Rockaway Beach, 23 September 2014
So, it looks like, finally, the weather caught up with us. Today can only be described as rainy. Rainy in as many shapes as it comes. That was also the reason why we eventually decided against taking the road via the Mount Rainier National Park that would have set us back 15 bucks only to gaze at grey clouds. Looks like that volcano will have to wait for another time.
We set off on the drive to Astoria immediately, which took us through thick forest (and the volcanos stayed hidden), until the name ‘Castle Rock’ made us giggle and take that exit road from the I-5. Alas, Game of Thrones fans, don’t get your hopes up – no Lannisters were to be found. Not even a town sign! How disappointing! Instead we paid a visit to the Castle Rock Bakery, where we paid for German chocolate cake and cranberry rolls but thieved a few flavoured miniature coffee mates – you never know when you stumble over black coffee. When let loose in the Cascade Select Market, we stocked up on road essentials and marvelled over strawberry & cream Philadelphia and Jack Daniel’s mustard.
Back on the road, more forest led us to Astoria, the north Oregon gateway to the Pacific Ocean. I must admit, so much wood doesn’t really impress me, having grown up near a (very similar) forest myself. But the drive was still enjoyable and exciting. Talking about driving, I got the hang of it now. I still try to shift gear whenever I brake but I guess over 20 years’ habit isn’t broken so easily. But the speed limit never goes over 55 mph and there were barely any cars on the road. Saying that, I prefer to follow, so I don’t have to constantly check what speed I’m going. For some reason, 55 is just a tad too slow for my speed feeling.
Anyway, Astoria was really not that impressive. They got a massive, though industrial-looking bridge and a so-called historic district but the only thing noteworthy were the many breweries. Ah, yes, and while standing by the road, some idiot drove up to Nando and called him a ‘douchebag’. Maybe it was the long hair or the beard, who knows. Though most young guys we saw – of whom weren’t many – had long hair or beards, so fuck knows what offended 😉 Finally, at the Astoria Brewery pub, Jimi Hendrix played on the stereo and Nando got to enjoy the local beer ‘Trolly Stop Stout’. As a general observation, America likes to be inventive with names. We stumbled upon ‘Personal Pizza’ and ‘Da Bomb Blonde’ – the latter one being another beer.
At Cannon Beach, the weather really kicked our combined arses and everybody else’s! It came pissing down! What a shame! As much as the rocks on the beach looked majestic, a beach with bad weather really defeats the object in my world. We dipped our feet in the Pacific Ocean while fighting the wind for about fifteen minutes, before we found refuge in Cheri’s Cafe, where Nando got to taste the local porter and I got to sip latte through a straw 🙂 Oh, and did I mention the Zappa poster on the wall and Fleetwood Mac on the stereo?
Talking about music, we got it sorted! The car has a USB plug and so far we’ve gone through my oldies playlist with the Eagles singing about ‘Hotel California’ and Golden Earring declaring their ‘Radar Love’. Oh, and by the way, we named our car Wecousa. West Coast USA!
Anyway, having checked on the weather, it’s not looking good for the next few days. But we won’t be defeated! There’s still so much ahead and this little beach hut cottage keeps us warm and cosy for now. We might actually wrap up and take a night trip to the beach or have a drink down the road. Fun, fun, fun!!!