Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Portland loves....

(Bunny spray painted at ground level at the corner of a building on Aberta Street in Portland).

My journey is nearly complete. I am exhausted and yet I can internally reflect on the last 4 days in the middle of the chaos that is the Portland airport. My flight leaves in less than an hour and yet my day was full before noon.

This day began earlier than the last few. A 4am text from Brent asking if I knew where Lillie's backpack was... yes. This really happened. This was after my alarm went off (I have no idea why) and I had talked myself into going back to sleep and not going to the coast. The Oregon coast, the coast that I had told just about everyone I talked with over the last 4 days that I was going to visit. Yes, I had chickened out. Then the text.

So I got up. 4:30am. Showered, packed every single thing I had collected (and it all actually fit!!), checked out and off I went in total early morning darkness on my journey-to the Starbucks down the street from the hotel. No adventure should be attempted without a serious dose of manna--Triple Venti No Foam Latte.

I was set. The caffeine boost was enough to send my fears of the unknown into the dark corners of the itty bitty rental car.

It was a little tricky to navigate a city I do not know, in the dark and rain, and on the phone with Misty. Something had to go so I could drink my latte!!! Just kidding--I made it with NO turn arounds!! (unlike my arrival!)

Somehow, the directions held true and by full daybreak I arrived at Seaside, Oregon. Led by my gut, I found the exact cul de sac I had been told about. I parked, grabbed my camera and off I went.

It was so cold and windy and rainy that had I not been on a serious mission to touch the western coastal waters, I might have ducked into the bakery I parked in front of to wait it all out (like I had even seen the sun since I got here!!)

Looking for shells to take back to my family, I came across this partial sand dollar. And another. And another. The only shells on the beach at this time were partial sand dollars... amazing!!

You know something's up when the residents are all fluffed up and look miserable.

Walking along snapping shots of whatever I came across, I found this perfect heart, minus the wings. The chest plate of a crab--who would have known crabs carried such beauty so close?

I was in the land of crows! Walking into my hotel, one serenaded me from the roof. Driving along the roadways, I saw their dark shapes on the light posts, in the fields, on the sidewalks... I was in heaven!!! I shared my coffee cake with a crew--a murder of crows. First one, then two, the six... there was a trio on the beach as the area warmed a little. This one let me get pretty close before he fled.

Too quickly my time at the beach was over. On the way to Seaside, I noticed a natural area and found it on the way back to Portland. Driving down the single lane paved road, I was transported into the land of long ago. The area was quiet, the only sounds were the running water--in the creek and through the branches of the trees.

I would never tire of this view.

I will return. I have to!