
Took today to walk dogs, drive up forested hills above Lakeside, grocery shopping, and hanging loose. JP had a great swim. I let him splash for about half an hour and he was still going strong. Cookin’ up some thick slabs of peppered bacon. (Michael got me started on the bacon). Got a bad carton last week, it was all fat! No meat to be found! Watch out buying bacon from these charming country stores.
Fried it up and ate the fat anyway, cooking it extra crispy. I hate to admit it but it was good!
Todays bacon looks well balanced with meat and fat. Bought it in Newport at a larger market.
Bought a nicely done tie-dye shirt from tent on side of road. Tee-Crafter was from California. She once had a nice place in Ojai, she said; some 40 acres of paradise. Was pushed out by a new electrical plant. Friends she had who stayed are dead and dying of various cancers caused by the electrical plant. She looked to be my age, late 50s. I have a friend living there so am concerned with this news. Heads up Sylvia!
It’s a joy to listen to music, read, and doodle. Today is overcast so I’ll get the rig organized and ready to go south tomorrow to Coos Bay.
Had another day on the beach and met cousin Mark at Uptown Bar for a few beers. We shared a few memories about childhood years in Cheyenne.
Catching prairie dogs, digging forts, roller skating in the basement. A sparse-stimuli environment but we didn’t know any better. We had fun with very little. Sticks, shovels, rocks, Hot Wheels, bikes, skateboards, and Lincoln Logs.
Won $200 on the video game and gave cousin half. He was pleased.
Change of plans. Cancelled Honeyman reservation and spent two days in Florence.
On my way down the coast on 101 to Florence, I stopped into a cluster of colorful shops at Seal Rock, north of Driftwood Beach.
There is a wood carver named Brian McEneny who has a wonderful gallery featuring his bigger than life woodcarvings. Dozens of nature themed sculptures and a gallery of smaller works too. He was working on a piece when I wandered in. He stopped to talk and we must have rapped for half an hour. His son is an illustrator and muralist. I happen to stop in Waldport and saw his colorful mural to honor local tribe. Made my way down to Florence with dozen or more stops along the way. So many stunningly beautiful viewpoints along Hwy 101.
Met a woman who lives in her fab RoadTrek van, her name is Dorothy. A philosopher. We had a great conversation in the parking lot. I was walking by and asked her how she liked her Roadtrek van. She’s been living in it for 6 years! She’s smart, self confident, an independent woman. Her van is fine construction. Lots of storage. A bit small for me and dogs. Dorothy vented about the monster pig motor homes. They are contributing to our species’ end. She’s personalized her low carbon foot van with prayer flags, bling, and gifted items from friends; objects which held great meaning for her. A shell, a string of beads, a dashboard Buddha. After hearing all about her van she mentioned she was on a quest to find her tribe. That thought rang a bell for me.
I have not fit in anywhere in my life. Maybe there’s a tribe for me. Then again,
maybe I’m a loner and my tribe is loners. Maybe I’m trying too hard to find a place to fit in. Why would I expect to fit in anywhere now when I haven’t fit in anywhere for 59 years? Am I feeling a need for a tribe out of fear of final chapters alone? More questions than answers. Right David?
Something she said to make me laugh: Why are men so mad for boobs?
“Life is lived on the skinny branches” said Dorothy. So many are following the herd, and missing the real experience which occurs off the grid. Outside the norm. There is a lack of critical thinking. Dumbing down of America. I sadly agree with her on that. I consider my own quest to find meaning. What happened to my own critical thinking? I’ll tell you,
with so many opinions (everyone has one) clamoring for attention, it’s easy to throw ones hands into the air and say “who knows what is true?”
I asked her if I could post this in my blog and she nodded and smiled.
(Open Letter from Al Gore)
Dear Alien Visitors:
At one time the planet Earth had a bustling network of cities inhabited
by human beings. They spoke different languages and were not able to
make wise choices to project their species into the future and therefore
have gone extinct. Please make yourself at home and enjoy all the
wonderful features of Earth as Earthlings did for thousands of years.
Sorry for the radiation levels and hopefully other toxins have subsided
by now. Perhaps the toxins are perfect for your species to flourish.
