In a way this is another covid story. By the beginning of the year vaccinations really started to roll out. Pat was able to get one early because of her age and as the supply increased the requirements got lowered to cover more and more people. Knowing the vaccine was around the corner gave us all hope. This was great news as Pat was now comfortable traveling to see family. With that in mind Pat booked a trip over Mother’s Day to the west coast to see everyone. It had been a while since she saw her daughter and grand kids and she couldn’t wait to see everyone.
The weekend before we where all camping at Cape Disappointment and this weekend we all where in Depoe Bay for several days. Pat arrived middle of the week so we headed to the beach on Thursday. Depoe Bay isn’t far so we got two solid days in the area and two days for travel which worked out well.
Thursday was the first travel day. Took my time as always getting up and out. I took the nice drive down US18 through Tillamook which was pretty. It was only a few hours drive and I arrived not long after everyone else. I remember walking out to the back deck to say hello to Pat. First time I saw her in well over a year and it was good to see her. She immediately wanted to give me a hug but I only had one shot at the time so it would have to be air hugs this time around. I hadn’t given any hugs in over a year and I was so close to the finish line. No reason to mess it up this late in the game.
The house was really nice. New duplex construction a block from the water and right along the main drag. This made it super simple getting to restaurants and shopping in Depoe Bay. It’s a small town but a very charming one. Apparently its claim to fame is watching the whales as they migrate and the Coast Guard station they have. I spent lots of time on the second story deck enjoying the views but never saw any whales. Wrong season for sure but I was still looking. It was my morning ritual to make coffee, grab The Post and head to the deck to greet the morning. Because of work I’m usually up before anyone else and I take advantage of the peace this early in the day.
That first day we spent around town. We did some shopping at the tourist shops and got some lunch at Gracie’s Sea Hag. We also stopped at the Whale Watching Museum but like all the other state park the visitor center was closed. Didn’t matter, still had some great views of the coast and a few plaques with information. We also did some grocery shopping for dinner that night. Bobby and I headed to Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Market and Annex in Lincoln City to get some crabs. When at the coast you eat seafood and when dungeness crabs are in season it was a no brainier. It wasn’t Pat first choice but we had numbers on our side.
Saturday I forget what everyone else did but I was going on a hike. I picked Drift Creek Falls, the most popular hike in the area and on a weekend with half decent weather. When I got back and relayed my story to Tracy she told me, very politely, I was a moron for doing that hike. I don’t disagree but it was still a lot of fun.
The trail head is deep in the Siuslaw National Forest and it’s logging roads to get back there. Surprisingly the road was paved the entire way to the trail head. It’s narrow as shit with no marking so go slow. Once section was actually washed out but I just drove past the barrier and the debris. Its certainly single lane only on that section. It was a really nice drive in the forest. When I got to the trail head the lot was smashed so I kept going. Unfortunately out this far there wasn’t much else. Not wanting to leave the forest I found a small pull out and parked my car. I got out my camp chair and sat there in nature. The road isn’t well traveled so I was just sitting there enjoying the sounds of nature. I even took a long nap which felt amazing.
By late afternoon the drizzle woke me up so I headed back to the trail head. This late in the afternoon the place was pretty much cleared out and I finally snag a place to park. Several hours later than expected I started my hike to Drift Creek Falls. This is a popular hike so the trail is well maintained and not difficult. There is an offshoot I took that extended the hike by maybe a mile or so. In short order I was at a very impressive foot bridge across the ravine and my first glimpse of the falls to the right. From the bridge you are right at the top of the falls looking down.
Once on the other side of the bridge things got a little tricky down to the river. You can very easily see the falls from the top but I wanted to get closer. It’s a short rock scramble to the base of the falls. Unfortunately time was not in my side so it was a quick visit. I was hoping to do some writing but there just wasn’t enough time before I had to get back to the house.
We cooked the night before so tonight we went out. One of the best places in town is right across the street from the house, Tidal Raves. Felt strange sitting indoors at a restaurant but it was good. The place has some good views of the coast line and all the food was excellent. We shut that place down we were there so long. Appetizers, main course and then several desserts shared among the table. I mean we did get a late start on diner but not for us. For Depoe Bay, absolutely it was late.
Sunday came and it was already time to head home. Being Mother’s Day Bobby and I cooked eggs Benedict for everyone. It seems like a lot of work but it isn’t. We sat down for one last meal together before parting ways. My route home took me back through the forest and the fire roads. Tracy was concerned but I wasn’t. Just too good a drive to not take it home. Didn’t matter if it took longer, it was worth the trouble to drive through the forest again.
The Oregon coast is different than any other place with its own unique beauty. The drive along the forest roads and hike to the falls was great. Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint just to the north has some great view of the coast. Just smoking cigars with Bobby we found two great spots to hang out and view the coast. I definitely could have spent more time here but all things must come to and end, even vacation. Especially vacation.