After filling our bellies we headed west in our covered wagon, that orange Kia, which also needed some fueling. The love interest was the first one to get scolded in the state of Oregon as she moved to fill up the gas tank. The attendant let her know state law wouldn’t let you pump your own gas. “We don’t want the pies you bake smelling like gasoline.” he explained.
We drove through the forest where you could see clear demarcations of where lumberjacks were allowed to work and where there was preservation. We passed a beautiful river, some rustic cabins, and a unicorn or two. We made it to the coast, but couldn’t find exactly where Honeyman State Park was, so we ended up taking a slight detour putting our feet in the frigid Pacific Ocean in the vicinity of some scuba divers gearing up in full body wetsuits.
We circled back and found the dunes. The clouds began to burn off making me think maybe I would be brave enough to swim in the cold lake. We climbed up the tall dune fighting gravity and the sinking sand to get a pretty vista. We had to watch our step as kids were sledding down in plastic ovals and the more extreme lot strapped their feet on to wooden boards to sandboard down the slope. From the peak you could see the Pacific and hear dune buggies vrooming in some hidden corner. Next came the fun part, running full speed down the hill. At times you could jump making yourself feel like an astronaut on a fake moon landing.
Down at the lake the sun was making its presence felt, but there was still a chilly wind in the air. There were three kids swimming across the lake, but no one else in the park was touching the water. It took a Dad heckling me and calling me a wimp in front of his kids to motivate me into gracelessly diving into that water. It was cold enough that I couldn’t talk or stay in very long, but once I jumped out I could say, “Who’s your Daddy now?”
It didn’t take long for humility to return as afterwards we stopped for some miniature golf where the love interest roundly kicked my butt. We checked out the old town of Florence which was beautiful and picturesque and all of those things. We walked into every souvenir shop in the strip and we couldn’t find a single thing worth schlepping around and so we took the drive back. We spent the evening with the cousins reminiscing over pie and beer about summers of Oregon past.
We woke up early the next morning to make the drive into Portland, picking some raspberries from the garden before hitting the road. We only had a couple days remaining on our vacation and a whole lot left to do. At the very least I wanted to get that glimpse of Mt. Hood.