Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thunder Road: Back in Oregon

Whether it's the fact that the weather cleared up and was at least 10 degrees warmer, or that our next campsite at Harris Beach State Park had newer, clean bathrooms with free showers and all the hot water you could want, we were so happy to be back in Oregon and so very proud of our state park system. We did stop on the way up just before crossing the border and the guys slaked their disappointed-by-Costco liquor lust at Safeway, grabbing a few extra bargain-priced bottles.

Once we got the tents set up, we headed down to the beach to do some rambling among the rocks and sitting on the sand as the waves crashed in. The view from the top of the hill is stunning. Large rocky headlands jut out from the shore with many craggy outcroppings littering the tidal zone.

Rosey was particularly pleased to be out of the car, and when she wasn't curled up in some little nest she'd dug for herself or rolling in the dirt like a real dog, she was dipping her belly in the surf and doing her best seal imitation.

When friends Dawn and David arrived with their dog Reuben, a big gentle giant, and had set up their tent, we were well on the way to serving my brother's much-vaunted spaghetti carbonara ala Marcella Hazan accompanied by a green salad with balsamic vinegar, shallot and mustard dressing. In keeping with the menu, David brought a 2001 Arnaldo-Caprai Montefalco Rosso to the party, which was followed by a 2001 Fattoria di Poggio Capponi Petriccio Chianti. I'm sure Marcella herself would have rolled up the sleeves of her fleece sweatshirt and dug right in with the rest of us. Dessert was that campfire classic, S'mores, supplied by the lovely Dawn and abetted by the campfire which had burned down to perfect glowing coals.

The next day was spent writing, reading, spelunking on the beach and playing more Train, a set of 91 colored double-twelve dominoes where the object of the game is to discard all your dominoes onto the "trains," your own or those of the other players. It's very easy and a longtime family favorite where you get to yell, accuse others of cheating and try to gang up on whomever is winning. Big fun.

So a quick dinner of grilled-on-the-fire-pit salmon, a delicious fresh corn risotto and some more S'mores and we were ready to call it a night. The next morning we packed quickly and headed home to Portland, feeling like this trip was the perfect way to (almost) end the summer.

Read the rest of the posts in the series: Thunder Road Redux, Stop1: Jack's Grill, Stop 2: The Sundial Bridge, and California Campin'

No comments: