First Quinn and I planned to walk the final 90 miles of the Camino de Santiago in Spain in May 2020 as a tribute to my 75 years of life. Well, COVID swallowed up that idea, but surely by September 2020 we’d be past all the hubbub and could fulfill our hopes to accomplish this goal in the 75th year of my birth. When it became clear the all-clear was not in view, I asked Q if she would consider walking the visible coastline of our beloved Harbor Villa in Rockaway, Oregon, instead.
Let’s be clear—Quinn will censure any words that hold the meaning replace. She wants it understood that these days at the coast are simply a place holder for our planned Camino adventure, now postponed until May 2021.
On Monday, the horizon was clear as her flight arrived at PDX. We made our way down to Newberg for a quick Nara teriyaki lunch with Mauri then enjoyed a scenic drive across the coast range.
I’m glad I snapped this familiar scene from Captain’s Cabin because its nearly clear skies were about to change. Even the limp flag bears witness to the calm before the storm. By evening Mauri texted about the East winds he was experiencing in Newberg, and just as we were about to turn off our lights for the night, the power went out. No bid deal, right? We were going to sleep anyway, so we wouldn’t need electricity for seeing or cooking or using our phones. Our newly purchased food would be fine if we didn’t open the fridge doors. What we didn’t expect was spending a mostly wakeful night listening to the ceaseless high winds beat up the environment just outside our windows.
Despite our flimsy sleep, we had plenty of energy to fill my dream of walking the beach, both barefoot and shoed. The clear blessing of time with my dear daughter was not lost on me.
The day would require two trips down to Tillamook—to (1) car charge our phones, find cell service to send Beth a happy 40th birthday video, buy food for lunch, and stand in a l-o-n-g line for coffee at the Fred Meyer Starbucks then to (2) charge our phones again, fill my gas tank, and buy ice, since it was clear we couldn’t depend on electricity to cool our food. Minor inconveniences, ALL!
We didn’t worry much about getting too much sun.
The traditional walk to Barview Jetty and back could wait no longer! On the way we relived some of our past walks during family gatherings, once when Bailey dragged his toe in the sand all the way there (2.5 miles). That’s the jetty in sight behind us.
She made it!
I made it too, but this is the only portion of the photo that’s shareworthy. Vanity.
Having just completed a national park “hop” with Cassidy (where they saw three bears three days in a row!) Quinn was eager to read the diary from a road trip she made with her (Nill) grandparents and Ben in 1978 when she was 7 years old and Ben was 9. It began in Indiana and reached all the way to Bellingham, WA, to visit my sister Carol and family. After more than a week with their cousins, which included The Firs Day Camp, they headed up into Canada’s Glacier and Yoho National Parks then down into Montana’s Glacier NP, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone, stopping in Chicago to visit their other grandparents before returning the kids to us in Durham, NC. I was amazed then and even more amazed now to think how brave were my parents, my mother then a new driver(!), taking on such an extended adventure. Of course I had to stay up that night reading it too.
Heading back home to reality. I dropped Q at PDX for her flight back to Arizona, where the air holds residue from the California fires. From there I returned to Newberg, where local mountain fires were 50 percent contained but the air quality index is 479. Visibility is clearly unclear! It isn’t exactly what we pictured, but you won’t hear either of us complain!