In that case, maybe humans were a stepping stone species in the grand
scheme. Please consider creating a museum devoted to displaying
artifacts of human civilization. I wouldn’t mind if you called it:
AL GORE MUSEUM OF HUMAN BEINGS
Time marches on. Been learning how to be a beach bum last 3 days (includes writing no updates to blog). Keep it a secret, Oregon beaches rock! Several small towns along the way where I’d like to live for 6-12 months. Not so much Cannon Beach, but Lincoln City, Rockaway, and Netarts and I still have the southern half to explore! Met some nice people along the way. Encountering many shades of humankind. People on the road are warm and easy to talk with. They travel in pairs and packs. I’m quite the strange one. Where are the individual astronauts? I prefer the fishing villages to the tourist ones. Had a problem with the front lift mechanism (lowering it to hitch) and a guy (James from Kelsey) came over to help (his wife noticed me struggling and sent hubby over). I thanked them both with beers. My theory is parking area was too sloped so the weight of fifth wheel was all on one post. So much weight caused a bind which was too much pressure for motor to retract the post. That’s what happens when you park your RV for free in a parking lot. Something to keep an eye on but I’m hoping for the best. I would like to not have to make excuses like “I’m not mechanically inclined, I’m an artist”. Come to think of it that’s a stupid excuse for anything and I’m going to strike it from my vernacular. I guess when I said it I was trying to be funny but it ends up being either self-deprecating or egotistical, depending on the reception. At night been playing in the Chinook Winds Casino. Been having a blast playing cards, craps, and slot machines. My winning and losing is a roller coaster ride. I quit keeping track, deciding any losses were my part in paying retributions to Native Americans. Uncle Sam might want some paperwork but I’ll gamble with my relative unimportance. Games I love: Leprechaun, Rio, and Wonder Woman. Fun! I used my ‘points’ to buy a big black and white umbrella, a cool hat, and a phone/wallet. Fun to watch people in the cash booth stash as much flying cash through a slotted
wall. I watched a little ole lady named Flossie make $600+
Made it into Newport at night. Had trouble finding the right site. The RV park is split in two. The area I’m in is the old park. Not so nice, in shadow of Motel 6. That’s ok. Here to visit cousin Mark. Dogs have been cooped up a bit lately. Need to find some forest trail.
Visiting Newport for a few days. Weather is cool in morning, warm in afternoon. Windy.
Very pleasant on beaches. In Portland it’s 90+. I’ll gladly take this over inland temps.
The air is packed with oxygen, so FRESH.
Been strolling on beach, watching surfers, and emptying my mind. Met with cousin Mark and nephew Taylor (21yo) at Pig N’ Pancake for breakfast. Mark looks better than ever. Works at Walmart and lives nearby in apartment. Happy and single. He’s a fresh father to 2 year old son who looks cute as a bug in the pics. He also has a daughter Miranda who is 26.
He took me for a quick tour of the old Bay area. Saw the notorious Sea Lions. Been hearing them clear across the bay where I’m staying. They pile up on the rocks and any docks. By the hundreds!!! There is controversy as to how to control them.
As a tourist they are fun to watch. They are kinda intelligent. As a local res there needs to be something done. They bark 24 hours a day and can smell. I think someone should train them to do tricks in mass. How amazing would it be to see sea lions perform in the bay. They could even have costumes.
Mark told me about a forest trail in the South Beach area near where I’m staying. The Mike Miller Educational Trail. Took dogs there for an afternoon walk. Couple miles over hilly terrain in old growth forest. Perfect dog walk.
Mark went to work and I went to Nye Beach. Great place to hang. Evening took me to Uptown Bar where I felt at home, since it could have been the Rolling Rock in Issaquah. Kind of a dive bar with locals of mid age range. Live band playing loud rock. It was a real treat. Stayed for 4 beers. Won $100 on the video machine to boot. Had some friendly conversation with a pot smoking Seahawks fan. He must have been my age and knew a lot about the hawks.
