I was raised on the Oregon coast, and to be honest, it's not the most glamorous part of the world. The towns are run down, depressing, and filled with carved driftwood for sale. But the scenery? Hard to beat, no? That's just a picture taken with my phone's mediocre camera. Imagine what a real camera could do for this!
My BFF, the only childhood friend I keep in touch with, recently moved to Coos Bay, a coastal town in the southern Oregon coast. I've never really thought much of it -- on our trips between Brookings and Eugene, Coos Bay was just another McDonald's restroom break. Sometimes an ice cream cone in the summer. It's not Bandon, with an awesome cheese factory, or Florence with it's Old Town. It's just Coos Bay, frequently with bad smells from the lumber mills. But we thought we'd go out looking for some pretty, and we certainly found it.
We wound around up in some cliffs and stopped at different outlooks for different vistas. The best part, though, was finding a botanical garden up on some cliffs. It even had a pond and everything:
Of course, my favorite part of the whole garden was discovering that there were California yellow-bellied newts, swimming around in it. In Brookings, where I grew up, there was a river that we would play in, and my brother and I would fish out newts for hours on end. I vaguely remember building forts for them, because that is apparently what you do with newts. But seriously, it made me smile so hard to see this beautiful Japanese-style koi pond, with heron statues, water lilies, and the Oregon Coast saying "Hey. I've got newts. Those are like koi, right?".
It was ultimately a bit of a sad visit, saying goodbye to a friend before setting off to go live across the country, but to be honest, we've done it many, many times before. We haven't lived in the same town since 1999, and for several occasions we haven't even lived in the same country. But this time it feels a little different -- I don't know if I'll be moving back any time soon. Call me crazy, but those newts felt like a sweet, amphibious omen from the Oregon coast, wishing me well.
It was a bit of a rough day, all in all. It included four hours of driving, and a bit of walking around (which felt like hiking around to me). I wasn't sure how my fibro was going to handle such a trip, but I did okay. Even though I was pretty exhausted in the end, I'm totally glad I went. I'm spending today recuperating and daydreaming about newts..it could be much worse!
Also: I've got some seriously heavy Fibro posts coming up. I'm attempting this thing called "editing" them. Since I'm gonna be saying a lot, I want it to be said well.