Why choose the Oregon coast for a month-long stay in late fall? Because it is beautiful here and being the off-season, far less crowded and more affordable than in the summer. And it seemed like it would be the part of the northwest where we’d find the most temperate weather. This has proven true – October already brought snow to Montana, eastern Oregon, and our home in Missouri!
We are so happy we chose this area for the final four weeks of our abbreviated and much-adapted Leg 6 (as I write this I’m aware that we should be in Nairobi right now, getting ready to take a train to Mombasa on Friday; Oregon, while beautiful, is not exactly Kenya). We are especially happy with our choice of home. It is likely the nicest Airbnb we’ve stayed in on our own and so cozy. It is also just a three-minute walk from the beach and the host is certainly the nicest we’ve ever had (he stocked the fridge for our arrival with beer and breakfast stuff, in addition to a handwritten note and chocolate bar, and has gone out of his way to provide helpful information).
In our first week-and-a-half here we’ve focused on getting to know the area. After all, we were doing a lot in the two weeks between Libby and here. The tiny town of Gleneden Beach sits between Lincoln City (population: 9,000, the area’s largest town by far) and Lincoln Beach (where our nearest grocery store is). There is a tavern we plan to try for a drink this weekend (they have a deck) and an upscale restaurant we don’t plan to try (no outdoor seating) and a great big golf resort and that’s about it except for its wonderful beach. We stopped by the little post office yesterday to meet the postmaster because there’s no home delivery here and Chad needs to have a few things shipped. Gleneden is an interesting place.
We’ve also gone on several walks and hikes in the area. There are plenty of nice forests nearby, which is what attracted us through Chad’s great research. We plan to start going farther afield in the coming weeks, but so far we’ve hiked at places called Spyglass Ridge, Fogarty Creek, and South Depoe Bay Creek. We also did a little piece of the Oregon Coast Trail.
Depoe Bay is actually another coastal town and we went there for our date day on Saturday. It was a fun day with our loop walk and beautiful views. Depoe Bay boasts that it has the world’s smallest usable harbor. After our walks, we went to a cafe in Lincoln Beach for crepes, but their outdoor tables were all in the shade and a bit too chilly for us, so we ordered them to go to enjoy in our sunny backyard with an Oregon Pinot Gris. (Did you know that Oregon ranks fourth in the U.S. in wine production behind only California, Washington, and New York, AND has more wineries than any state except California? I didn’t until we drove through the Willamette Valley!)
Although it’s a bit windy and occasionally rainy, most days have been sunny with highs in the upper 50s and we’ve enjoyed some nice beach walks and a picnic too. It is so nice to be reunited with the Pacific Ocean. It was very good to us during the first months of COVID.
Looking ahead, we plan to make some short trips to the Cascade trailhead portion of the Oregon Coast Trail, the hobbit trails and sea lion cave near Florence, and the Valley of the Giants forest, and weather-permitting, an overnight trip to Crater Lake National Park.
Overall we’re very happy with our choice to be here on the Oregon coast until we start heading toward home before Thanksgiving. It is a beautiful place and very calm, cozy, and peaceful – just what we need right now.