In the morning after b’fast got a knock on the door. Mark found my campsite! He had with him a cute little guy, (my nephew) Hunter. Hunter could speak a few words (2 years old). He played and petted GG and JP. I invited them into RV, we talked a bit. Went over to Marine Science Center. Hunter bounced from one thing to next, running off for Mark to chase after. Saw a news clip from 1976 about blowing up a whale on Florence beach. Whale blubber fell from the sky smashing cars in the lot.
The Newport audience broke up in laughter. I was amused and disgusted.
Found a lot nearby to extend my stay in Newport a few days. Close to weekend it’d not easy finding a campsite. Reserved a spot at Honeyman campground in Florence for August 23-26th.
Found a campsite right on 101 in Bay City. Within a stones throw of highway. Not ideal but ok. Went hiking along Kilchis River. Thick forest sprinkled with modest older homes. Found a Hydranga (huge purple & blue flowers) farm out there. Much beauty to behold. Tents all clustered together, a soccer field, and dozens of young people mingling about over the area. Who knows what thats about. Made it up to the Kilchis State Park campground. Saw a two wild turkeys. Heard the chirping chicks hidden in the tall grass.
Wow, what a great spot. How can I find more like this! Grounds are rolling green carpets, spacious with trees and shrubbery. It’s surreal as the place in almost empty. I paid the day pass ($4) and hiked around the area. Sat by the river for 2 hours and tried to sketch. Ended up writing a poem. Not happy with my creative disposition at the moment. Feeling a bit “so what” about it all. Started drizzling.
JP is having a blast swimming in the rivers and ocean. He loves all water. Temporarily losing his mind except for focus on the water. If he weren’t on a leash I’d have lost him by now. In an isolated area I let him off leash as an experiment. Sure enough, he went straight for the river and kept swimming further out, ignoring my calls. I had to jump in with blue jeans on and snag him out. JP was oblivious to my shouts; totally mesmerized by movement, flash of reflections and splash of water. Drove all the way back down the mountain to a simple one way bridge over the river. Decided to explore the other side of river which was edged with a dirt/gravel lumber truck road winding precariously along a narrow ledge. I followed bumpy road up about 4 miles. Spotted three hidden campsites along the way by following paths off the road. One has a rope swing over river.
How cool is this? People camping in the state forest for free. I spot a 5th wheel parked
on a flattened area. Must have been bulldozed. Didn’t look like private property.
No signs posted. So, this gets me excited about possiblilities. I’m taking GPS readings and starting a site reference for future use.
Still a gray day. I head back to camp and leave dogs. Drove a few miles north to check out town of Garibaldi. The name sounds familiar but can’t make the connection.
Its a fishing town with a marine museum, a church, a few bars, and a great grid of docks
with moored boats. Picturesque, but the evening light is wrong angle. Everything is silhouetted in an uninteresting way. The fishermen are cleaning tuna and throwing fish guts in the water to the noisy gulls. No wonder these gulls look so story book plump.
Stopped into the Ghost Hole. The restaurant/bar stretched outside to a wonderful patio garden area with tables and a place for live music. I ordered a beer and sat down in a dark corner in front of a video slot machine. Got very lucky and had winnings up to over $300! But couldn’t stop and ended up with $150. Kept hitting the Bonus for free spins. Went into market, bought a few provisions. Home to bed early.
In the morning drove with dogs through Tillamook out to coastal town Netarts. Visited the state park there. Enjoyed walking beaches. Walked for miles beneath cloud veiled pale gray skies. Very few people, free and breezy. Nice afternoon. Continued drive up to Oceanside. Looks like money here. New contemporary construction packed in along the bluff. Oceanside beaches are gorgeous. Three rock islands, could be cousins of Haystack, distinguish skyline.We travel a few miles north to Cape Mears Lighthouse.
The place is packed with visitors. I breathe deeply and connect with my inner patience.
Had to leave dogs in truck as there was too many people going every direction and a third of them with dogs. The dogs were still wet with ocean coolness. I figured I had 20 minutes to see the Octopus tree and the Lighthouse. Mission accomplished, plus I got to see where Puffins nest on the rocks. I thought I was going to take my time on this adventure but I’m finding it necessary to keep moving.
