Hello My Friend and Welcome.
Today is our turn on the Christian Writer’s Blog Chain. This month’s word is savor and, as usual I’ll slant my comments to the writing life. We live in the Coos Bay-North Bend area on Oregon's South Coast. The city of Coos Bay, originally named Marshfield, surrounds North Bend on three sides. The fourth side is water. Marshfield existed first and then, in 1903, Timber Baron, Louis Simpson, founded a new town at the north bend of the Coos Bay and named it accordingly. North Bend currently has approximately 9.700 people. The 1910 census credited the new town with slightly over 2,000. It steadily increased to a peak of 9,779 in 1980 and has pretty much stayed there.
Because I find myself between projects, my long-suffering spouse has been asking, “Didn’t you promise a play day once your book came out?” To which I can only answer, “Yes, Dear.”
|Ship Loading Logs for Export on North Bend's Bayfront|
We both savor life here on the Oregon Coast and a play day for us means visiting some of our favorite attractions that the area has to offer.
|The McCullough Bridge Crosses the Bay into North Bend|
So today, I thought I’d take you along when we go to some of our favorite spots, but with a little twist. My book LOST is set on the Southern Oregon Coast in the mythical town of Pine Crest, which coincidentally bears a strong resemblance to North Bend. Interestingly enough, my characters also visit some of our favorite places. Small world, huh? But rather than tell about these places or add captions to the photos, I'll use excerpts from the book to annotate the tour. I hope you enjoy your day on Oregon’s Bay Area. Be sure to fasten your seatbelt...it's there on your left.
Eddie carried a bag with sodas, crackers and a smoked fillet of albacore tuna they’d bought at a fish market. It was the middle of the week and the two men had the beach pretty much to themselves. The air was clear and crisp under a partly cloudy sky and the tide was on its way out. As it receded, it left behind a wide expanse of firm, damp sand for them to walk on.
|A Chopper from Coast Guard Air Station North Bend|
The guard scanned the day log, found his name and picked up the phone to notify them inside. “Someone will be out to escort you into the building.”
The sudden high-pitched whine of a jet engine precluded further conversation. On the other side of a high fence, one of the Coast Guard’s HH65A Dolphin helicopters revved its engines in preparation for takeoff.
Tom stepped to the fence to watch.
The red-orange chopper slowly rose into the air. It hovered a few feet above the tarmac for several long moments as if suspended by an invisible wire. Then its nose swung around and the craft quickly lifted up and away from the base in a northwesterly direction. Once they attained sufficient altitude, they leveled out, swept across the bay, and vanished over the crest of the dunes.
The drive to the Eugene meandered through the Umpqua River valley. The river steamed with patchy, morning fog. Traffic was light, the scenery beautiful. On Highway 38 east of Reedsport, they passed a large herd of elk. Charlie popped his head up in the back seat when Marty called them to Tom’s attention. The dog scrutinized the large animals, gave a soft woof then settled back to resume his nap.
Eddie left Tommy’s and drove to Charleston. He turned onto a small road that skirted the slough and parked alongside a metal-sided building. The gray, windowless building was two stories high with sliding doors front and back. Orange rust stains on its tall metal walls indicated where the gutters leaked. Oil drums, a rusting anchor, cable spools and other paraphernalia lay scattered along the side of the building.
Eddie heard voices and pounding inside. He slid the door open a crack and stepped through. He slowly approached the large blue ship that filled the room and stood with his hands in his pockets staring up at its bow.
Bright overhead lights illuminated the work area and heavy blocking and stanchions supported the ship. They’d set ladders against its sides. Equipment, parts, coils of electrical wire and toolboxes lay around the base of each ladder. Multiple electrical extension cords snaked across the floor and up and over the ship’s gunnels.
Those stormwatchers who went to Shore Acres State Park got what they came for. The wind whipped the incoming tide into frothy whitecaps and sent waves smashing against the cliffs with the chest thumping intensity of summer fireworks. Huge plumes of water roared up the sides of the steep, rocky ledges leaping a hundred feet into the air before crashing down on the storm-watchers. Farther north, gusts swept across the dunes turning sand into buckshot and bowing solitary shore pines till they threatened to snap.
We hope your enjoyed your short visit to the Oregon Coast and will come back soon. The weather's mild here - winter lows in the 40's and highs in the mid 50's. In the summer the temp soars to the mid 60's with an overnight low of about 50. Of course, on a stormy day at Shore Acres it can feel a lot colder.
P.S. In all fairness, I am forced to admit that after I posted this a freak winter storm swept in Monday night bringing with it six inches of snow. We were also without power until 4:00 PM on Tuesday. Lights are back on and the snow is melting like crazy. High for the day was 48...nothing like life on the South Coast.
Next time we'll resume our Lenten/Easter series with the prophecies of Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter.
Until then, we wish you Peace and Blessings.
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