Thursday, March 28, 2013

Newport to Pacific City

Beach at Pacific City, Oregon
While the vampires are sleeping, or doing whatever it is they do when they are not sucking, we drive to Pacific City for breakfast. Although the town boasts barely 1,000 full-time residents, it features one of the world's finest breweries.

Fortunately for us, Pelican Pub and Brewery also serves food and opens at 8 a.m. Only an hour north of Newport, this place piqued my interest by winning several medals at the 2012 World Beer Cup.

I thought it might be worth a visit, but our friend Didi–who knows a thing or two about beer, food, and cool places to visit–insisted that it should not be missed. He was right.

Sandra orders smoked salmon Benedict, while I have the corned beef hash (prepared with MacPelican's Scottish Ale, sage, and homemade mustard). Both satisfy, as does the fresh-brewed coffee.

People take their coffee seriously in these parts. And their smoked salmon. And their glass blowing. There is no shortage of shops dedicated to each in every Southern Oregon beach town. Also a surprising number of Hawaiian food establishments. We passed two yesterday in Florence.

Pelican is nearly empty, drawing attention to the many awards that dot the walls. Our large table abuts a window looking onto the beach, which is also nearly empty.

We take as much time to enjoy the food, coffee, and view as we dare. Then we pay for our meal and a six-pack of 22-ounce bottles for the road (including one for Didi back in San Diego, of course).

Outside, surfers attempt to negotiate insufficient swells. White birds strut in the sand, searching for snacks.

The occasional stray human family sits in beach chairs. Mom reads a novel, dad reads the newspaper. Children build what pass for sandcastles. Maybe a 4 x 4 truck rolls past, parallel to the incoming tide.

A funky looking dog (Sandra calls it a “dingo dog”) retrieves a stick thrown by its owner several times, then lies in the shade beneath its owners truck to rest before getting back to work. A large rock breaks the ocean surface about a half mile out or so.

Does this happen here or am I remembering Newport? Or Heceta Head? Or even Harris State Beach? The days run together, the beaches run together. Each is beautiful and unique, but the ubiquity of such beauty and uniqueness overwhelms. We are becoming spoiled to the point that we cannot differentiate between one amazing place and the next.

As problems go, it is a nice one to have. You know what else would be nice to have? Some cheese.

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