We head back to Tillamook and visit NAST, the Naval Air Station Tillamook flight Museum. Cousin Jim suggested as a must see. The building itself is a friggin monster. A wonderous structure looking like a gigantic bunker (15 stories high). Many planes inside, as one may suspect. Bi-planes, fighter jets, cessnas, helicopters, and engines galore. It was very dark inside. Too dark, hard to read tour information. You can get up close and inside cockpit on a few of the planes. Almost bought a souvenir but reasoned against it.
Got home around 6 and fed dogs. Will pack up tomorrow morning and visit the Tillamook cheese factory then head for Lincoln City.
Scenic drive to Cannon Beach from Astoria. Surprised to see several bicylists cruising on highway shoulder pulling gear loaded on small trailers. Sunshine and perfect weather today. Set up camp in less than hour at Cannon Beach RV Park and drove less than a mile to the beach, should've walked.
Wow! How to describe the high feeling of being on Cannon Beach! For one thing, its the gorgeous sand. Feels nice barefoot. Miles of open space. No trees, just sand. People spread out with plenty of space to do it all: fly kites, build sand castles, lounge in folding chairs, read, ride beach bikes, sunbathe, swim, party, families... not a lot of singles (like me). I’m ok being solo. Dogs keep me company and occasionally talk with strangers. Everyone feeling friendly and easy talking.
Got beach pictures with iconic Haystack Rock. Great scene. Get same feeling standing near a beautiful heavy pour waterfall.
Walked through town and discovered town divided into three: north/south/downtown. North area has more of everything. Downtown Cannon Beach has Haystack, residential area, hotels, rental stores, and a few trinket shops.
Found dinner further south at Warren House Pub. Sweet spot with an outside garden/dining area. I had halibut plate. Good, nothing special. A black bunny rabbit loitered around in the parking lot. Maybe he’s tomorrows special!
Campground is packed tight with RVs. Big party (over 100 peeps) surrounding me. An annual family party. They go on past midnight before noise subsides. Not rowdy teenager drinking party, just inconsiderately loud fat people conversation and laughing drinking party. Don't wanna be a pooper so I say nothing. Awaken rested to an overcast morning. Empty the dogs. Make bacon and eggs. Ready for a Saturday on Cannon Beach.
Cannon Beach is all they say. Its picturesque, charming, and magnificent. Its just not the kind of place for a solo guy like me. Plenty to see and do, but everyone is with somebody. Very few chances to interact since everyone is on their way somewhere. Fun to look for a day. I check out several art galleries and find a few plein air artists I enjoy. My coasters would work well in these shops.
The restaurants are full and it doesn’t feel like I’m getting away from it all. Another season, like Fall or winter may be more to my liking. The beach is great early in the morning with few people. Guess I’m not one for crowds. I’m ready for my next stop: Garabaldi, Bayview, and Tillamook.
In the morning took the dogs to site of Lewis & Clark (L&C Inc.) campsite at Cape Disappointment. A bit overcast. Got some great pictures. Beat the crowd.
Hiked nature trails through park to both light houses and to a hidden beach below cliff, south of Beard’s Hollow. Feeling empathetic towards original exploration party who survived here through rain and winter. But more complicated than that. I feel new respect & admiration for Native Americans. Native tribes had a sustainable way of life for thousands of years until gradual genocide conducted by The United States of America on native tribes subjugated their culture and imposed a new order. Ironic that now we need native wisdom to survive global warming our “success” has created. We call this a democracy. I call it corporate capitalism masquerading as a democracy. Is this life really an improvement? I can’t decide anymore. Everything is so inter-meshed there is no clear answer. Nothing black and white though many swear patriotic pledges to normalcy and allow the media to dispense definitions of good and bad.
There’s a Darwinian argument to be made about evolution. It may appear this corporate capitalism we mask as a democracy is victorious but time marches on and this too will not last. I will not live to see how and what changes take place. Looking out at the Pacific Ocean and the mouth of Columbia River I feel a sense of awe.
After visiting Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center I can appreciate how brave all these men were, native and intruders. The intruders would not have made it back to Missouri without the help of native tribes. There was one black man listed in the small group as a servant. I will be Googling more about him and all he did to make the journey work.
