Thursday, March 30, 2017

Road Trip Day 11 - Cannon Beach - Which Cottage is Mine?

Portland Oregon Day 2, Day Trip to Cannon Beach
Road trip Day 11
Miles Driven so far: 3900

My sister had made arrangements for us to stay with a group of friends that had just moved into a house in the woods, outside of St. Johns. Picturesque and endearing, the thicket of trees, fog and hydrangeas presented another way of life. Only the sounds of wildlife could be heard and the rustling of leaves as Patrick set to explore the property as soon as I opened the car door.

They had set up the basement for us, bringing in a mattress, heavenly linens, and loaded the wood burning stove with chopped forest. We had our own entrance and the picture windows on two walls showcased views of the where Little Red Riding Hood walks to visit Grandma. I was ready to move in and live here til the very last breath of mountain air escaped my lungs.

Enchanted Entrace

Photographer Sarah Bello
Seriously...this is real. 

As morning presented itself, it took a little convincing that I was awake and not dreaming. The atmosphere conducive to effortless warmth and repose. It was the homemade quilt of atmospheres. But coffee was tempting and Patrick was delicately trying to wake up my sister and I. It started with nudging, followed by quiet whining then escalated to walking across my face. Subtle.

We loaded up the car set for Cannon Beach, a 90 minute drive northwest of Portland. It was supposed to be only partly cloudy and we wanted to take full advantage of the weather.  The drive is a holiday in itself. 
Photographer Sarah Bello
Mt. Hood
Residing in the South these past 8 years, I am easily impressed with anything organic, modern or artisan. Driving to Cannon beach, we stop at a convenience store/gas station and they have Kombucha, and a organic gluten free section. I’m just sayin”…. all the feels.

Photographer Sarah Bello

Elk grazing near the road casually stop traffic in both directions. No one seems to mind as everyone has gotten out of their cars to take pictures. Their size is startling in person, as I was startled when a bull ran behind me while I was photographing the cows. Bulls average 700 to 1100 lbs and the cows 575 to 635. Needless to say they are a force to be reckoned with.

Photographer Sarah Bello

The moody clouds roll in as we get to Cannon beach. Patrick’s leash broke yesterday so our first stop was the pet store on the main road. We walk into Puppy Love by the Sea and they are playing Hawaiian music. Now I had to buy something.

Photographer Sarah Bello
Driftwood Whale

At first I didn’t have my glasses on and from a distance I thought it was a beached whale. I’m quite blind. After realizing I didn’t have to call in authorities, I laughed then daydreamed about my little cottage on Cannon beach with the driftwood whale in the front yard. My surfer/hipster companion who also has a way with words and feeds me would be coming in from the ocean and I’d be in the studio creating a wall size abstract painting in cascading shades of blues. My sister is wondering why I am standing at this spot for so long.

Photographer Sarah Bello

I feel as though I’ve been here before. I know I have not. Movies and pictures have flooded my memory as if they were my own experiences. The massive weight and stature of the driftwood carried in by the swells makes us feel just how petite and fragile our bodies are.

An eminent storm presents in the distance as the ocean churns and the waves get bigger and louder.

Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello
Perfect spot to build my tiny house. 

When we get to the parking lot there are wild (clearly from domesticated) rabbits wandering around in the grass. The whole day was out of a fairytale so why not. Lets go pet the rabbits.

Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello
Clearly this rabbit has attitude with having its picture taken. 

As we drive back into town, I'm craving something sweet. In the middle of town there is a coffee/ice cream shop called Kimo's Island Coffee... oh come on, you couldn't just call it Sarah Stop Here. We ordered some concoction of ice cream, salted caramel, chocolate and coffee. Instant sugar coma.

The landscape here is intoxicating. The light, the contrast, the textures; a photographers apex. 
Now which cottage is mine....

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Road Trip Day 10 - Portland - Put A Bunny On It

Portland Oregon Day 1
Road trip Day 10
Miles Driven so far: 3800

Driving all night from San Francisco to Portland sounded like a great idea as the sun was setting. Fueled on what was left of the coffee I made this morning that was astonishingly still hot (My new thermos is a champion) I drove along highway 101 through Northern California. Portland is 9-10 hours away and I decided I would just drive until I got tired. Since it was dark, I choose the fastest route over the more scenic.  But the traffic jam around the exit to Sonoma was enough to add back any time I saved.  On the side of the road was a Billboard “10 minutes to the perfect moment” next to a car size glass of wine. I stared at the billboard for 45 minutes as I sat in traffic.
10 minutes my ass.

The Oregon landscape is out of a fairytale. My high beams shined on the tall trees of the forest that I longed to run through.  In the late night hours, the temperature dropped and the fog rolled in. I could no longer see the pines or the road, just fog and fog’s relatives and friends. After nearly hitting a very large bird of some sort…either an owl or a pterodactyl…who flew across the road then back into the mysterious fog from which it came, I pulled over at the next rest stop. I wrapped myself and Patrick in the sleeping bag in the backseat. We hibernated for about an hour before the brisk cold woke us up. At the next rest stop we pulled over again and I slept another hour until I woke up to see my breath. Its plausible an hour is how long my car keeps the heat in.

COFFEE!!!!!!! My coffee monster emerged in the wee hours of the morning. It wanted coffee so bad it almost persuaded me to buy some at the convenience store. I convinced it to wait until Portland. We would spend my money on the precious brew that only a Barista could provide.

I arrived in Portland after the sun came up. I called my sister and she gave me directions to where she was house sitting. I quickly changed into some fresh clothes. We had plans for Sunday Brunch at Helsers on Alberta. All I could think about was a latte. There was a long wait but it was so good the last time I was in town we decided to wait. We stood outside in the crowd, going back in on occasion to count how may people were ahead of us and make sad hungry eyes at the hostess. 

I thought about the Portlandia episode “Brunch Village.  
“How Long is the wait?”
 “I don’t know maybe 35, 45 minutes…maybe an hour 15. We got that great write up so maybe an hour 45.”

It was gorgeous outside, a little overcast but the sun peaked through on occasion as I deliriously caught up with my sister on the bench outside. 

When our table was ready, latte was the first word out of my mouth after woohoo.
Nothing tastes better than a latte you’ve waited 10 hours for.

My sister ordered an earl gray with milk and slightly less enthusiasm.

We both had the smoked salmon hash which consists of a ginormous bowl of Yukon gold hash grilled with smoked salmon, and sautéed spinach then topped with two poached eggs, and fresh hollandaise sauce.  It’s the perfect option when you feel like you could order one of everything on the menu. Its also gluten free.

Later we drove over to the beach at Kelley Point Park in St. Johns and walked the trails.