I went to the Redwoods National Park Visitor Center and scooted around it to say my final goodbyes to California on a beach of black sand, listening to the pounding surf, ready for a new place.
As you might expect in March, Oregon was rainy. It was raining in every direction, misting, aggressively rolling fog around, dripping, down-pouring, hailing, and sprinkling. Even if it wasn't technically raining, the air was wet and the possibility of rain wasn't far off.
I loved all of it, from standing on a beach and needing to hold onto a tree branch to stay upright, to spending an afternoon snuggled in my bed, watching rain fall from the edge of the roof.
As soon as I went over the Oregon border there was a gigantic cannabis shop, which explained the California border patrol being in a place I didn't expect to see them.
I drove toward Coos Bay through the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor and visited Bastendorff Beach Park when I arrived, then headed into town where I had a super good dinner and browsed through a vintage shop for a jar in which to put the stuff on my dashboard that was threatening to spill over.
I stopped at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area for about 2 minutes. It was raining so hard that I was soaked through in the time it took me to sprint up a flight of stairs, point my phone's camera at some dunes, and sprint back. Still, it was a jaw dropping sight.
I stopped at every 3rd or 4th turnoff to ogle the waves crashing far below, careful not to slip off the edge of a slick rock wall in my effort to take a photo. The amount of water in the air made everything feel ethereal, until a semi would roar out of and back into the gloom. I was definitely in the minority in my enjoyment of the weather.
I stayed in Pacific City in a completely adorable motel, the Sand & Surf Inn, which was affordable with its off-season prices, but so very much nicer than Motel 6. The couple who own it are incredibly nice. I'd go back to that part of Oregon just to stay there and see more of the area.
For the first time in days I felt like going for a walk, which of course meant following a goat trail down off the side of a monument in the middle of nowhere and ending up at the top of a ridiculously tall dune overlooking the water. The scramble back up was exhausting and exhilarating. It appears that I no longer hike intentionally; it's all accidental.
I slept well in my cozy bed at Surf & Sand, dreaming about Cannon Beach, just up the road.