Drove north along the beach through Seaview. Stopped into Long Beach and walked along boardwalk, drinking in the ocean air. Kites darted and danced against the fine blue sky. Fat gulls hanging out with fat people. Sand sand sand. Cute piper tracks, tire tracks, foot tracks, paw tracks, and squiggly creature tracks. I noticed several cars off in distance parked right up near the surf, on the beach. Decided to drive my truck on the hardened track which they had taken.
The hardened track ended when I’d traveled about 1000 feet. I was now going over soft beach sand and was quickly stuck. I didn’t panic, but felt a rise in adrenalin.
Managed to get the truck out by using the rubber floor mats like the technique demonstrated for building the pyramids. I dug sand out behind tires and placed the 3’ rubber mats under back tires. I was able to move 2’ at a time until after 6 or 8 times (an hour later) I was back to the hard pack. Sand was all in my clothes, hair, shoes, truck...
Drove into Long Beach for a beer. I interrupted some friendly locals gabbing as I ordered beer. Mentioned getting truck stuck and they all chuckled. They said it happens all the time and some have to pay 400-500 to get out. They were surprised I got it out myself. Weird sense of accomplishment to this day. Headed north to Ocean City. Like Long Beach, distressed, colorful town. Paint peeling signs, throw back to decades before. Some signs desperate to capture attention.
The shops remind me of sea creatures attracting prey with colorful displays.
I look but do not stop. On the way to Leadbetter Point I see an artists studio/gallery that I know, Eric Weingart. I stop in and go inside. It’s a charming old farmhouse converted to gallery. Well done. I feel a pang of yesness. This makes sense to me. What he’s done here is something I could do too. I met him years ago but he doesn’t remember.
He’s very pleasant, calm, open, and thoughtful. I gather up a few items on the table about upcoming events, website, workshops. I’m impressed by his new work in acrylics.
Verging on abstract with a hint to suggest a meadow, water, or whatever.
I asked him about a specific texture, “pumice and glass beads” he replied.
He mentioned his plein air workshops. I congratulate him on his success. He mentions the house was his great grandfathers. I later think how some do get an edge up with circumstances. Even so, one must work hard with passion to be a success (fulfilling a demand).
Drove on another 7-8 miles past Oysterville to Leadbetter Point. Hiked around nature trails, along Willapa Bay and across to Pacific Ocean. Beautiful beaches, no one in sight. Signs posted about nesting birds, beaches off limits to all.
Wish I could stay on the bay all day but its about 5 and need to get back. Surprised 4 elk, one young one. Amazing creatures. Got to watch them unnoticed for a minute, munching leaves. Grating sound of winding leash caused them to bolt. I wasn’t quite quick enough with camera to get anything but a little tail retreating in the bush. Encountered a porcupine in the path just 100 feet from Elk.
Good thing I saw spiky before dogs. Dogs were very excited and spiky was in no hurry.
Filled near empty gas tank up in Ocean City: $87. Vacuumed beach out for $1.50
Stopped into Doc’s Tavern for a brew. It was hoppin’ with a poker game (a dozen gamblers including 3 women) in back, pool tables, and tables of lively conversation. No one here is yelling or shouting too loudly. I like this place.
Get back to camp around 7 and listen to classical while reheating last of crockpot chili.
Decide to sleep early and shut eyes around 9.
Got up and used the morning to talk to Verizon about data usage. woo-hoo!
Turns out Facebook was using a lot of data streaming behind scenes. I discontinued Facebook as I don’t want to spend the time or money. It wasn’t easy getting rid of Facebook. Even though my account is deleted, it still exists. Then I updated my wholesale account with Space Needle. All this bs costed me half my day! Friggin’ waste.
Took the dogs for a hike. Shut them in Rv and drove to Astoria to see the Astoria Column. Crossing the Astoria bridge I spotted the column miles away on top of highest hill.
I used GPS to get the quickest route. Got there and column was in midst of restoration. Spoke to a woman, Sarah, on a break. The mural fades over the years she says. It turns brown on the north side. This is the second restoration. So the column remains on my bucket list.
