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Tank Full Of Gas Chapter 12: Oregon Coast

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Ah, road trips.  Remember those?  I used to post those once in a while?  It’s been a long time. For the past couple of months, it feels like I haven’t ventured far beyond the 3 mile radius between my apartment and my place of work.  With frequent occasional trips to Ikea, which is our favorite place in the world.

I’ll be the first to admit that my mental well being begins to suffer if I get into too much of a routine.  And somehow, though I am at a loss to explain, my mental well being seems to affect people who may be in the vicinity.  I do my best to keep Teh Crazy under control by doing projects, keeping busy, or meandering outside my routine.

This winter has also been a grand experiment since it is my first full Oregon Winter, with the Rain and the Gray and the Cold and the Blah.  I have been told this has been an unseasonably cold and dry winter.  I seem to be okay with it so far.  It was scheduled to rain today.  I was sorely tempted to stay home and laze on the couch in front of the fireplace do some work and be productive.  But I knew my mental health would be healthier if we hit the road and saw some goddamned nature.

Full Tank Of Gas, Chapter 12: The Oregon Coast, In A More Southward Direction


In honor of St Patrick’s day, and since I’m slightly Irish, we had Frosted Lucky Charms for breakfast.  There was like, a bowl and a half left in the box by the time I poured my cereal.  And you can’t leave just half a bowl for the next person (probably me), because that’s just rude and it violates The Laws Of Cereal.  So I ate the rest of the Lucky Charms and it was probably two and a half cups of pure sugar.  I also had some coffee to hydrate.  Iwasreadytogoforafrickendrivelet’sgo!

We headed west on route 8, just because it was different and as I said, this trip was all about breaking routine. The weather was schizophrenic with the sun and the rain and throughout the day, we saw no less than 10 rainbows.


Lots of these photos were taken by Dave.  He was busy passengering while I was busy driving.  My task was slightly more life threatening, so I kept my eyes on the road.  Most of the time.  He concentrated on the rainbows.

Since it was raining in Portland, we were dubious that it could possibly be sunny on the coast.  As we drove through the coast range, it REALLY rained.  And it looked as though there had been snow overnight.


My camera likes to take photos of the windshield.

We decided to go south for this trip, since a year ago, on our first Oregon road trip, we headed north.  I wanted to check out potential campgrounds for the summer and I was really just driving to drive.

As we were driving west, I noticed most of the traffic was going in the other direction.  It was smooth sailing heading to the coast.  Seeing all the other cars going in the other direction made me think that there was a reason no one was going west.  I do this every time traffic seems too smooth.  Like maybe there was some kind of catastrophe they were all running from.  Like a forest fire or giant killer waves, or Godzilla.  Dave assured me that people would probably flash their lights or motion for us to turn around if they were running from Godzilla.

We got to the coast and the rain let up a bit.  But the ocean was all frothy and whipped up and pissed off.


This is looking north from Cape Lookout.  That’s Netarts Bay on the right.  Here is a link to a guy who saw some Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) near here.  I knew the traffic was running from something.

Cape Lookout from Mile73 on Vimeo.

It was just nice to get out and breathe some ocean.  I love the ocean here in the same way I liked the ocean in Maine as a kid.  It’s cold.  It’s rugged.  The ocean here is not interested in entertaining you.  It’s easy for anyone to say they love the ocean, because who doesn’t like to sit on a warm beach and get a tan?  But you REALLY have to appreciate the ocean when it’s this aggressively unrecreational.  44 degrees out here.


Of course it was cold, and the Lucky Charms had worn off, and SOMEONE was super excited about getting beer at the Pelican Brewery.  We continued south.  The road mostly hugged the coast and continued to be amazing.


More from the Passenger Seat.  Then this, a mile later:


As we were driving, I began to develop a theory that the whole “soggy Oregon coast” thing was a giant fabrication to keep people out.  This was the third time we drove through rain on the way to the ocean to find it nearly sunny.


Isn’t this nice?  It’s another Haystack Rock.  I guess there are at least three Haystack Rocks on the coast of Oregon.  I guess “Haystack” must have been the only name left at the Name Store, way back when they were naming rocks.  There surely are no other suitable name for oceanic monoliths off the coast of Oregon.

We went into the brewery and had lunch, thinking we could take some photos after we ate.  But then the clouds socked in and the sand kicked up and we got pelted pretty badly.

Pacific City Sand Storm from Mile73 on Vimeo.

I got sand in my gum.  And elsewhere.  We were not able to take a walk without a third degree exfoliation so we got in the car. I am still trying to get the sand out of my nostrils.  It’s fun.

We wanted to see the shortest river in the world, so we continued south to Lincoln City.  And we saw it.  But I stayed in the car.

Beautiful Oregon Coast from Mile73 on Vimeo.

Okay, so the soggy weather bit is warranted.  It keeps the flakes and the faint-of-heart away.  Thankfully, we are neither.  Next time, we’re bringing a tent.

And maybe full body armor in case the seagulls go all Hitchcock on us.


Not scared of you, birds.


Okay, maybe a little.

Other road trips:

Chapter Eleven: Oregon Wine Country (hic)
Chapter Ten: Astoria, Oregon
Chapter Nine: Panther Creek Campground, WA
Chapter Eight, Green Canyon Campground, Mt Hood, Oregon
Chapter Seven, Spruce Run Campground, Coast Range, Oregon
Chapter Six, Bend, Oregon
Chapter Five, Seattle, Washington
Chapter Four, Mt Saint Helens, Washington
Chapter Three, The Gorge and Hood River, Oregon
Chapter Two, The North Coast and Astoria, Oregon
Chapter One, Waipi’o Valley, Big Island, Hawaii


  1. I miss the Oregon coast.

    Chapter 12: Elko, Nevada?

  2. I’ve been thinking about taking the fam and my folks out to the coast this next weekend. But I am getting outvoted. Something about “cold” and “rain.” Wimps.

  3. CilleyGirl says

    The really freaky part is how the birds are all facing the same way. Like there is a plan. Involving our eyeballs.

  4. Heather….some what off topic…I thought of you when I found this website! It’s Apartment Therapy . com
    The NY loft pic’s are cool.
    You should check out some of their storage ideas.

    Have you ever been up to the “Rain Shadow” in Washington?
    You should check out Friday Harbor!

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