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Free to Be

Sometimes you just need a day where you are free to be and do whatever makes you happy.

With the daughter out of town (in Hawai’i, to be specific), I had a child-free weekend, a rarity indeed, and I wanted to make the most of it. I’d planned to spend Friday night and all day Sunday sewing, then a day-trip with my friend on Saturday. Well, as usual, plans went awry and both sewing days had to be cancelled (thank you, crappy little car o’ mine).

Despite me giving him the freedom to bail on poor little me, plans with my buddy Prado were kept and not only was he willing to take me out of the city, he also made sure the day was spent without the slightest worry about food, gas or entertainment. He is pretty stellar like that.

With an early start, he asked which way I wanted to go and, like my pioneer ancestors, I said “Westward, please.”

After a slight diversion onto I-5, we headed out on Hwy. 26 toward the Oregon coast, stopping near the top of the Coast range to admire the amazing view.  And the snow!
Snow on the Cascade Range
I stomped around in the snow for a bit and smiled for the first time in days. Blue skies, snow, podcasts and a good friend made everything seem alright again.
Teresa Coates_happy and cold
We drove onward and he gave me the choice: Tillamook or Cannon Beach. As much as I love pretty much anything the company Tillamook makes (cheese! yogurt! ice cream!), I’ve been to their hometown plenty of times. And somehow, despite having lived in Oregon for 36 years now, I don’t remember ever having been to Cannon Beach.

Now I understand why people ooh and ahh over the place. The beach is flat; the rock formations are awesome and, though I’m sure it’s not the norm, the skies were blue and the wind wasn’t gusting. It was astonishingly beautiful and I lost it briefly as I stood taking it all in. {wipes happy tears away}
Cannon Beach in Oregon

We walked around and I admired the beach debris. I have no idea why I like it because honestly it always stinks. But I do.
beach debris at Oregon coast
After basking in the sun and Prado taking lots of sand/water/rocks/logs pics, we headed north  along 101 toward Astoria.

Along the way, I noticed a sign for Fort Stevens and was adamant that we go. It had been Ft. Stevens that I’d spent a week camping with my best friend in middle school, biking the trails for hours. I have fond memories of the place and I really (really) wanted Prado to see the crazy bunkers and the shipwreck. It’s the Peter Iredale, stuck into the sand there more than a hundred years ago. It really is beautiful in its destruction.
Peter Iredale shipwreck at Fort Stevens
We drove on to Battery Russell, built to fight off the Japanese attacks during WWII. It’s incredibly creepy and well worth the visit, but one of these times I will have to go with a guidebook. With no signage it’s just an austere cement shell. Even so, he got some pretty awesome shots of the place and I took pics of him taking pics.
Prado taking photos at Battery Russell

It was mid-afternoon by the time we started heading back toward Portland and dinner time when we arrived. I didn’t want to cook. He didn’t want to cook. So what are we to do? Try out that new restaurant.

So Tabor Tavern isn’t really new, but it’s new to us (and it hasn’t been there that long).  Portlanders, if you haven’t been here yet, it’s high time you gave it a try. Everything was delicious, but the smoked/grilled tofu was out of this world.

Afterward we caught a showing of Skyfall, the newish Bond flick. Despite my aversion to ridiculous displays of testosterone, I actually quite enjoyed it. It kept my mind off my troubles and that was the whole point of the day.

Sometimes that’s all we really need–a good friend and just one day free from worry.