I drink in the great surrounding 360 degree view. Oregon looking south, and mouth of Columbia River and Washington State looking north includes span of Astoria bridge. Someday there may be projected markings on the earth (like football game broadcasts using laser boundaries and deliniations) to show exact Astoria‘s very hilly. There was one slope that must have been a 50 degree slant.
On the way back to Illwaco I stop at site of a prosperous Chinook Tribal tradepost on Washington side of Columbia. I luck out and stop into the site where Lewis and Clark were held up against the rocks by tide and weather. Then stopped into Fort Columbia
to see those big guns. Made it back to camp after visiting tuna fisherman Aaron ending his day on the dock. Friendly guy mentioned the Tuna Club cocktail party.
Drove back to camp, walked and fed the terrierists. Getting lots of heads turning smiles when the dogs walk by.
I fry a juicy burger, flip channels looking for Republican debate (available to public airwaves?), can’t find it, add mushrooms to burger, and cheese. Will watch the talking heads blab about it tomorrow.
Time for shut eye. Tomorrow driving south to Cannon Beach.
Talk talk talk about global warming. GW is happening people. Most all scientists signing on yet many people (who enjoy sciences breakthrus) still in denial about human consumption being the cause. Certain idiots with egos bigger than their asses professing scientists wrong. We are all hypocrits for not doing more to curtail consumption. I’ve been good about conserving some things but not others. Good about using less water, electric, and recycling. Bad about petroleum (my rig drinks it). Charged issue. It will take a global catastrophe to get people of world to change consumption and manufacturing habits to sustainable practices. Solar energy coming along but nothing gets done unless corporations (people) make sustainable-responsible decisions. How can we innovate solutions if all new efforts get blocked by greedy & powerful (TM).
Changing subject, It occurs to me how important it is to like oneself. When one is alone with ones thoughts one must consider both shortcomings and strengths. Strengths are rewarded in this world so that is good, right? Ones limitations also define a person in the same way as positive and negative space create a design. Here’s a truism: Be grateful of things you can do and not resentful of things you can’t do. The classic argument about innate talent is bull. If one is physically healthy with determination one can accomplish a high level of excellence in any discipline one desires. People use it as an excuse why not to follow their passion. Certainly some are born with advantages. Some are born geniuses. Many take these advantages for granite so they lose their opportunity by not using their ‘talents’. Those who are not geniuses can succeed to high levels with practice and persistence. This is what I believe. Its up to you to decide what success is. In the end, one must be happy with oneself. It’s not enough to have a fan club if one doesn’t believe in ones self. I’m trying to recognize destructive self-doubt when it comes about. Fear needs to be isolated and challenged.
Having a few hours here and there to think, create, dream and sort is starting up those life questions again. Damn! Thought those were suppressed.
For one thing, it would help if I talk faster. People love to talk. They use any and all air time available. I get pushed out of conversations so often. Everything is a fricking competition. Finding a parking place, a camp site, a few words edgewise. People like to hear themselves talk. Admit it. Why can’t there be open space? Quiet spots in a conversation? Same effect as a roundabout. So much talk is non-stop nuerotic yakity-yak. Two or more people and I either walk or listen if it’s interesting. I’m not naming names, but really people! This phenomenon more frequently evident with women (not pc). Conversations should carry musical accents of empty space. Use non-talking time to listen to others and edit yourself. Also, stop trying so hard to be funny please. And also, do a sound check when speaking as many people talk like they are at a rock concert where-ever they are. If someone is standing 3 feet away use appropriate volume of speaking voice. We are co-existing here. Some of you attention whores are pigging up the air waves with conversational bulldozing. Ha Ha, you can’t interrupt this soapbox pitch. Doing my best to make it a better world.
I’m noticing a letter “Y” (why?) appearing on my forehead. It appears to be blood vessels in a bluish color under the skin. It’s been there my entire 59 years so why do I notice the Y now and why not before? Questions.
The Why (Y) on my forehead is as perfect a tattoo as I could conger for myself.
