aka: Coastal Love, pt. 2
*September 10, 2013*
Once I arrived at my camp spot for the night, all I could think was “WOW!!” I was practically screaming “It’s so BEAUTIFUL here!” every few minutes (in fact I may have scared some people who heard me through my windows). Every curve of the road revealed incredible, lush, misty forest, a new perspective of the ocean, and glimpses of the sun slowly falling towards the horizon. Suddenly, I remembered exactly how I felt the first time I approached the Oregon coast driving up from the south, almost exactly three months ago. The general feeling? This is it! This is the place I’ve been dreaming of my whole life, this is the place I’ve always imagined could exist, this is the place that lights up my inspiration and speaks to my soul. I did note a strange sense of settling last time I arrived in Oregon via the coast…
I set up camp as quickly as I could, for having arrived at sunset, I was racing the light to avoid having to set up in the dark. Once I did, I headed to the beach, and unlike my camping on the southern Oregon coast, it was an extremely short walk to the water (where I camped before was in the Dunes area, and hiking the dunes to get to the water is like trekking through a mountainous Sahara with many more lush oasis’ on the way). Upon arriving at the beach, the “WOW’s!” only continued...
As the sky darkened with the departure of the sun, the vibrancy of the moon and stars took it’s place in the limelight. The colors of the sunset fading, their remains holding on closer to the horizon until the deep blue of night succeeded in shutting them out until morning. The crescent moon was shaped perfectly as though it had come straight out of a children’s book, and I half expected to see a rope or ladder hanging from the swoop of the it’s lower curve.
Along the beach, you could see the glowing orange of beach bonfires, and the shadows of small crowds cuddling around it’s warmth. It had been an extraordinarily warm day for the coast (in the 80’s in September!), and it remained an unusually idyllic surf-side evening, so the fires were more for providing the feel of coziness rather than an actual need for heat on such a warm, windless night.
I wandered a little further down the beach until I found the sand and windblown pine equivalent of palm trees. Shooting out from the edge of the hill that guarded the seemingly endless stretch of beach, these trees stuck out nearly horizontally, and in the coastal-blown driftwood smoothness, provided a perfect spot to lounge and drink in the immense beauty of this sandy heaven. Finally settling in, I realized that they provided the perfect spot to look up, which is exactly what I needed to do most.
The darkened sky revealed hundreds, thousands of twinkling stars. Closer to the horizon, where a faint glow of light from the sun remained, you could see stars fighting for their chance to shine. The big dipper gracefully took it’s place front and center, and as though it were not already well-recognized enough, the arced branches of another windblown tree framed the dipper part of the constellation, emphasizing it’s grandeur.
When I laid back against the tree I was lounging on, enabling me to look directly up, I realized I was falling immediately under the spells of the Milky Way. First noticing the immense concentration of stars, creating a sort of silver-starred path across the sky, and shining behind it was a streak of whiter, milky light, which I recognized from my time in Costa Rica as an identifier of that magical, magnificent Milky Way. I imagined myself upside-down, walking along it as though it were a stellar version of the yellow brick road.
I tried to comprehend the massiveness of the sky that was shining down on me, turning to see every direction of the nighttime glory, but as I tried to inhale the energy, beauty, and entirety of its cosmic power, I realized I was surrounded. In a spot as open as could be, with not a single hint of a cloud to obstruct my view, I had 180 degrees of spherical sky to observe. With as much range as one might get at a planetarium, I seemed to be smack dab in the middle of the real thing; my surroundings fully capped by the real-life planetarium of the Oregon coast.
Within 1-2 hours of sunset, the sky had completely transformed into a night setting that some people have probably only dreamt of. The heavy navy cloaked the previously bright-blue sky, and the stars shone like diamonds in a case at Tiffany’s, yet glittering with more ferocious power than any jewel might try to contain.
As I walked back to my tent, I struggled between looking down (so as not to fall) and looking up (which my eyes and soul were most magnetically drawn to). I realized that getting back to the coast was exactly what I needed. I could feel the earth energy coursing through me again, with the delicious satisfaction of walking my own path, which felt like gold (or maybe that stellar Milky Way-road). In being there, I was reminded of my own power, strength, creativity, determination, and general “wahoo,” and I knew that whatever might happen, I would find my way. The situation I had been struggling in turned out to be a tool of the universe to direct me to exactly what I needed at the moment – in this case it was my own time, space, and personal heaven to reconnect me to the roots of my soul.
Stories from the road-trip that inspired moving to the PNW, and other travel adventures.