When I first came to work here last October, a story sat unassigned on our story list. It said, quite simply, “Oregon Coast breweries.” I couldn’t believe my good fortune—this story was waiting for ME? I snatched it up, and early this summer gathered up a couple friends and headed up the North Coast to do some research. After a couple of days in Astoria, I wished I could stay for a week. There’s a surprise around every corner— the incredible river, antique shops mixed in with upscale art galleries, the refurbished Liberty Theater, Victorian mansions, and of course, great breweries that serve as gathering places for both locals and visitors. While Astoria is often under clouds, the spirit of the locals and history of the area clearly shine through, making every visit there a delight.
That three-day weekend also included a stop at the Pelican Pub on an idyllic sunny day and an afternoon in Cannon Beach. On another weekend, we hit Newport (sunny again) and enjoyed a tour of the Rogue Brewery and a side trip to the Siletz Roadhouse, where we sat around the table with Randy Kenyon, the brewer, and shared both ales and tales.
On another sunny day a few weeks ago, I took a paddling trip with Andy Small of Oregon by Kayak. Andy’s business is based in Eugene, but most of his trips are out here on the coast. We paddled from Siltcoos Lake 3 miles down the Siltcoos River Trail, passing through quiet forest and steep dunes before rounding a final turn and seeing a dramatic view of breakers in the distance. The river is quiet and serene, an easy paddle even for an inexperienced kayaker. Andy has 24 years of experience kayaking and taught me some new strokes, which added to the fun.
While I was heading north, Judy Fleagle headed south to Crescent City, where she experienced wonderful hospitality and lots of adventures, including feeding a mouse to a wild spotted owl, climbing into the lantern room of the Battery Point Lighthouse, and canoeing on Earl Lake in the wee hours of the morning. You’ll find her excellent story on Crescent City and the surrounding area in this issue.
You’re sure to also enjoy a great piece by Paul Pintarich, who has a unique way of tying past and present together with well-turned words and humorous insights. This time he revisits some of his boyhood haunts in the Nehalem area, where he finds that while some things have changed (no more mannequins on top of the old Wheeler Tavern), the tiny towns and beautiful beaches maintain their charm.
And now it’s September, when the kids have gone back to school, the crowds are thinning out, and the coast usually gets some of the best weather of the whole year. Enjoy!
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