Oregon is such a beautiful place. I love the weirdness waiting around every corner in Portland. I love the delicate structure and balance of an Oregon Pinot Noir. I love the raspberries, blueberries and tiny Oregon strawberries that bloom in the summer. I love the expanse of trees and flowers–and even the rain that makes them possible. And I love the dangerous and beautiful coast that you should never turn your back on, lest you be caught by Oregon’s nefarious sneaker waves.
My roommate, Lee and I took Dante (the dog) on an adventure on the Oregon coast.First stop was Neskowin and proposal rock.
Then we hit a “wayfinding” point that made me feel like I was standing on the top of a castle in Ireland.
Then came Haystack rock, Cape Kiwanda home of the Dory fleet (fishermen) and I giant sand dune that I climbed halfway up (as did Dante, though with much more ease). It seems like a gloomy day in the pictures, but it was quite warm.
One of the great things about Oregon is you can stop virtually anywhere and find a beautiful spot. We stopped on the road between Tillamook and Carlton, followed a fisherman’s trail and found a swimming hole along Nestucca. None of these pictures have been edited in any way. I took all of them with my Blackberry camera phone. Imagine how glorious the day was in person.
Finally, we ended the day at Tillamook Cheese Factory. Lee told me some amazing stories about her childhood; how her grandfather owned a dairy farm of Jersey cows that are smaller than other cows, have sweet, slightly bowled faces with black noses and black eyes and produce milk with high butterfat. She told me about how when she and her brothers were younger and visited the creamery that her grandfather went to. They would always ask for curds, and the people who worked at the creamery would just scoop some out and give it to them. Today, Tillamook sells them as “squeaky cheese” (marketing genius by the way, squeaky cheese vs. curds). Lee said that when they’re warm they’re really squeaky, but while they were cold they didn’t squeak very much. She also showed me her grandfather’s old farm, and the creamery they used to visit (a while back the government decided to combine the many creameries into one big one; Tillamook). Her grandfather’s farm had a sort of dilapidated charm about it, and as Lee spoke about the peeling paint and how her grandfather would never let it get so run down, just for a second, I could see a glimpse of the farm that Lee remembered. Bright red paint, green grass, children running around, unmindful of the smell that they got used to. She has the most interesting stories. I am lucky to be able to hear them. I live in the past every now and then thanks to her, able to see a different world–happier, simpler, not necessarily better, but different.