Vignette: Coos Bay

Roscoe and I lock up the van and head down the trail, avoiding puddles that were born the previous night. At the edge of the cliff, I hop over a fence to snag a photo of the lighthouse in the distance. Roscoe whimpers. He’s not a fan of heights, and also not a fan when mom is being risky. But I snap the shop and hop back over, quickly, so I don’t have to leave him for very long.

Back on the trail, we head into the trees. Stringy lichen hang down like curtains. Moss clings to the trunks. The wood chips and tree matter that litters the ground is soft and spongey. Roscoe eagerly pulls on my leash, after a scent. We follow it through the bushes and into a small clearing.

Here, we look out on another small cove. Oregon is full of them, and this one is as beautiful as the last. Through the tree branches, I spot the lighthouse again. I make sure that Roscoe doesn’t get too far ahead. It’s probably an 80 foot drop onto the rocks.

We make our way through the trees, along the highway, and descend down into the cove. It’s a steep trail, but lush and rich in slugs. The tide is low, but it’s coming in, lapping against the rocks and meeting the stream that flows down from the forest above. I let out a cough every few minutes, getting over a cold. I’ve been sick for over a week now, but the fresh, salty air is helping. 

The two of us weave in and out of rocks. I stop to look at and pick up beautifully colored seaweeds. Roscoe stops to sniff them. He loves the smelly smells.

Many of the rocks have spectacular coloring and patterns, etched into them by water. The shelf in front of us appears to violently jut out of the water, like the bow of a ship that’s slowly sinking back into the earth. 

We head back up into the trees, and up the road to explore as the light changes. Mist is hanging above us as we sludge through wet wood chips. We inspect all of the furry mosses, the mushrooms, and spider webs. 


We head up the road again to a new overlook. The waves are huge, foam is everywhere, and the spray from the crashes gathers in the trees like a light fog. It's hard to even put in words how magical the coast up here feels at times.

Juliana LinderComment