Lots of Lighthouses and Finally Some Surf Day 18

I spent the entire day 18 looking for surf.  I was determined to get wet today, but the wind was not cooperating.  It was blowing steady out of the southwest, and everything here was beach breaks.  It was bad.

The drive out to this jetty was a long dead end down a 9 mile peninsula.  It was all sand dunes.  At the very end there were a bunch of cars parked.  One had an empty board bag on top.  This was encouraging.  As I crested the dune, my encouragement was exterminated.

As I passed a high bend in the road with a turnout that marked the Sea Lion Caves, I noticed on the way down a perfect wave peeling into a protected cove.  I immediately looked for a place to turnoff, and found one about a quarter mile up the road.  The turnout led to another bay with a picturesque view of the old bridge and a lighthouse.  There were so many vista’s here I couldn’t decide what to shoot first.

But besides the scenery, there was no way I was going to get to that wave.  It would have been a dangerous paddle around about a half mile of rocks, to a place called Sea Lion Cave.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that spot was probably a bad idea (as seal lions are a most favored snack of white sharks).

A bunch of miles up the coast I came to a sign that said Blueberries.  I pulled in, but it was u-pick.  I’m sorry, but you can’t possible discount blueberries enough to make me pick my own.  So I moved on.  Another mile or so up the road, was another blueberry sign, but this place also had jam, wine and other yummy local stuff.  I stopped in and grabbed some of the best berries I’ve ever tasted. Each one was like a concentrated pill of explosive sweetness.

There was another spot on the map above a jetty that looked like it might have some wind protection.  I pulled in and checked it out, but it didn’t look very good.  But there was another lighthouse to check out.  This one was fully restored, including the living quarters.  I think I would have made a great lighthouse keeper.

But there was another lighthouse to check out.  This one was fully restored, including the living quarters.  I think I would have made a great lighthouse keeper.

One the way back to the bus, a woman approached me and asked if I had jumper cables.  I told her I could help her, and she was over the moon. Turns out she had an autistic daughter who was freaking out because the car would not start.  They were on their way to a camp for special needs kids.  I used my new jump start battery, and she was on her way in minutes.

Another few miles up the road I came upon a surf shop.  I decided to stop in a try to pick up some local knowledge.  I approached a big bearded fellow (they are usually friendly) and asked him if there were any local spots that would be protected from the wind that he could tell me about.  He sent me virtually across the street to a place protected by a point with another lighthouse.

I pulled up and the spot was definitely working if not epic.  I watched it for a while as other surfers came up to inspect it and all decided to pass.  But I hadn’t surfed in a week, and needed to get wet.  Besides I wanted to surf in Oregon.  So I wrapped myself in rubber: boots, wetsuit, gloves and a squid lid (hat).  As I dressed a group of 3 happy-go-lucky guys with foam boards pulled up and started getting in their suits.  They were relative beginners from Portland.  We all hoofed down the trail together.

The sets were head high, but very fast and closed out.  I paddled out and immediately caught a wave, but sat up.  I guess I wasn’t quite ready.  The water was a frigid 50 degrees.  The wind was blowing side to offshore, and hard.  I had never surfed with gloves before.  It was like running with ankle weights, as the water soaked neoprene added heft to every paddle stroke.

After about 90 minutes in the water, I had caught a few waves and began to get cold.  It had begun raining as well.  The novelty of surfing in Oregon at a lighthouse point had worn off sufficiently for me to catch one in.

On the way back to the bus, I ran into several locals, who all greeted me in the most friendly manner.  I was really coming to like Oregonians.  I also passed through a story book coastal town. Every house was perfect.  It was eerily beautiful.

A quick stop for some beer, and off to Portland to see Steve, Abby, Emmit and Zoe.

 

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