Heading For The Beach A Nice Outing For Stir-Crazy Family

Western Ag Vignettes

Being shut in by heat always creates cottage fever.

Published on: August 12, 2013

One of the nice things about summer is the long, long warm days that pull you to go outside. That is, if the heat wave isn’t soaring in the high 90s!

Getting folks ready to go to the beach is always a busy task, but the rewards of summer sun and sand are worth the effort. I decided long ago that if we were going to drive 100 miles to the Pacific Ocean shore, we would stay at least two nights to make it a mini-vacation and not a fast turnaround trip.

After a lengthy stay, I always feel refreshed. If we go in a single day, it becomes a tiring event that isn’t always that relaxing. You turn around just as you’re getting accustomed to relaxing.

A great advantage to living in the Pacific Northwest is that summer days really don’t turn dark until about 10 p.m., giving a little extra time to enjoy daytime. When winter settles in and the dark comes at 5:30 p.m., I begin to get cottage fever from being shut in and with no real sunshine outside to draw me there.

PNW summers are delightful, but you pay for them with seven months of dark days when more often than not there will be a shower. You learn to live with it and work outside on projects even if you must wear rain gear, but unless I get to the sun about February, I begin to suffer from vitamin D deficiency drawdown.

I love the year-end holidays but dread the dark months that they mentor. I am not a sun person in terms of working in the hot blaze of our star, but dwell in the shades of summer quite nicely.

What would be nice would be to have a cabana in Hawaii, but I don’t, so I go to southern California for winter sun and trouble my son there for a week or so. At least we can escape there with few problems.

I am looking forward to my trip to the beach and having trouble not packing sand toys for the kids and dumping ice into the Coleman cooler right now, but we have a day to wait for all that.

Tick, tock, tick, tock. C’mon Friday afternoon!!!

There are places along the Washington shore where you can drive your car right on the beach, skittering in and out of the surf. Endless stretches of wide open flat beach make this a thrill to visitors who come out from the Midwest where there is no water at all.

Just south in Oregon, there are countless state parks, as well as the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, which offers dune buggy rides that can take your breath away as they dip suddenly down a steep sand hill and ride risky ridges. Pretty thrilling stuff.

This time, however, I am headed to a little rustic white motel on the Oregon shore where I have stayed previously, and sit in my lawn lounge listening to ice clink in my glass and reading yet another Fitzgerald book.

I can identify with F.Scott’s opening line in “Tender is the Night,” and I paraphrase: “On the pleasant French Riviera, half way between Marseilles and the Italian coast, sits a proud, pink hotel.”

That’s where I will be over the weekend!