The Rough, Lush Oregon Coast

Bend to Lava Lake to Crater Lake felt like a journey into the dust, coming to a head at Crater Lake with a permanent smear of black dust all over their bodies. As we left Crater Lake and headed over the Cascades towards Eugene, the dust continued as we got higher, but as we made our descent, the dry dust and the disease-ridden, forest fire abandoned coniferous trees gave way to moist ferns, moss covered trunks of trees that were large and old, and even the beginnings of fall colors. Analogies to forest fires gave way to those of oceans, waves, and tides in the same way that the high desert gave way to the coastal forests. This dense rainforest towers over our campsite, keeping it dark all day. We can hear the strong persistent waves in the background.

The trees that line the coast are at a permanent 90 degree tilt, slanted by the persistent onslaught of the sharp ocean wind, like an old man with a concavely arched back, battered over time by gravity.

The kids are like Labrador retrievers when they hit the beach… their feet pitter-pattering faster than they do on asphalt or soil. Townes pauses only to chase down a thought, Guy for a snuggle, and Bess, the least likely to slow, doing so only for a cartwheel or sand angel. Guy has the sharpest nature vision, finding the most intricate detail whether bone, crab claw, or beetle, stopping for every feather, leaving no beautiful stone or shell untouched. Townes lets the waves dare him to come closer only to roar after him, sending him in a fit of giggles high-tailing back to the shore. Everyone with sun and wind kisses pink cheeks and wind-blown wild blond curls.

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