Wednesday, March 14, 2012



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. 

Ship Loading Logs for Export on North Bend's Bayfront
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.”

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'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.
After they’d walked a while, Tom noticed a large drift log partially buried in the sand, an impromptu picnic table. The men straddled the log facing each other and unwrapped their lunch. Despite a steady breeze coming off the water, the air around them filled with the smell of the cured and smoked fish.

A Chopper from Coast Guard Air Station North Bend
He handed the guard a business card. “I have an appointment with Captain Harrison.”
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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by Pegg Thomas said...

Thanks for the tour of your favorite stompin' grounds. Wonderful photos and the excerpts brought them to life.

TraciB said...

Great snapshots, both verbal and visual. I'd love to visit Oregon someday; some of my ancestors went there on the Oregon Trail; I may still have distant relatives in the area.

Debra Ann Elliott said...

Thank you so much for sharing this part of Oregon with us. I used to live in Oregon and in fact my oldest daughter was born in Salem. I miss the Coast and all Oregon has to offer. I enjoyed the trip down memory lane and will savor the visit.

Nona King said...

EG, Love pictures and the excerpt, especially since I'm an Oregon girl myself. :) It made me homesick for the shores of the coast and my sleepy little hometown of Aurora.

Great post.

E. G. Lewis said...

Thought I'd provide a storm update. With all the snow and no power, we just hunkered down and stayed put. Yesterday evening our closest neighbors came by to check on us and brought several jars of home-canned tuna in case we needed provisions. It turns out that several of the trees at the end of our drive (not visible from the house) blew down across the drive. He noticed and cut them up for us. Nothin' beats good neighbors!

Terrie said...

So glad you weathered the storm well EG and thank you for the update. Loved the photo's and synopsis. I ventured to the coast several times while in Oregon. It's natural untouched beauty is awe-inspiring. Thank you for sharing a bit of your world.

From Carols Quill said...

I enjoyed this trip north today. I spent each summer in Tillamook with Grandma and Grandpa. Grew up loving Oregon. Thanks for the tour.

E. G. Lewis said...

I'm amazed at the number of people in the blog chain with ties to Oregon.

by Pegg Thomas said...

I have a cousin in Oregon, do I count? :) Your link was bad in the blog chain this month, Edward. I posted the right link on the thread, but I'll take a guess that some people didn't find it. Be sure and double-check your link for April.

Tracy Krauss said...

Hooray! Since I've read LOST (and loved it!) this post was super cool for me to read. It was neat to see these places via your pictures.

E. G. Lewis said...

Pegg: Regrading the link. I think some people are picking up the old Wordpress link. Some other people in the chain have had similar problems. Glad you found your way.

Adam Collings said...

I enjoyed reading the exerts from your book, along with the accompanying photos. Seeing a picture of the place that inspired a scene can really bring it to life.

I've recently started posted some photos of places that appear in my novel onto PInterest.

E. G. Lewis said...

It was your video of life in Tasmania that inspired me to do it. I really enjoyed seeing a part of the world I knew nothing about.
Peace and Blessings

Cindee Snider Re said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this photo, excerpt "tour" through your favorite Play Day spots and writings. What a great idea! The photo of the waves crashing, creating that incredible arching fan, is my favorite of the tour. Stunning capture!

Mommy's Angel In Heaven said...

I really loved what you wrote. I was born in Salem and then moved to Portland when I was about a year old. My dad and almost all of his side of the family live in the Portland area. To me, Oregon is one of the most beautiful states in the country.

E. G. Lewis said...

Thanks for dropping by. I continue to be amazed at the number of Oregon connections among our Blod Chain members. Peace and Blessings.

Deborah K. Anderson said...

Thank you for sharing your city (and excerpts from your book) with us. Beautiful pictures, great writing. Felt like I was there.

My cousin says that no matter what a woman says to him, the best answer is always, "Yes, dear."