Oregon Coast – Westport, Newport, Eugene, Portland
The Oregon Coast is something I’ve always wanted to revisit, since my last trip as a child in 2003. This year I made that possible as work called me down the coast line. I decided it’d be a great opportunity to take my newly acquired Suzuki Sidekick for a spin. It was a short trip, only 4 days, but that’s all I needed. Over the 4 days, I got a chance to see a coast line that many people dream of visiting but never pull the trigger.
I’d say the most memorable moment of the trip were; seeing the solar eclipse at 97% totality, being immersed in fog at Westport, and having the leisure to take occasional stops at viewpoints and small towns. The eclipse had me baffled. Seeing just a sliver of the sun produce nearly full daylight, and experiencing the temperature drop from afternoon highs to nighttime chills was surreal. Beyond that, Westport didn’t disappoint me. Strolling in late at night and leaving first thing in the morning didn’t give me much time to see Westport, but from the scenery on the beach, it’s no surprise people travel 4 hours from Vancouver to Westport to surf versus heading all the way to Tofino. Also staying at the State Park was a great call, only a 100m away from the coast line, I got the chance to fall asleep to the sounds of the waves crashing and cresting into the shoreline.
As for the drive down from Westport down to Florence and over to Eugene, it was superb. A full day of magnificent views that suddenly appeared around bends in the road and null on the hills left me dreaming ever dream of the Oregon Coast. But between the dream weaving thoughts it dawned on me that Americans really aren’t much different than Canadians. Especially when it comes to Cascadia. The whole drive I remember feeling as though the scenery had only changed minutely. The lush forests still caressed the roadway while the coast line peeked through the rock faces and private lots. Even the small town felt like other northern coastal towns. The small coffee shops and bustling tourist areas left the rural roadside looking desolate and untouched. It wasn’t until completing the entire drive that I started to piece two and two together. America is huge, and people live every where in a plethora of conditions. Before the trip, I always overlooked America as a dense globalized country, but driving through the country roads made me realize the US is no different than many other Western countries. Somehow the Americans appear to have set the illusion of the golden lifestyle. With sprawling rural communities, however, it becomes easier to see the poverty and passion the country has on its very own soil. I say this because Portland was a place of passion; while the picturess coastline had plenty of poverty. The passion of Portland is noticeable in each small gentrified community I visited. There is no lack of great food, drinks, and music, but what I enjoyed most was the people. The way they held themselves in public always made me feel happy, alive. People talked to each other beyond their smartphone screens.
Overall the trip spread a light on how similar Canada is to the US. It made me realize there are entire local regions I still need to explore. Most importantly, it reminded me that this world is immense, people live almost everywhere and they’re all striving for something. When people wake up, some bake up while others shape up. Regardless your style, my recent trip down the Coast taught me how important it is for you to create value in the world, recognize the value you bring to your world and strive to make changes in your world before meddling with others affairs.