Days Three and Four

Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
Trip End Sep 13, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Friday, September 7, 2007

Yesterday we left the Redwoods and traveled across the state line into southern Oregon. Today we explored the Southern Oregon Coast. Both days have been the laid-back, lazy vacation days you dream of when work is especially hard and your boss' expectations seem impossible to meet. In fact, I am sure it is the memory of these lazy, wandering days that led computer experts to design the relaxing ocean and mountain screen-savers that taunt us back at the office. Needless to say Bill and I have enjoyed the simplicity of life on this leg of our journey.
Our new home, the Inn of the Beachcomber, doesn't have internet access (you trade that for a spa tub overlooking the Pacific Ocean). So we are wasting away the afternoon at the local book store. I am in the coffee bar sipping an espresso while Bill wanders the shelves looking for a book about this area he remembers from his childhood.
I have found that it in the random wandering of a trip you find some of the most interesting people and places. The past two days have been no exception:
Before leaving Klamath, we stopped into one of the town's few retail businesses -- an authentic Indian style salmon jerky shop. We met a lovely Yurok tribes woman who let us taste some of their salmon jerky made from salmon caught right there in town. The jerky is smoked one to five days and treated with a number of delicious flavorings - garlic, teriyaki, pepper, etc. At $40 to $50 a pound, it was a true delicacy we could only enjoy in small quantities.
Today we drove about 40 minutes north to tour the Cape Blanco lighthouse. This is the oldest continually used lighthouse in Oregon. In fact, it is still used today. While planning this trip, I informed Bill that one lighthouse tour is like the next - there's the light, the lighthouse keeper story and some steps you walk up - ho-hum. Cape Blanco proved me wrong. The wonderful volunteer guides shared interesting practical information about lighthouses. Each lighthouse has its own signal - some flash like Morse-code, others used two-toned light. This allows boats at sea to not only know that they are close to shore, but what shore they are headed towards. It took up to three keepers to man one lighthouse. Two worked at night and all three during the morning to clean the lense. The families (all three of them) often had to live in the same house. The wife and children of the lighthouse keeper had to be as versed in the care and upkeep of a lighthouse as the keeper. If he fell ill, they were needed to carry on his duties.
One of the more prominent characters we have met since entering Oregon is the wind -- blustery, forceful, ear-stinging wind. At Cape Blanco lighthouse, the wind can gust to over 100 mph. Today it was probably about half that speed. Yesterday, we walked on a beach with the most beautiful two-toned black and brown sand. Today I am still shaking black sand out of my ears.
This afternoon we met Patty and even more exciting, we met Patty's delicious gourmet culinary feats. After a lackluster lunch at the Porthole Restaurant yesterday afternoon (how did Patty put it "After my third time getting ill at the Porthole, I stopped going), we needed something new. Gold Beach isn't large. So meal options are limited and costly. Today we stopped into Rollin' N Dough. It was so impressive, we decided to go ahead and get take out from there for our next two meals!  I had a Dungeness crab panini with fresh avocado and an Italian veggie soup. Bill enjoyed a tuna sandwich with wasabi sauce on a ciabatta roll. For dessert, we had some of Patty's homemade Berry, Berry tart - a mix of raspberries, blueberries and marian berries with the most perfect crust. I get goose-bumps just thinking about it.
Tonight we will be taking our finds from the past few days - Patty's yummy food, Indian smoked salmon, Saginaw Vineyard wine, a blanket from Wal-Mart -- and heading out to the beach by our hotel to enjoy a sunset meal. Let's just hope the wind doesn't blow us down the beach - did I mention it is a wee bit blustery here?
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