Rain had another opportunity to enjoy the Oregon coast over the weekend, demonstrating her improving social skills and exploring some lesser-known haunts.
Friday evening I packed Rain into the car after work, we picked up our friend Steven, and we made it to our accommodations around 9pm. After we got our bearings a bit, Rain got some attention before it was time to go to sleep.
Rain began the day with a short walk around the place we stayed, including a few minutes on the beach. The surf was rough so Rain didn’t get to run free…yet.
We soon headed to Manzanita where the day’s plans included Manzanita Cash Mob, an event to help the independent businesses in that town recover after a tornado hit the town in October. Manzanita loves dogs, and many of the four-legged set were roaming the streets with their two-legged buddies.
Rain was pretty keyed up when we arrived so we took her for some playtime on the beach before we started visiting the local businesses.
Once Rain had worked out some energy we headed up to town. First, we stopped at Four Paws on the Beach (naturally!) where I bought a new beach-themed toy for Rain.
The dog store owners were very friendly to Rain, even when she helped herself to a $1.95 cod skin.
We then headed to Cloud and Leaf Bookstore, where Rain posed on the bench outside. It’s a decent bookstore! I was pretty impressed by their selection, which included a small shelf dedicated to Portland’s own Microcosm Publishing.
Rain couldn’t go inside most of the stores, so Steven and I traded off who would wait outside with Rain while the other one went inside. Avid readers may recall that Rain’s first-ever trip to the beach was to Manzanita—that trip was in July 2015 and Rain barked a lot at all the activity happening in town. This time around, Rain was more or less fine waiting outside while people and dogs milled about—a huge statement on how far she has come being exposed to all sorts of new things over the past year.
After a stop at Manzanita Sweets and Mother Nature’s Natural Foods, I had enough receipts to enter an event drawing being organized by the Tillamook County Chamber of Commerce. We headed to Manzanita Visitor Center to take care of it. Steven was elsewhere so I asked if I could bring Rain in for a moment. When I started engaging with the representatives inside, Rain started doing her attention-seeking bark. A very nice volunteer offered to take Rain outside so I could get my quick business done without noisy interruption. When I had turned in my drawing slip I turned around to see Rain watching me, her head pressed around the door jamb and her paws as close as they could be without being inside.
Rain was such a good dog she got more time on the beach before we headed out of town.
Sunday we decided to take a long hike to visit a coastal ghost town called Bayocean, OR. About a century ago, some developer had the idea of building “the new Atlantic City” on an island off the coast. Bayocean had a natotorium, hotel, post office, and a ferry servicing the town. Eventually a strong storm took out much of the town, and the last structures were demolished in the early 60s. A few cement blocks remain on the town site, but the area is otherwise a less-trafficked site for hikers, hunters, and beachcombers to enjoy.
We made our way south to Tillamook, east along the Three Capes route, but then turned off on Bayocean Dike Road to find a rustic trailhead. First we hiked on the Tillamook Bay side of the peninsula, where we encountered a hearty group of camo-wearing, rifle-carrying hunters with three black labs accompanying them. We were later passed by an older man on a mountain bike with a camo-covered rifle. We encountered a woman on a mountain bike running her spaniel a couple of times, and then a couple who were gutting their recently-caught fish at the point where Tillamook Bay met the Pacific Ocean.
Once we crossed over to the ocean side of the peninsula though, we had the beach all to ourselves. Rain got to run to her heart’s content for a while, running loops around us in the undisturbed sand.
When she started running far enough away she couldn’t hear me, I decided it was time for her to be back on leash, for her own safety.
As we started looping back to our starting point we also discovered an enormous buoy that seemed to be anchored in the sand. We got a closer look at the barnacles and mussels stuck to the side, and used the buoy’s metal rods to strike the metal bell affixed in the center.
Eventually we came upon a set of footprints, which I followed as best I could. We weren’t sure where our trail back to the trailhead would pick up, and it was getting late in the afternoon. Soon, we saw two more sets of footprints that looked like they belonged to joggers. Even later, we started seeing large dog prints and a cacophony of footprints, with evidence about where they had popped on to the beach. A white flag waving in the wind led us to a built-up fort with many found objects embedded in the walls.
We were all starting to get tired—even Rain, whose footprints in the sand were now starting to include lines where she was lightly dragging her feet. We followed one major break in the grasses with a lot of disturbed sand, hoping it was the right way back to our trailhead…and 3/10ths of a mile later, we found ourselves right back where we were hoping to be.
Rain got a second dinner that night, just to make up the extra calories she burned on our hike. She went to sleep once we were back at the place we were staying, and didn’t make any sort of ruckus until the next morning!
Rain was a little slow when we visited the beach one last time before leaving our accommodations. We had a bit of fun playing fetch but the surf was rough and Rain seemed tired pretty quickly.
Rain got another chance to demonstrate her budding social skills when we had lunch at Pelican Brewery in Tillamook. Another dog-friendly business, Rain got to hang out with us on the porch outside as we ate. Once again she was keyed up when we got there, probably in large part due to the border collie who was also hanging out with her human buddy. Once we ordered, Rain and I took a short walk around the neighborhood—Rain got to sniff and discover the new place where we found ourselves. (Those who have never been to Tillamook: it smells like cows.)
Once the food was up Rain was on her best behavior, hoping to score a piece of lettuce or a tater tot. She was successful on both fronts, and ready to go when we were. She hopped right in the car, as she had been doing all weekend, and made the journey back home without much fuss.