The drive north continued to be full of beauty and delight ... we saw marshes, coastal mountains, pretty towns; the road took many twists and turns in this stretch of the Oregon coast.

The road skirted the shore of Tillamook Bay, across which we could see the narrow extended finger of land that made up the furthest point of Cape Meares. It was hard to stay oriented, as we went in different directions and saw beautiful juxtapositions of water, islands and headlands, often without sight of the ocean, though we were right next to it.

One small town particularly captured my interest, Garibaldi — unassuming and going about its business, despite the distraction of being situated in a most captivating spot on the north end of the Bay. It had views south and west, and extended up a hillside from sea level to several hundred feet, I'd guess. Here I also experienced a recurring frustration: my inability to capture the essence of a town in a photograph. I wanted this place, but couldn't find a way to take it. Thus, you won't see any pictures of Garibaldi. Just more views of the coast as we continued on our way.

We had a dramatic vista, from a very high spot near Manzanita ... wow. We could see way back to Cape Meares, Three Arches and even Cape Lookout. So beautiful, and sooo cold and windy up there. Soon after that, the weather would change yet again, back to a gray overcast.

We made one more quick stop in Cannon Beach — I wanted to see the other Haystack Rock. The town struck me as very posh, too perfect — along the lines of Carmel.
Saw a vacationing family having dinner at an outdoor cafe, cell phones in hand. Let's move on to Seaside ...

We'd stay at a house just a block from the beach in Seaside ... Peter's father and siblings' annual get-together spot. Where Cannon Beach was very upscale and a bit off-putting, Seaside was a down-home, comfortable beach town. It's one of the most popular and busiest resort towns in Oregon ... partly because of its proximity to Portland. While we were there it seemed just right, not too crowded, with interesting history, sights and shops.

We settled in for the night and the following day; Peter was meeting most of his aunts and uncles for the first time. The next morning began with gloomy gray skies. Against a cool wind, I raced along the promenade, a concrete walkway built in 1920 that parallels the beach. Then I turned toward the ocean — across another broad beach, it seemed to take forever to get to the water. I hoped to find some sand dollars — and did — but they were in bits and pieces everywhere. Apparently you need to be out at low tide to find them intact.

Back at the house, we made plans to play golf at the local 9-hole course with Peter's Aunt Laura (76) and Uncle Oren (87) — both good players. We played 18, had fun, and lucky us, the weather took a turn for the better — the sun was back.

An antique mall beckoned afterward, and I found some good stuff, of course. Mostly ephemera: maps and booklets, plus a small glass fishing float that was used on salmon gill nets.


Then a stop at an historic site — the Lewis & Clark salt cairn. Seaside was the ending point of their incredible expedition, and after setting up a winter headquarters in 1805, they needed a good spot for a saltworks. Here they somehow extracted salt from several hundred gallons of seawater. This is the reconstructed cairn — the brass kettles on top of the stone oven held the water. Don't know how it worked, but they got the salt they needed for their return trip.

The beach was right next door, and it and the headland to the south (see above) were looking beautiful in the afternoon sun.

Back to the house for another great meal — Crab Louis (good job, Arthur and gang). Meanwhile, three of Peter's cousins had arrived, so the house total now reached 14 adults (versus one shower). In the morning we got a fine sendoff ... thanks for having us!

Just a bit more of the Oregon coast to travel before we reached Washington ... and what a nice bit it was ...

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