We woke and did all the things normal people do: showered, put on deodorant and other foo foo smelling things and headed out to breakfast. We ate at a little diner that had terrible food but it didn't matter, we were all smiles and laughter again.
After breakfast we headed northwest through a beautiful forest with Mt. Shasta towering majestically in the distance. Josh had downloaded some audio books and we listened to John Muir's story of Stickeen who was a little dog that accompanied Muir on some wild adventures in Alaska. It was a great story and stoked my adventurelust.
We merged with I-5 and headed into Oregon! I've never been before and the amount and variety of trees was amazing! We drove through Ashland, which is an adorable little town, and stopped for gas. Here, Josh told me it is illegal for you to pump your own gas in Oregon...Mind.blown. I reveled in the novelty of having a full service gas station experience before we headed on.
Everything was so familiar yet so different and I ebbed and flowed from reality to reality. I remember this cotton life and raced to do the things I loved to do here remembering that soon I'd be back on the trail. But I also only wanted to go hike in this new and amazing terrain.
We drove through old growth rain forests, river valleys and marsh land that reminded me of New Orleans but with less humidity. We arrived in Eugene mid afternoon and Josh set about showing me his old stomping grounds. Eugene is a cute little town and I enjoyed seeing Josh reminisce. We ate dinner at Chili's, another one of our post hike stops back home, and continued west toward the ocean.
This whole hike I've longed to be at the ocean, which is strange to me since I live blocks from the beach in San Diego and never go. In fact, I spent more time driving AWAY from the beach heading for the mountains than I did at home. We arrived in Florence, Oregon around 7:30pm. The sun was still out in force and we drove west until we hit water. I couldn't wait to jump out of the car and get my feet in the sand and walked barefoot over gravel to get there. It was cold and windy but clear and the beach stretched on in each direction for miles littered with broken sand dollars, giant pine tree logs and sand dunes. I breathed in the salty air and felt like I was home. We walked up the coast for a while until we were cold and returned to the car. We drove a few blocks south and crossed a beautiful old draw bridge over the Siuslaw river. Josh spotted a Best Western and we zipped in to get a room. We love The Best Western, it's the best affordable hotel we've found. Josh rented a beautiful room with a river view and now, we are all tucked in for the night.
Until tomorrow, goodnight.