I left Bandon at 8 am, and if you had told me I would be up before 10 I would have laughed out loud. I even had time to stop at the hotel lobby lounge for the free cranberry nut bread and oj. Chatted with a couple from Gig Harbor, or maybe it was Port Townsend. Either way, another connection to the general area of Silverdale, Kitsap County.
The sun was out. It was not raining. This was my cue to drive up the coast instead of over the mountains. I had looked at google's satellite images, and saw that I was right - the trip from Florence to Bandon was through the woods, far from the beach, Bandon is the start of the southern Oregon beach part of 101. From Florence north to Newport it's mostly along the coast. So I drove to Florence where I made a left turn and parked by the ocean, and looked in what I think was the general direction of the Exploding Whale Historical Site (which is, as far as I know, unmarked), and contemplated life, death, the vastness of the ocean and high explolsives.
Got back into the car and drove the amazingly beautiful route to Newport, where I stopped for gas (they don't let you pump your own in Oregon, instead they give this task to a high school student or homeless person who has undergone in-depth gasoline and diesel handling training. This training consists of a test which is administered as follows: "Will you work for minimum wage?" If you answer "yes", you have passed the safety training course and are hired.
The road from Newport going east ends at Corvallis, home of the OSU Beavers. A friend of mine went there, so I picked up a copy of Friday's Beaver Post for him, or whatever it is called. I arrived just in time for the start of an anti-war march. Corvallis is a small town, and it was a small march. About three abreast on the sidewalk, about two blocks long. They started at the courthouse, then went three blocks to the river, then up the river pathway five blocks or so, and then they marched in a concentric spiral. I know because I was getting some walking in, as I had been driving for 4 hours. I crossed their path about six times on my way to lunch at Dairy Queen. It was either that or bad vegan food.
There were people of all ages, their dogs, their children, their parents and even a llama. You had to be there. I will post pix if the ones I took with my crappy phonecam come out.
After lunch I took 99 to Eugene. Original plan was I-5, but it was only 2:30, my flight wasn't till 5, so I took my time going the 40 miles south.
Got to the airport at 3, checked in the car, I was the only one going through security, which is a wonderful change from the panic attacks of SFO.
A couple of odds and ends. Leaving Bandon, I passed a building which looked like it was a 1-cell prison from Gold Rush days. The sign on the front said "Jailhouse Rocks". There's a three-story ferry docked at Newport with a sign on it that says "bed & breakfast". Gas is $2.55 on the coast, $2.25 inland. In Corvallis I stopped at a couple of stores looking for knit gloves, and found none. Apparently winter ends this week, and they have moved on to spring fashions. There was no radio reception on the coast. I thought the antenna wasn't hooked up in the car, so I played the CDs I had bought. When I got to 99 on the way to Eugene I tried the radio again, and got lots of stations on FM, only a couple on AM, so I'm sure the antenna is not attached.
Speaking of CDs, as a nostalgic memorial to the first musical I was ever in, performed in Astoria, Oregon in 1973, I played the original Broadway cast recording of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, and thought of my friend Hilary who directed the show and is now a librarian and bird rescue officer on the coast of Washington State.
The next CD I played was another musical, one which I would like to direct some day, called Weird Science. It never made it to Broadway, because it's more of an off-Broadway show in scale and subject matter. It really is two one-acts, and both star Ellen Greene, whom you probably know as Audrey in the movie Little Shop of Horrors - the one featuring Steve Martin as the dentist. And starring Rick "Honey I did nasty stuff to the Kids" Moranis. I love Ellen. And these two plays show her off spectacularly.
The first bit is about a homeless crippled woman who is given a chance for a new life in a new body. The scientists have manufactured a woman's body which meets all the requirements for a super spokes-model, and they need someone with low self-esteem to be its brain, hooked up via microwave transmitter. It's a wonderful tale showing how the real beauty is inside of us.
The second play is called Her Pilgrim Soul and is about a scientist who is developing the perfect hologram generator. It generates the image of a young girl. The image won't go away. In fact, it starts to grow up at a pace of 10 years every day. The scientist interviews the girl, and we find that she had been a real live woman in the neighborhood. As he gets more clues about Nola, the scientist's assistant does some research and confirms Nola's story. I won't spoil the rest for you, the surprise ending is a tear-jerker and I found myself crying two numbers before the finale. I had to pull off the road. I listened to the rest of the CD while watching the waves crash over the rocks on a beach in Yachats.