Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Beach Pilgrimage

I wish I went to the beach more often.  I should.  I only go about once every year, usually at the beginning of the summer.  And I almost always go to the same beach.  Really, there's no excuse for me not going- I live about 50 minutes away from Florence, and only another 30 from Yachats, one of my favorite coastal towns (granted, I've only ever been to like 4...anyhow...).  It doesn't take much effort, just a bit of driving time.  I think I always convince myself it's going to be too cold?  And I've never really been old enough to go by myself until recently.  POINT: I should go to the beach more!

I went today!  I got up super early, more focused on getting to the Green Salmon Café (more on that in a hot minute) and getting a cheese Danish before they were all gone than the fact the leaving at 6:30=not truly missing the heat wave in Veneta.  I ended up back here at about 4:15, just in time to catch the last 1.5 hours.  Dumb me.  That aside, I had a wonderful time!

I stopped in Florence for some small snacks and a bottle of water, then hit Yachats.  Yachats is a quaint little tourist town about 30 minutes north of Florence, and is aptly nicknamed "Gem of the Oregon Coast."  My first stop was the Green Salmon Café, which serves excellent coffee, delicious pastries, and a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options (they have normal food, too, don't worry!).  Here are some pictures I found on the Internet, since I didn't take any!

This is the very last menu board on the right in the photo above, and lists all of the drinks they serve. Yum!
I decided to go do some morning yoga on the beach, since the one cup of house coffee I had wasn't waking me up enough...It was cloudly and a tad bit windy, but so warm!  Truly beautiful.  I meditated a bit after my yoga, and read a bit after that.  Later in the day, I ended up going back to the beach to read a bit and just walk around barefoot :D  Yachats Bay, in the south part of the town, is one of the best beaches I've been to.  It's sheltered from most of the wind (bay!), and there's a little river that joins up with the ocean on the beach.  It's pretty warm most days, and you can see the whole town!  It's located on Yachats Ocean Road, btdubs.  Le Beach:


Okay, the beach looks gross, but I swear it wasn't.  And the nice little stream (this isn't the river!) was delightfully warm.  I found the sweetest, tiniest, saddest little baby crab too, that had been separated from its shell and died :(

It was definitely baby-makin' time in the ocean a little while ago!  I found tons more of those sad little crabs, and a bunch of teensy sand dollars too!  This was the only whole one I found, and I (nicely) put it back in the ocean, so maybe it could continue to live.  Apparently the whole ones are alive...Although I did just look up sand dollars and apparently they are definitely dead if they're white.  The lives ones are supposedly green, blue, or purple!  Anyways, I only took two little tiny ones with holes in the middles.  And I found an itty bitty flounder baby!  Which you can barely see.

I've been to Yachats before, but never really into any of the shops, so I visited a few.  I loved the crystal/mineral/fossil shop (Planet Yachats).  The lady was older and took a shine to me and we chatted about my Thailand trip and tai chi and crystal energy.  Very new-agey...Including the music.  But she was very sweet and I ended up with 3 necklaces: rose quartz, carnelian, and amazonite ($4 each).  And she even made necklaces out of them for me and tied those cool sliding adjustable knots!  Rad.

 Realizing that I wouldn't be missing the heatwave if I headed home at 12:30, I decided to stop at a few of the scenic viewpoints along HWY 101 that I have passed so many times but never stopped at.  I liked this funky tree.

^I also stopped at Cook's Chasm, home of the Spouting Horn, which allegedly shoots water straight upward if the tide is high enough.  Cool.  There were two lookout points connected by a footbridge, and I took pictures from both sides and on top :)  As I was walking across the bridge, the wind got sucked into the chasm and under the bridge and made this really eerily beautiful, low howling sort of noise.  Weirdly pretty.

This is Neptune State Park, which I never knew existed.  I will DEFINITELY be returning here on my next trip!  It's also somewhat protected by outcroppings on either side, so that's nice.  It's right off the highway, and is one of the clearest, most beautiful, pristine beaches I've seen in Oregon.  Look at how white and clean the sand was!  It sparkled like Edward Cullen.  And there were starfishies.

Pictures I took on random pull-offs along the way back to Florence.  The Oregon Coast is really beautiful, especially when it's sunny!  It was about 70, the perfect escape from the 93 degree day here in Veneta!
I stopped in Florence for lunch.  I've never been much of a Florence fan, but I think that's partially due to the fact that I've never spent much time in Old Town.  It's adorable!  I (sadly) didn't get to hang out down there...It was mad crowded and I was so darn hungry that I gave up after driving around looking for parking for what felt like 2,345,678 hours.  I ended up at a little place called Nature's Corner Market and Café, which is half café and half natural food mart.  It's cute, and the food was delicious, but the service sucked.  I know they've been there for a decent length of time, but they seemed like they really just didn't have things together.  But the food I had was great!  I tried (again) to go down to Old Town for ice cream from BJ's, but (again!!) no parking!  So I went to Mapleton.
The pastry chef was the only one who seemed to know what she was doing...She put this meringue pie in the cooler while I was there- does that not look amazing?
ALPHA-BITS!  It's been too long since I've been there.  It's in that tiny little old-fashioned strip mall where you take a left in Mapleton to get to Florence.  They have little imported trinkets and a few clothing items, but they also have coffee and pastries and ice cream, which is exactly what I was in the market for.  I went there once with my Waldorf class when we went to the sand dunes, and I still remembered every inch.  They even had the same "Song of India" solid perfume in the carved sandalwood boxes.  It smelled old-timey and sort of like incense.
Looooooooooong post, but looooooooooong day!  It was a wonderful escape.  Next time, though, I will probably forego the first-dibs on the Danish in exchange for missing ALL of the heatwave!  Beautiful, relaxing, just-what-I-needed day.
~From Lily With Love~

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