I’ll sketch a tattoo design based on Y. (Double entendre is necessary for any tattoo I would consider) Drew up a tattoo design 15 years ago using letter D as initial take off point. I liked it and used it as a logo, embroidered on hats and merchandise, but never used as a tattoo (glad I didn’t as I’ve tired of that image). I had someone request to use it as a tatoo (I gave thumbs up). The letter Y is much more appropriate. The Y is like a road that splits two opposing directions and one must forever decide which way next.
It also suggests a philosophy of questioning.
Last night I went to the Sea Hag Bar and Grill. Four people at bar and when I walked in they didn’t notice. Took a seat at the end where I could glance at TV. I ordered an IPA
from the surprised bartender who was very surprised to see me or anyone walk through the door. He was animated, friendly young bartender. He reminded me of Portuguese friend Manual.
His eyes were bright. Advised me on a few local Ilwaco sites to visit. The 2 lighthouses and a secret beach.
I was sketching my tattoo design contentedly and overhearing drunken fishermen bar talk when a young man sat down near me. He talked loud, brazen, a little fast (meth?) and voice deep to bartend. One man fell off his bar stool, grunting, face red and chaotic arms flailing. He wasn’t embarrassed since he was too drunk. His friend helped him back up on stool and they ordered another drink. He blamed the stool. In Seattle they would have cut him off and kicked him out in a second. Dorothy we’re not in the Emerald City anymore.
The young man laughed at commotion and asked, “you a pool player?”.
I wanted some interaction so I said yes, “though not very good”. He claimed to be no good too. It occurred this could be start of a hustle. He reminded me of the con Neal Cassady as portrayed by Jack Kerouac in On the Road. Dick was quick, flashy, exciting, drop-dead handsome just as Neal. Our game was interrupted a few times with his cigarette breaks outside but I was on a streak and sunk the 8 with two of his balls left. Quite happy with my game since most of the time straight shots do not drop. Bit of conversation between shots. His name: Dick. (really?) “Thought you said you weren’t any good” he said. “I have my moments” I return.
Ordered another IPA. Dick started asking personal questions. Told him some of what he wanted to know. Dick said he wanted financing for: a book of jokes collected from bars all across America with photo and name of jokester. I suggested he find financing on the internet. I asked him for a sample joke but he instead told me how the Coast Guard and captain booted him off fishing boat so he’s here. Dick says captain threatened to throw him overboard for washing a pot incorrectly so he lost control and shouted in cap’n face for an hour. He says he collected all knives on board and was waving them around. Sounds crazy. (Red flag. Get away!) I decided Dick was a bit of a mess and not to encourage him. He has 5 kids from different mothers. He thought it funny when I asked him to stop making people. We went outside and smoked a joint. Said good byes around midnight. Just a mile back to campsite. Interesting night.
AUGUST again. Been many years since I’ve relaxed in month of August, usually busiest month of year for selling and creating bougiegangas. What a gift to enjoy life without deadlines. There have been days lately I’ve done nothing but walk nature trails with dogs. I’m not use to this. I need to mix it up some. That usually involves money and people. Though I’m trying to do nothing I can’t help but want to have fun. Jack Kerouac traveled across America several times in his life writing extensively about his frivolous obsessions and observations. Seems in On the Road he rockets from coast to coast barely stopping to take a gander longer than a few minutes here and there. Sounds like he had a blast but how can one see anything much while streaking through the countryside? He hung out in bars with a cast of friends he’d meet in Denver, San Francisco or New York. He drew word sketches based on quick impressions and later filled in with memory. I’m camping 2 days to 2 weeks in each location for a year. I will begin sketching from mind more. Feeling original beatnik ghosts of Kerouac, Cassady, Ginsberg, and Burroughs. Just finished designing a series of images honoring them. If you are a fan of Beats and my artwork you will likely want a set of beatnik coasters. (available after March 2016, check website).
When one travels to a new place there is excitement of discovery ahead. Feelin’ it now since I’ll be headed to Ilwaco in the morning.
Made the trip to Ilwaco in about 4 hours. Stopped at Spencer Lake for dog relief break.
Ate some of that crock pot 3 bean chili leftover from last night. Sooo good! Hope I don’t get gas (too bad we haven’t harnessed fart gas yet).
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