It was early Saturday morning on the last weekend of September in Newport and the stormy weather had finally broken. Torrential downpours watered our forest line the night prior, leaving the sheen of autumn on the foliage along our street. There was a specific crispness in the air foretelling a distinct change in season.
My husband and I decide to hop in the car for a drive down 101 and enjoy the still sleepy vibe of late September mornings along the central Oregon coast. My mouth was already watering for the hot coffee I knew we would grab along the way, and I snuggled up in my warm leggings and overly puffed sweater.
Just south of South Beach, my husband commented he was surprised at how many visitors we still had here, and I instantly took notice of the giant cameras bejeweling their necks. Parked along the roadside, tourists have lenses as long as arms aimed toward the ocean, chronicling the angry waves rolling and crashing upon the shoreline.
I then realized that not only do our beaches attract visitors for the long, lazy lull of summer, but they also attract visitors for our storms. Our own Cape Foulweather is so aptly named for the 500-foot high peak rising out of the ocean that receives fierce winds and rain beating during our fall and winter months.
The stormy weather brings out the rugged strength of our terrain, mirroring the people that have called this coastal stretch home. Trees line the westerly side of the highway with an easterly slant from sea winds, with skillfully carved branches like those of a Bonsai tree. Birds of prey land along the water’s edge to grab their catch, washed up from the storms at sea, then taking flight to the sky and disappearing into the forest. And our mountains, like giants that testify against the pounding rain, stand strong in protection for all wildlife and humans, alike.
Our stretch of Highway 101 is truly majestic with its hidden pathways through trees and brush that open up to long stretches of beaches. Not all beaches are smooth and sandy, however, like Moolack or Beverly. Other beaches — such as Ona — have rock beds, like labyrinths of shells and agates, hidden just out of the eye of traffic. A lifetime could be spent exploring and charting new territory from just north of Lincoln City to just south of Yachats.
Heading back north from Waldport to Newport, the rest of the drive was spent in quiet appreciation of the splendor of our environment. We live in a paradise of lush greenery and ambient shores easily accessed and ready to wash our stresses and worries away; to revive our imaginations and spirits at any turn along the path.
Seaora Makarova-Cuevas lives in Newport with her husband. She is a PNW native, mom to her most rad three kiddos, avid beach runner, watersport participant and loves all things to do with the coastal life. Seaora is passionate about living a life that is simple, leaving a small carbon footprint and bringing awareness back to a village connection in community. She creates all natural skin care products because she believes in toxin-free and eco-friendly living.