Monday, October 18, 2010

sand and paws

During my benighted youth, I loved "sword and sandal" movies.

Those films from the 50s and 60s featuring heroic tales, men in shifts, and women who patiently and piously awaited the return of warring husbands.  The RobeSpartacus.  And the mother of them all: Cleopatra.

Yes, Captain Oveur, I did like Gladiator movies.

But this weekend was a sand only weekend.  But no sandals.  After all, it was the Oregon coast where sandals are as useful as a period in a Faulkner novel.

I have been in Oregon for six months now.  And not once have I made it to the beach.  This summer was custom-built for beach trips.  But I did not head over that way until this past Friday.

It was well worth the wait.  I will tell you a little more about the first day there.  But I wanted to share Saturday with you.

This was one of those unplanned trips.  A true mini-vacation where you get up and decide where to go.  And while you are going there, you just might completely change your plans.

The day began with a bit of nostalgia.  I wanted to take a look at some of the houses in Pacific City -- where I once planned to retire.  I thought most of the houses were grossly over-priced in 2007 and 2008 when I was shopping for a place to retire.

In 2007, I considered buying a recently-constructed house close to the beach with no view for $210,000.  The place was tiny with a one-car garage.  I eventually decided not to buy because my house in Salem was a one hour drive from the beach.

The same house is currently on the market.  I pulled out the flier -- thinking it would be for $200,000 or so.  The price?  $399,000.  And it was not an anomaly.  House after house was at least 100% higher in listing price than when I looked three years ago. 

At least, I knew I would not be tempted to staty in Oregon by picking up one on the cheap.

The real reason, though, for the stop was to hike over the dunes to the beach where Jiggs and I would take walks of indeterminate length.  Depending on his mercurial mood, we would be on the beach for any time between 15 minutes and four hours.

Saturday was the perfect memory day.  Temperatures in the 60s.  Clear skies.  Almost no wind.  And plenty of people sharing their lives with their dogs.

Having my fill of nostalgia, we decided to head north to Astoria, one of Oregon's oldest settlements, to see houses used for movie location filming.  In this case, the house used for Goonies.

But we never made it to Astoria.  While driving through Cannon Beach, we saw a helicopter stand offering tours of the area.  We pulled a fast u-turn, bought our tickets, and in 15 minutes, we were airborne over Seaside and Cannon Beach.

You know my rule about video in blogs.  I seldom use them.

But today is the exception.  I invite you to join me for a flight over some of the most beautiful coastline in America.

I will let the video speak to that part of our souls that yearns to fly.


Gloria said...

Wow, what a great ride Steve. I truly enjoyed that so much. It felt like I was there and I wasn't afraid. I am afraid of flying but this was just devine. Thanks so much for the trip and yes memories of Mr. Jiggs are truly wonderful. It's been a little over a year now that he has been gone. It's no wonder you were thinking so deeply of him. Jiggy is resting. Fun ride Steve, thanks for sharing.

Mike Nickell and Cynthia Johnson said...

Oy vey! I am jealous. My newest dream is to ride in a helicopter and you just lived my dream. But I’m happy you did it. Isn’t it fun to pull u-turns now and then?

NWexican said...

AH HAH!! tricky tricky..
Much more is right :)
I knew that beach grass in the first pic was Pacific City. It is a little amazing that the prices there have not really fallen much..
I suppose Andre' was the pilot, or is that the name of the helicopter?

Al Polito said...

Nice! I imagine that the footage wasn't all your trip, else it was a long one since some of the footage was sunset. Makes me want to take wing.

Steve Cotton said...

Gloria -- Helicopters are marvelous flying machines. I feel as if I am floating every time I fly in one.

Mike and Cynthia -- It was well worth the u-turn. Ironically, we learned more about the filming of Goonies during the flight than we would have in Astoria. But that is often the way of spontaneity. It is better than any plan.

NWexican -- I told you it was much more. As for André, you will need to wait for later in the week.

Al -- All the footage came from this trip -- shot by a friend. It was in the late afternoon and the sky was beginning to turn.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you were able to go to the Oregon Beach this week end. The helicopter ride glad you great aerial views. It looked like you enjoyed being co-pilot.


Steve Cotton said...

Mom -- It took a while to get to the coast. But I finally did. I am still a bit surprised at the house prices, though. I would gladly take that flight again. Interested?

Calypso said...

The reason the housing market is in the dumper is in part the ridiculous escalation of prices - turning a bunch of middle class neighborhoods into high end properties will eventually run out of qualified buyers and snappy financing methods to prolong the absurdity.

The folly in Mexico is still more absurd. People base the price of their real estate solely on what they want to buy with the money - no rational for what a place is worth - pretty crazy.

There are people with houses that have been up for sale for 4 or more years - they might want to rethink their price ;-)

Steve Cotton said...

Calypso -- In my neighborhood in Mexico, no one seems to rethink the price.