Woke up in our beach front room to the sound of the waves and the gulls. For some reason, we have been waking up at 5 am ever since we returned from our time in Michigan a few weeks ago. The nice thing about getting up early is you get a lot done before most people have rolled out of the rack!
Claire went out and did a power walk, while I cleaned up some eMail and did a blog post. Then we strolled on the magnificent beach. The Oregon coast looks like something from a sci-fi movie or a video game. The giant rocks that jut from the sand and the water provide unique views from every angle.
A dozen sea lions were warming themselves in the morning sun, and we had to be careful not to step on the random starfish that had washed up on the beach.
From Bandon, we continued south on 101 enjoying our last views of the Oregon coastline. We stopped for lunch in Eureka, California, and then entered the redwood forest. Although we have gotten somewhat used to big trees living in Washington state these past three years, we were still stunned by the groves of magnificent redwoods! Claire has fond memories from her childhood of seeing a car drive through a hole cut in a giant, living redwood tree. Apparently there are three such trees in the world, and we had to take the turn off’s to see at least two of them. Disclaimer: unless you are driving a very small car, you would be best advised NOT to drive through. I wasn’t even temped to try and get our pickup truck through the hole.
Claire did her online research along the way, and found us a B&B on the coast to stay the night. We pulled into the Howard Creek Ranch around dinnertime. I am not really sure how to describe the “ranch.” It is a cross between a homeless encampment and a hippy commune (but in a good way.) “Quirky” is the word Claire chose to describe it.
Claire booked “the beach house” which turned out to be the sturdiest building on the site. The other buildings included an old farmhouse and a barn that had been converted to the proprietor’s residence, guest rooms, and a bit of a museum. I am guessing most everything at the ranch has been scavenged over the past 40 years, and the owners have lovingly used what they could find to construct the compound. Once we settled into the beach house, we poured ourselves some drinks and laughed ourselves silly. However, the real laughing began when Claire started to read the entries in the guest journals of the beach house. Apparently the ranch attracts an “artsy” clientele who feel the need to express themselves (sometimes with poetry) as they recorded their life stories for future generations of guests. I honestly don’t know that I have ever seen Claire laugh so much!
Anyway, the place was a great part of our adventure, and we got a good night’s sleep before hitting the road for another day.