When Michelle and I knew each other in Mauritania, we both went to the beach pretty much every single Saturday. We all did (we being a large-ish group of expats). There wasn’t a lot to do otherwise, and it was a fun family and friend day. Here is a sample story of a fairly average week, except for the shark and the car being on fire. Although honestly, it was a fairly average day since that level of “excitement” wasn’t unusual. (edited to add: i just added in the link. Sheesh. Why didn’t someone tell me?)

Michelle now lives in Kansas. (I need more coffee since I wrote “Michelle know lives.” Be right back) For those of you a bit vague on your American geography, Kansas is right smack in the middle of this vast, continent-wide country, big on amber waves of grain but low on shining seas. She hadn’t been to the beach in 3 years, and she had never seen the Oregon coast. Naturally, we had to take her.

We also took Eve and her artist husband. I have been very worried about Eve lately. I think she’s been quite depressed. She won’t leave her tiny dark apartment, even when we invite her places. She sleeps a lot, and doesn’t get up even when we come to visit. So I was very happy when she allowed herself to be persuaded to come with us. Her husband deals with past horrors through painting beautiful pictures, but Eve doesn’t have that outlet.

We drove to the middle of the State in order to visit my favorite beach, Fogarty. We went here last month with the kids and it was gorgeous and sunny. Yesterday was foggy and overcast, but warm and not raining. For the Oregon Coast it was enough.

Fogarty has lots of driftwood and kelp.  There are enormous tangles of kelp, like ropes or intestines.

Sometimes the kelp is stinky, but always, it is interesting.

It lies in swirls and loops; it attaches itself to rocks and wood.

heap o’ kelp

Fogarty also features lots of driftwood, offering places to sit and relax and enjoy the view.

Aside: Those steps did not used to be there. (what horrible syntax) I am a horrible cantankerous grouch when it comes to beachside development. This would ONLY be good if I lived there!

I call this one “dragon driftwood.” It has been there for years and years, lying there through storms and sun while I was off gallivanting round the globe and living in the desert where the beach has no such logs. (It looks more like a dragon from the other end, but I liked this angle. Squint a bit and use your imagination.)

We explored the bottom of the cliffs and got our feet soaked in the process.

We looked at strange protrusions in the rock face.

We took lots of pictures, even Michelle, who still has pictures from 3 years ago on her memory card.

looking north

I love how the incessant wind shapes the trees.

Even though it wasn’t sunny, it was pleasantly warm. After a while we left the coarse sand and kelp

and drove further south, stopping to look for whales. All that kelp bobbing about in the waves does make the Oregon Coast a good spot for whale watching. In fact, when we came down with the kids for the day last month, we spotted 3 whales! Yesterday we had no luck though.

We went as far as Depoe Bay, where we bought enormous ice-cream cones and coffee, then we drove home. Eve was the happiest I have ever seen her. “I am so happy,” she kept saying, as if amazed at herself. “This is Paradise,” she said at one point. Who cared if the sun actually shone, rather than merely peeping through the fog? Who cared if the whales spouted and showed themselves? It was another perfect day.