Friday, March 20, 2009

Stop and smell the Ocean

That's how it is in my neck of the woods. We pull over, find a parking area as we travel up and down the coast on U.S 101 highway and smell the Ocean, the Pacific Ocean. To the left of this picture is Humbug Mountain, just south of Port Orford, just over 1000 feet tall. We see snow on its top every winter. It doesn't last. But, when the weatherman tells us that there will be snow at 1000 feet, we can find it at the top and sides of Humbug. Below the mountain, and all around this parking lot are RV campgrounds. For $15 a night, hundreds of travelers spend weeks traveling from one campground to another. They set up their easels or cameras or fishing rods right down the beach here and draw, shoot, cast. All of them at the same time. Some brave souls don wetsuits and go surfing.

I've spent time with my grandchild and her friends collecting shells and agates. On low tide, I've dug for clams and mussels; If I want to picnic in style, I bring a pot, fill it with seaweeds and water, wait it for it to come to a boil, and then drop my harvest. If we are lucky, we can trap a few crabs too. No need for anything else, no lemons, or condiments of any sort. Just hot crabs, mussels and clams. If you brought a cooler with beer, you better follow the signs about alcohol consumption.

On our beaches, we can drive right on the sand. Crazy, but true. You see that truck? It just returned from a sand romp. It could have gotten stuck down there; and someone might have come to his rescue. The highway patrol, two or three people for the entire coast line from
Astoria to Brookings, are not going to veer off the highway too often to search for stranded motorists who might be necking on the beach at sunset.

Whatever artistic endeavors those folks want to pursue is o.k. with the officers. We have medical marijuana laws in this state, and assisted suicide. One never knows how one wants to live or end one's life.

And that brings me to the end of this week. I'm off to my physical therapy. Next week, I should be off medications, sober and alert. Or not.


Natalie said...

Wild and gorgeous!
Oh, and the ocean looks good too!xx

Lola said...

Medical marijuana laws and assisted suicide make Oregon one progressive, wonderful place to live, retire, die even. Here in Roma, the shadow of a nosy Pope makes these manifestations in defense of human dignity an offense. Did you hear what he said about condoms in Africa? The Vatican uplifted mayhem for a woman in a 17 year coma (she was weighing 20kg - my 3yr old weighs 16kg) whose father asked to unplug the machines, and it forbids the use of condoms in Africa? Life expectancy of AIDS/HIV victims 47 years? Good going, Benedict.

I consider myself a spiritual person, I have been baptized Catholic and I have my own (often outspoken) views on religion. But hypocrisy I cannot tolerate.

lakeviewer said...

Natalie- you would appreciate the water feature!

Lola- I wrote at lenght about the Pope in Chairman Bill's blog in response to the condom issue. I too used to be a faithful Catholic; now, more like a rational person with a
Catholic bent. Good to see you, bella.

momcat said...

Thats one cold beach but it sounds like you enjoy it just the same.

And Lola, I agree. Some of the Catholic religions rules and regulations or beliefs need to be updated in line with what is happening in the world and to the world of today.

Reya Mellicker said...

I love the smell of the Pacific and miss it so much (I lived in San Francisco for fifteen years before I moved here to DC.)

Smelling the Potomac River just isn't the same!

Frankofile said...

Curious idea, driving onto the beach. What space!

Thanks for dropping by my blog - Sky the dog hasn't bitten this toy just yet. A first!

Renee said...

Rosaria I love this post.

What a beautiful site you have to go to, and is that not far from your home. Wonderful.

I have a confession, my favourite thing about this post is the word 'necking.' I love the word and haven't heard it or seen it in years.

Love Renee xoxo

Helen said...

Good morning! Ah, the smell of an ocean ... not just any ocean ~ the Pacific! I have lived on the East Coast ~ the Atlantic just doesn't offer the same opportunity to stop and smell! Must make it a point to drive myself over the pass to our coast more often .......

Sink said...

Oh, I need an ocean break!! Really. I'm ready. There is nothing like the waves to smooth out the rough edges.

lakeviewer said...

Ladies and gentlemen, pack your wet-suit and tent gear. You can spend months going from camping site to camping site. Oregon is amazingly beautiful.

willow said...

Your neck of the woods is glorious! Quite different from the humble corn and soybean fields of central Ohio.

Thanks for stopping by for a cuppa! I have seen you around the bloggyhood, but I can't remember exactly where.

Woman in a Window said...

"We have medical marijuana laws in this state, and assisted suicide." What a wonderfully smart place to be. I hope the shadow of those liberalisms falls far.

