Portland recently had a week of weather misery which included record-high temperatures, higher-than-it-should-be humidity, and air thick with smoke that had drifted south from some forest fires raging in British Columbia.
It was time to take Rain to the beach!
Friday’s forecast indicated the beach would be an amazing escape from the misery that was Portland. In fact, I had a specific mental vision that kept me motivated to keep moving and packing on Friday evening: the cool air and water that would await while summiting the Coast Range, where a roadside water station delivers fresh spring water to miserably warm travelers. (That water did not disappoint, either!)
Rain enjoying the creek at Sunset Rest Area, about a mile downstream
from the roadside water station.
Portland’s high was in the upper 90s when we were enjoying 65 and morning clouds that burned off to make a gorgeous afternoon and evening.
As soon as Rain hopped out of the car at the place we stay, she tried to make a bee-line the other way. She knew where the beach was, and she was ready to get running!
Instead we had to take care of a few logistics before getting out on the sand. When we did though, she enjoyed an hour of beach time fetching balls, rolling around in whatever ocean-scented bits she could find, and even getting her feet wet now and again. She was mostly off-leash during our walk, but felt the need to keep her closer when we were in areas with more people at the beginning at our walk and the turnaround area next to Barview Jetty.
(We weren’t the only people who escaped the misery of Portland’s weather through a coastal escape that weekend, as it turns out…)
Rain was having so much fun on the beach she got a little tongue-tied when we told her it was time to head back.
After two-thirds of our party had a nap, we decided to head for our favorite pizza place on the coast, The Pizza Garden in Nehalem. Rain had to wait for us in the car but we got a great spot on their back deck where I could monitor and get to her in seconds if needed. When going to Pizza Garden, the usual routine consists of a post-meal doggy walk around downtown Nehalem.
Rain got to explore several docks along the Nehalem River and even had the opportunity to try on a personal floatation device, or PFD. They’re an absolute must when boating!
Rain was pretty quiet the rest of the day after our long walk on the beach, and after her evening walk around Nehalem she easily settled down for the night.
In the morning though, she was raring to go to the beach again and let us know it. We ended up driving a little and had another long walk starting from the beach access in the center of Rockaway. This day brought far cloudier skies, so our walk on the beach was gray and misty.
There were fewer people on the beach, but once again they were concentrated near the start and end of our walk. This meant Rain got to go off-leash faster and stay off-leash longer. She seemed to stick to me a lot more than the day before, so she may have still been tired from our prior beach walk. We made our way south nearly to Twin Rocks where we turned back where a freshwater creek drained into the ocean.
Enjoying the sunset from Rockaway.
After getting some of her energy worked out we returned to pack up our things, close up shop, and start the haul back home. It took a little while to truly get going, as we decided to “make a quick stop” at a popular gift store in town that ended up having a pretty long line at the register.
Summer weekend traffic between Portland and the Oregon coast can be pretty sobering, and our travels back were no exception. Surely everyone noticed the Doggo on Board magnet on my car, and noted that the precious cargo inside must not be creamed! At least that’s what I want to believe.
The roadside water station is more or less at the summit of the Coast Range, and it wasn’t too long after our stop there that I started feeling a little uncomfortable in the car. Once we realized we were descending down into Portland’s meteorological misery again, I took my fleece layer off. By the time we were back to the western edge of the Portland metro area we were all miserable once again, and would be for another few days before the warm temperatures finally took a respite.
Rain will be getting a bath as soon as possible to get all the things she rolled in out of her coat, and I’m starting to work on cleaning the sand out of the tennis balls she fetched ad nauseum during our time there. But we made some pretty good memories, and we won’t forget the sweet relief our trip brought from the August weather. Rain wants to visit again before the end of the year, and I don’t think that’s a bad idea!
One more visit to the creek at Sunset Rest Area.