Saturday, July 31, 2010

Unexpected Gold Beach

When traveling the coast of Oregon, you might expect to see a dramatic, rocky shoreline, winding stretches of highway, long agate scattered beaches, lush forests, redwoods, wildlife, fog, lighthouses, sunshine, roadside attractions that include life size dinosaurs, and drowsy little towns filled with tourist-luring shops and restaurants. We did see all that. And certainly it was as Oregon Coasty as could be. Charming, relaxing, perfectly lovely, and not particularly interesting to write about.

To me, the thing that makes travel interesting is the stopping and looking and finding things that aren't in the guide books. It's talking to locals and asking them what they like about their town. A favorite question is, What's the one thing we should do while we're here? Going by one young barista's answer, "Go hiking up the nearby rivers, to where it's hot and sunny", the best thing to do in Gold Beach is to leave Gold Beach. Sometimes you have to ask several people. Sometimes you have to just step out and follow your nose. 

We stayed at a favorite little motel/trailer park/RV park called the Rogue Pacific Motel, where a cozy little two room cottage with a terrific ocean view is only $85 a night. There are less expensive rooms, which have mini kitchens, but no view. The woman at the Visitor's Center called it the "best kept secret" in Gold Beach. I think she was right, and we love it, but I also think a lot of people would hate the place.

And the reason is, it also looks like this...

And this is part of what I love about the motel. It's situated right next to the Curry County Fairgrounds, and we just happened to arrive on opening day of the fair. A small town county fair is pretty much the same everywhere in the US, but this shot, taken from the front door of our little cottage, is the one that really jumps out and grabs my attention. Click on the picture. Make it bigger. Peek in the windows. Snoop around the yard. Consider the stories #312 has to tell. The ferris wheel tiara gives her back some of the glamour she must have had back in her early days as a shining new trailer house, just settling into her place by the sea. She was a beauty queen, I'm quite sure, and in many ways, still is.

There are treasures to be found in travel, whether we wander far and wide, or just to the other side of our own home towns. Ask the questions. Keep your eyes open. Snap pictures. Watch for the unexpected.

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Want more pictures? To keep the clutter down here, I like to post them on Facebook. Feel free to have a look at the Oregon Coast album.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Oregon coast has lots of sanitized retired people with motor homes and power boats living there. There are also a lot of artists tucked in the corners, which make it worth the stop and the question... I am looking for that quirky but not querrelous retirement community for myself - any suggestions?
Norine

Kim Miles ~ said...

What we'd like to do is take a long trip along the coast, as far as maybe San Luis Obispo, and check out every little town along the way. If we do it, I'll let you know what we find!