Holy Cow! I always feel this way during the holiday season (like I’m being drug after a runaway horse), but this year seems particularly intense. Mostly because I’m so behind in what I need to get done. Anyway, since the last post a LOT has happened and I’ve drafted many posts in my head……..things I’m behind in.
So. Husband and I went to Portland for Thanksgiving to see Jason and Staci and that beautiful boy, Max. We left on Monday of that week and drove to Grants Pass to spend the night. It is a beautiful drive, really it is. I liked driving through the nut orchards and rice fields and then a snowcapped Mt. Shasta plays peek a boo with you as you travel north. Tuesday, we headed for Portland but made a left turn (we are very good at all things left) and went to the little coastal town of Manzanita. I did love the forests we drove through, especially in the fog. Many of the trees were bare of leaves but covered in a wonderful kind of shaggy lichen or moss which the fog made very mystical and a wonderful gray-green color. The scenery reminded me of a poem I studied in school about 1000 years ago, Evangeline. It begins like this.
The fall colors were still around, particularly a heavenly shade of ochre gold. The road to the coast (we found out later) was an old logging road: narrow, winding, complete with a tunnel. When we FINALLY reached our destination, the inn keeper said, “You didn’t take 53 did you?” (or whatever the highway number was). Well, yes, yes we did. Anyway, it was an experience that we didn’t repeat when we drove to Portland on Wednesday afternoon – we took “the road less traveled by” the first time but took another way the next time.
Many years ago, we took the girls up the middle of CA and OR to Portland, then Astoria and then back home down the coast. It was a fun trip and we stopped a lot and enjoyed the ocean, Tillamook cheese, Ft Bragg, etc. When we were coming down the coast from Astoria, we drove through a quaint little town with the ocean on the right and the town on the left. That day there was a kite festival of some kind and the brilliant blue sky was filled with brightly colored kites of all shapes and sizes. Really a magical sight. I thought to myself that I would like to live there someday. Had no idea what the town was but later studied a map and decided it was Manzanita. All these years, I’ve held that place in my heart as a magical little town on the coast of Oregon where I wanted to buy a little cottage and live out my “golden years.” Yeah. As it turned out when I actually arrived in Manzanita, I realized there was no way this could have been the little town I’d been fantasizing about for so many years. The highway doesn’t even go through town! But, it is a lovely little place and the people are very friendly and there is very good food to be had! We stayed here in the Westerner room. A challenge for Husband as it was on the top floor (3rd floor) but it had a view of the ocean and was in the smack middle of town – walk right to the ocean and walk left to food and shopping. Perfect! I had ordered Thanksgiving pies from Nehalem Pie Company (pumpkin, marionberry and apple, cranberry, walnut) and Billie and her husband could not have been friendlier. They moved up there from SoCal, as apparently a lot of folks had, as the woman who ran the florist shop next door (we took pies and flowers as our contribution to dinner) graduated from Leigh High School right here in San Jose! You can learn a lot about folks if you take the time to chat them up. For instance, the woman who runs the yarn shop (and chocolates and teas, coffees, etc) shares my love of pumpkin pie for breakfast. Husband sat around while I did my shopping (quite sophisticated for such a little town, actually) and we had a couple of very good meals.
I’ll stop for now – this is getting really long. More later about another highway and Thanksgiving in Portland.