Screw You, Cancer – I went to Neskowin, Oregon – June 2017

Proposal Rock on a sunny day in the Pacific Northwest!

I’m a real science nerd!
– especially when it comes to nature, geology, astronomy and especially marine biology! I wish I would have followed my dream to become a marine biologist, but that’s an entirely different blog.

I combined my love for both travel and squishy things in June 2017.
I had never been to the Pacific Northwest (and only on the west coast in Los Angeles), but have always wanted to see the Oregon and Washington coast. I and Kelsey, my favorite traveling companion, rented a cabin on the Pacific shore at Neskowin, Oregon.

I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing this experience was.
First off, we both love to fly, so we didn’t even mind the long trip through the air across the continent.  Seeing Mt. Hood jutted above the clouds just below our plane was an impressive sight. Once we arrived at the Portland International Airport, we collected our bags and our rental car, and headed off for the 1 ½ hour drive to Neskowin.

Mt. Hood
Mt. Hood

When making plans for this vacation, I was certain of three things:
1) I wanted to be on the beach where I could hear the surf at night and where there would be tide pools to search for marine critters;
2) I wanted to be able to ride horses on the beach; and
3) I didn’t want to be in a hotel.
Anything else was going to be added value!

Neskowin absolutely did not disappoint!
I did a lot of research before finding a website called VACASA.  On this site, people who own property all over the world can list their locations for rent – Airbnb-style.

I searched the site and checked out several hotels and cabins on the coast, but absolutely fell in love with Fisher’s Roost.  As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one.  Reading the amazing reviews solidified my decision.

Fisher’s Roost Cabin

Fisher’s Roost was absolutely perfect for the two of us.
There were two bedrooms, 1 and ½ baths, washer and dryer, full kitchen, dining room, living room, tv, and woodburning stove. Outside, there was a wraparound deck and a propane grill at our disposal.  The best part, the beach was just across the way from our front door.

The Pacific Northwest coast is fabulous!
It’s beautiful! The forests go on for days.  It only took a matter of minutes for us to throw our stuff into the cabin and wander out into the sand and surf.  I was overwhelmed and awed by the beauty of the area.  And even though the first two days were foggy, Proposal Rock could still be seen standing majestically in the water.

We dug around in the tide pools, where we saw barnacles and tiny shrimp and sea anemone clinging to the stumps of the Ghost Forest.  We collected shells and agates on the beach throughout our visit.  I had hoped to come across a nudibranch in one of the tide pools, but it wasn’t meant to be.  However, I was not disappointed, as there was so much to take in.

Neskowin is nestled between Pacific City to the north, and Lincoln City to the south.
Pacific City is small and homey and quiet. Lincoln City is larger and more touristy, with pastel colored souvenir shops and most restaurants and fast food places you’d expect of a decent-sized city.  Kelsey and I fell in love with the Pig ‘n Pancake and had breakfast there three out of five mornings.  There is also a Safeway in Lincoln City so you can stock up on all the goodies you’ll need to make delicious meals on the grill at the cabin.

Crab Benedict!  That’s right, I said Crab Benedict from Pig ‘n Pancake!

Up north at Pacific City, the atmosphere is more sea-faring, laid-back, and hometown. There is a little place called the Village Coffee Shop where we stopped and ate lunch before our beach horse riding adventure.  The cheeseburger!  So juicy!  You can’t beat it.  And the people were so nice.  Great service!

Once full of burgers and fries, we made our way to Green Acres, a little stable on top of the crest of the hill.  Kelsey and I walked among the horses and petted each one as they munched their hay.  We were matched up with our rides and given a short tutorial on horsemanship before mounting up and heading down to the beach.  It was still a little foggy on this day, but the beach was stellar, and riding along hoof-style on the surf was everything I had hoped it would be.  My horse, Charly, was the coolest.  He was very nice and mannerly.

Horseback riding on the beach!

We rode along the surf for about a half an hour before turning inland to climb up the dunes to the ridge.  The views from here were spectacular.  On one side, you could see the ocean in all its splendor stretching on for infinity.  On the other side, you could look down and see the forest and the park and the small weather-beaten town off in the foggy distance.  It was surreal and everything I had hoped for an more – especially since beach riding was one of my bucket list items.

Our cabin was wonderful.
I felt so completely relaxed there. The entire place is a gated community, so the privacy and sense of peace was greatly welcomed.  I took the bedroom that had the patio door for two reasons:  1) in case some miscreant tried to break in during the night, they would have to go through me to get to Kelsey; and 2)  I’m selfish!  It paid off.  I slept with the sliding glass door cracked open several inches at night and went off to dreamland with the sound of the crashing waves lulling me to sleep.

We spent our mornings sleeping in and our afternoons either in some activity or simply walking along the beach looking for sand dollars and shells.

On the last full day, we ventured south of Lincoln City to Newport, where we took in the Oregon Coast Aquarium – again, engaging my love for all things squishy.  The Aquarium had both indoor and outdoor exhibits, and each was well marked with information on what you were looking at.  We experienced the feel of the critters in the touch pool – some sea urchin, starfish, anemone, small skates and rays – and it was amazing.

Squishy things!

I had just purchased my new car “Penelope” a week before our trip, and I couldn’t resist the urge to stop in the gift shop, where I found a pastel purple, stuffed jellyfish to hang from her rear view mirror when I got home.

“Nessie” (named for Neskowin) hanging from Penelope’s rear view mirror.

On our last night, I truly did not want to go home.
I could have stayed there forever in that tiny little cabin, just right for me and my favorite traveling buddy, on the beach, listening to the surf, and enjoying the absolute peace and quiet. I will never forget this trip of a lifetime to a part of the country I had never been to.  It did not disappoint, and I will be returning!