Yesterday I got a text message from RockShowGirl saying, “I don’t have to work today. What are you up to?” (I took the liberty of changing her ‘r u’ to ‘are you’, by the way. You’re welcome.) I called her back and we decided that a day trip was just what we needed. We were originally thinking of going to Astoria, but she called back to say that it was warmer at the beach, so she suggested Oceanside, where I’d never been. On the way is Cape Meares lighthouse, which I’ve also never seen, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity for some exploring.
First stop was Cape Meares, where you can see the top of the lighthouse from the walking path, which is odd. We came around the corner and were startled to find that “Oh. . .that’s it right there. Crazy!” The path takes you right up next to it, and then snakes around so you can enter the site. The lighthouse turned out to be a cute li’l guy, too, not even forty feet tall. (Click the pics to view them larger.)
Admission is free, so we climbed clear to the top. (I know, right? Can you believe it? All that way. . .) I took a few pictures, but the ones from inside the lighthouse structure were much better than the ones I got of the view. See for yourself.
We didn’t spend too much time there, because we’d been driving for more than two hours over crazy roads paved with potholes, and then hiking around the lighthouse site, so by this time we were both getting really hungry and excited to get to the beach. We got back in the car and headed the rest of the way to Oceanside, a town perched beautifully but precariously on the edge of a cliff, with one main road and about five hundred residents. The great thing about going to the Oregon coast on a weekday is that wherever you go you will pretty much have the place to yourself, especially if you are off of the main highway.
Our first stop was Roseanna’s Cafe, where we shared an excellent lunch of clam chowder, salad, and a halibut burger. We were the only customers for about half of our meal, when another couple arrived. The place is excellent, and really cute, and I would highly recommend it. They have lots of seafood and pasta dishes in the $15-20 range that gave us Pavlovian salivation responses while reading their descriptions, but both of us are on a pretty tight budget these days, so we put it on our Places-To-Come-Back-To-In-The-Future list.
Finally, with our bellies full and satisfied, it was time to walk down to the ocean. The town of Oceanside is perched on a cliff, like I said, and the main beach near the town is run-of-the-mill as far as beaches go. I mean, it’s pretty and everything, but as a long-time Oregon resident, I have to admit that I’m pretty spoiled. The pictures I took of that part of the beach weren’t especially exciting either, quite frankly, so here’s a picture of the town instead that I took from there.
For the real beach experience of Oceanside, you walk through this tunnel. . .
. . .which, on the other side of the cliff, guides you onto a beautiful, secluded, rocky (and true–ha ha) beach that still feels very wild and unspoiled by civilization. We hiked around for an hour or two, climbing on the rocks, exploring caves, and taking pictures until the wind chilled us sufficiently and we decided to head back, but the beach and the town are exquisite, and I recommend a trip there. Here’s a little pictorial incentive for you.
Then it’s into the tunnel again. . .
. . .and you’re back in the real world of the twenty-first century. We walked back to the car and took the opportunity to drive up through the hills and explore the rest of the little town. All the roads except the main street are steep, narrow, serpentine one-lane switchbacks with signs posted saying how motor homes and trailers are not recommended. The houses are beautiful, almost without exception. In many of the yards were posted small signs telling us to boycott this certain place that was across the street from the restaurant at which we ate lunch. A quick Internet search just revealed the reason why: it’s now a strip club, and it seems that many of the residents are all up in arms about that. Kinda funny, really. For the record, I’m not a fan of strip clubs, but I’m a live-and-let-live kind of guy. If I don’t like a place, I won’t boycott it, I’ll just choose not to go there.
But that’s a story for another day. This is the story of a beautiful place, on a beautiful day, with a great friend.