If you haven’t taken a tip along the Oregon coast, I would encourage you to do so. It is well worth it.
We were supposed to drive to drive to Coos Bay, but we discovered that Becky’s cousin, Joellen, was in Grants Pass, so we changed our itinerary to spend the evening with her and her friend, Sherrie. We got an earlier start than usual because we knew that it was going to be a longer trip than initially planned. The fires in California are horrific….no, they are apocalyptic. We were planning to spend some time in the Redwood National Forest, but because of the fires, the national forests had been closed. There are three major fires in California, the Caldor fire, which is East of Sacramento. Lake Tahoe had been evacuated (Bret and Kay had a house in Incline Village at the time, but it was on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe that wasn’t evacuated), and it was just miles from Pine Grove and Amador County where our good friends Ann and Bruce live. The Dixie fire was to the Northeast in the North Central part of California and is at this point 50% contained. It is the largest fire in California’s history. The third fire is another huge fire in Norther California, not far from where we were in Fortuna California, just 50 – 100 miles inland. We hadn’t been bothered by the Dixie fire but were dodging the Caldor Fire as we drove around Amador County and the Sacramento area. As we left Fortuna, the GPS sent us up a different Highway than the one Becky’s phone suggested. We went with the car. As we ascended the mountain, it was not long before the car’s GPS was telling us to make a U-turn. Frustrated, we persevered and as we did so the smoke thickened. Soon, the smoke was so thick, we decided to follow the GPS’s advice and turned around. We think the road was probably closed due to the fire. This little jaunt took about an hour.
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When we finally arrived at Grant’s Pass. It wasn’t as smoky and turned out to be a nice day. We met Joellen and Sherrie at the Weasku Inn, an Inn built from logs as were its cabins. Becky was in heaven. It was her type of place and we stayed in a room upstairs in the main lodge. It was Walt Disney’s favorite room, or so they said. It was a cute, small room that was very comfortable and the Inn itself was great. We went out to eat at the Tap Room, a brew pub that served good appetizers, good food and good drink. It was the trifecta of a good dining experience and JoEllen and Sherrie’s company was a real plus to the whole experience. Thank you and Joellen for a delightful experience.
When we returned to the Inn, Becky and I decided to have a bottle of wine on the back deck of the Inn (imagine that). Joellen and Sherrie had not yet joined us, so Becky went looking for them. I had opportunity to get a little reading done. Heidegger’s Introduction to Metaphysics was pulled up on my phone’s Kindle app and I started reading that. When Becky, Joellen and Sherrie joined me, Joellen asked what I was reading. I muttered “Heidegger,” and Joellen wanted to know what he was about. I read her a short excerpt from the book and to my surprise, she said “Sounds like something I would be interested in.” I told her that I was using this for a paper I was writing, and she wanted to know what it was about.
This was an unusual experience for me. Most people do not want to hear about Heidegger and most people don’t want to hear about the papers I’m writing, or so my wife tells me. This time Becky’s warnings were preempted by her cousin’s request. I had a green light and so I launched into an explanation of Heidegger’s notion of misein and how I was developing that notion to address the horrible polarization wa are now experiencing in this country and indeed, the world. Mitsein means basically “being-with” and we had a wonderful discussion while simply being-with each other. It was a wonderful evening and, I might say, the chocolate chip cookies provided by the Inn weren’t too bad either.
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The next morning, we awoke to Joellen knocking on our door. She wanted to say goodbye since she would be leaving soon. With the goodbyes said, we got ready and went down to breakfast. It was a good breakfast, something missing in the last place we stayed. We enjoyed the breakfast in their rustic dining room and got underway. Today we were going to journey to Coos Bay, which was where we were supposed to stay the night before and work our way up the coast to Newport.
The Oregon coast is amazing, which is why I wanted to go this way. The drive up 101 winds through a thick, green forest with ferns and other plants lining its floor. It is beautiful and as the forest closes around the Highway can be quite intense. Soon, however, the thick forest gives way to rocky stretches of coastline. It is as beautiful as it is breath taking. In some places, the forest ends, and sea begins. At other places, the ocean crashes into huge rocks and steep cliffs. At another places, sand dunes reach far out into the crashing waves of the ocean. It is unique and beautiful, and we enjoyed trying to take in of the beauty as we drove.
We stopped at Coos Bay for lunch. We didn’t know where to eat, but on the corner was a German restaurant called the Blue Heron. We thought that a strange name for a German restaurant, but it looked interesting, and we decided to eat there. Turns out, they make all of their food from scratch, and it was wonderful! I had brats and Becky had Sauerbraten. It was great and the waitress was friendly and helpful. We also met the owner’s mother who was sitting at the bar. She too was s delightful women who was enjoyed talking to us and we her. It was truly a good place to eat. The portions were generous and indeed was more than either of us could eat. If we paid in cash, we got a free desert. We chose a streusel that was made of apples and some type of berry. We saved it for later and ate it that evening after arriving in Newport.
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