Debbie said...

So many of us don't enjoy the beauty around us. Kudos to you for stopping and enjoying.

Sarah Lulu said...

It's hard for me to imagine being so cold so close to the ocean.

It does snow here (a little) sometimes because I'm up in the mountains but ..down at the coast (2 hours away) it is always always warm!

Love your photos, please keep them coming.

marc aurel said...

I is a comin. It looks wet and wonderful. A bit like Cornwall, but a lot bigger.

snowsparkle said...

hey there,
you stopped by my blog and here i am at yours feeling the same words you used to comment on mine... such depth and beauty in your observations... they bring such peace too. thanks for being and writing.
big hugs,

Ribbon said...

Beautiful ocean shot. I can smell it :-)

As an Aussie it's odd for me to associate snow with the ocean. I have had that experience upon visits to New Zealand.

Thank you for your visits & taking the time to comment at my blog too.
I have now left a msge in the comments section to let you know the secret behind the illusions. Hope you will be able to see the baby now.

All the best wishes with you therapy and for a drug free life
:-) Ribbon

valeria said...

I am stunned by the beauty of this place! I grew up on the sea and living in Verona is so different! But I feel the emotion of the waves inside of me, part of my soul. Watching this is just spectacular.
...and I would pick up shells and stones too...! I love that. You really find Agata stone? The violet one?!?!? I must come there!!

Fire Byrd said...

Oh I want to be there right now....
The smell of the sea is just one of the best smells in the world.

OOhh just read Lola's comment, totally agree with her.
My Irish mother was excommunicated from the Catholic Church she married an English Protestant...... yep good old tolerance not alive and kicking still.

Renee said...

You are amazingly funny. I was laughing at the calming down. I've done that exact thing and then I'm like 'what?'

Why were you up so early. Are the pills keeping you awake?

Loe Renee

lakeviewer said...

Hello there everyone,

I finally had a good night's rest last night, twelve hours between medications, and six hours of dreamland. How I miss that!

Thanks for stopping by, parking, down the path to the beach and walking with me. We collected a few shells, lots of agates, small transparent stones hidden among the gravel and the flotsam, many colors sparkling and inviting us to bend down. We had to look up often and check the waves. At times, those waves errantly sweep us off our feet, knock us down and drag us back into the bigger Ocean. People have died here, innocently enjoying the walk and the findings.

This is a warning to all, even a simple activity, totally enjoyable, can turn into tragedy. There are reasons why we have developed all kinds of skills to deal with errant behaviors around us, from man or nature.

Remember how themes in literature used to be neatly arranged in simple categories: man vs nature; man vs man; man vs himself, and on like that. Life mixes up themes, and it presents us with situations that are hard to categorize.

Each of us lives a life too hard to categorize.

The Ocean: too hard to take in understand with one visit.

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Well I'm just plain jealous!

Anonymous said...

I know the highway of which you speak and have driven on the sand. Lovely and always feels a little crazy to try, but we just must!

Thanks you for the words to my blog! Truly. You have encouraged me with your comments and I appreciate your kindness!

karen said...

I'm trying to catch up on so many blog posts! Thanks for the wonderful depiction of your coastal area - so very different from here. Just lovely, I enjoyed it so much! Hope the physical therapy went well :)

Delwyn said...

Hello Rosaria
I loved your coastline post.
We have a couple of phrases here to describe the huge contingent of retired campers who tow their caravans or drive their vans up and down the Australian coastline.

The first is Grey Nomads

and the second S.A.D.S. -
see Australia and die...

Tessa said...

A breath of salt-laden air - for me, the elixir of life. The ocean redeems and uplifts me. Thank you for taking us along with you. It was wonderful.

Lola, I hear you loud and clear! Well said indeed! What stupidity, what ignorance - it is intolerable.

Man of Roma said...

Still lurking, didn't have time to post any reasonable comment until now. Usually I post here and there, no matter if the post is the latest or not, hope you won’t mind.

This Oregon coast fascinates me. So you are from California, if I well understood, but you often arrived here with family to enjoy the breathtaking landscapes.
I'm curious, since I've been to California a few months ago and I found Big Sur and other Californian areas breathtaking too, so I can imagine what Oregon must be.

Like Lola, I also am impressed by Medical marijuana laws and assisted suicide in your state. Yes, our Pope is nosy in Italian affairs too much most of the time. It is likely that my next post will be on assisted suicide and how it's been a very civilised tradition since the times of the Romans.

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