Monday’s (Dream) Meander: The Gem of Yachats

Ah, what a picture of simple pleasure, even innocence. And good Yachats, how I long to see you!

I am dreaming of travel, any kind of small rambles, as I remain captive indoors here in Clackamas County, OR. It has been 7 days since Oregon’s catastrophic fires began to rage closer to our home and seriously threatening the county I live in. In fact, there have been 40,000 evacuated people, many of whom have lost their homes already in this county; 500,000 in all of Oregon have been evacuated; ten confirmed deaths with a dozen more persons missing at this time in Clackamas Co. The air quality is so hazardous–Portland metro’s is reportedly the world’s worst now– we are strongly advised to not leave our homes (those who have dwellings still).

So I have not set foot outdoors yet, though our suburban city (set among woodlands) is no longer on alert to evacuate since yesterday–a small mercy. I unpacked my “GO bags” finally this afternoon, a bit uncertain but trusting our experts. The constant barrage of images and news is hard to hear and see. Below is one terrible shot of the devastation not so far away. Some fires have been contained now; many others yet burn on and spread.

(Image on left: AP Photo/Paula Bronstein. Image on right: citizen Dale Voris, from car.)

Even large areas of Oregon’s Pacific coast lands (and of course, California…) have been aflame. But I believe beautiful Yachats has remained safe and in good shape. I’ll visit there today with you via photos from a trip in 2016. Most important, too, is remembering the wonders of Oregon, and that we’ve had many bad fires each year as this is part of living in the Pacific Northwest. Just not like this conflagration of 35 fires that have ravaged 1 million acres, so far. It is inconceivable to me.

You can see I have mixed feelings: relief and worry; gratitude and some lingering fear; hopefulness and sorrow. And I keep thinking of the people whose lives have been altered beyond recognition, some lives having been lost. And , as ell, the fleeing and harmed wildlife. Someone I know heard a cougar roar outside her bedroom window in the night. Yes, we live that close to these creatures and many others.

But at least here on WordPress we can take in a breath of fresh air, even when it happens with memories sparked via pictures. I value these even more today.

The village is a favorite because it is less touristy and gentler in mood, and I am fully absorbed by nature’s charms–which is always my first and last priority when I am not in the city. But no matter where I go–like so many– I enjoy cultural attractions, shopping a bit, savoring tasty food at cafes/restaurants. A local good place for coffee, baked goods and sandwiches is the Green Salmon. Another favorite stop is Earthworks Gallery. Many favorite pieces of jewelry have been found there over the years. This village lures artists of all mediums in residence. I can see why they end up staying…

I will get back to the green and the waves and the forest trails, the wildlife and open sky. Patience, I counsel myself. Faith in nature’s remarkable ability to regenerate. Even with such glaring evidence of climate change as these fires, there remain possibilities to improve things. I know environmentalists and others are working hard on it. We must–so that our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren may well inhabit and revere an earth they can yet call home territory.

Friday’s Passing Fancies: Classic Car Fever

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Lots can happen during one of our favorite beach getaways in Yachats, Oregon besides walking miles of salt water-saturated sand and looking for whale spouts: mountainous hikes, tide pool explorations, ogling art at a fine group of small galleries, sipping a cup at the aromatic, conversation-humming coffee shop with its mixture of townies and tourists, sharing tales and easy silence around a crackling beach bonfire or catching a Celtic music festival.

And then there are car shows, which I always stop and see. My father loved to tinker cars, especially older or small foreign ones. I hung around him whenever I could in the driveway as he repaired various things under the hoods. He’d don his greasy coveralls, get out his toolbox ad concentrate, while twisting, banging, yanking, connecting. I’d run for more tools or polish things up. I didn’t learn all that much about the intricacies of their engines, unfortunately. It was more about the beauty of the machine, from rims to innards to worn or refurbished interiors–and hanging out with my busy father.

There was a classic car show going on at the edge of the village. It was smaller, maybe less high end than some I’ve checked out. But it still showed off a variety of finely-tuned  and polished beauties.

Nothing like wandering on a sunny afternoon a few yards from rolling ocean waves, studying gleaming paint and chrome. These cars were loved by folks enough to pour money and heart and time  into so it would be a proud specimen, a brash or elegant nod to the past of the USA’s automobile history. What a thrill to see what fruits the art and science of restoration can bear!

I saw a 1966 Mustang that brought back memories of cruising along the streets in my hometown with a guy I sure did like. But the one of my youth was turquoise and somehow the one at the beach did not hold a candle to it, so it didn’t make the cut here.

You’ll notice there was a lotus pond on the grounds of the motel where it was held. I’ll save those shots for another time but will throw in a picture of the Pacific Ocean. I did have a bit of trouble getting the photos I really wanted, as people milled about and vehicles were parked so close to each other.

What a scrumptious week-end! Enjoy a few of the moments!

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