Hello, hello Seaside

Hello, hello Seaside
Seaside, OR

Seaside, OR

Promenade at Seaside, Oregon, with the US flag flying above a couple of statues
Seaside, Oregon.

Today was brighter, albeit with some rain later on, and the town was on the beach. With the tide out, it is a vast expanse of sand. But then, this is America, where everything’s bigger. Including the hangover I had from last night. Soup was served for neighbours and guests, so we were entertained first by David and Lisa, who lived opposite having downsized to just the 3 acres on retirement. He’s a Vietnam vet, and fairly loud – which was totally in keeping, in context – so ticked several boxes for me on my American Experience tour. A particularly grating American hiker had checked in whilst I was reading in the lounge and I’d resolved not to meet him, but in the end it was he who stayed up latest, full of stories about his hike so far – California the destination – and life in the woods, where he lives and works on a small resort, reachable only by boat.

Tussocks of grass before Seaside Beach
Seaside beach.

My highlight of today was the reaction of one American. It’s perfectly normal to say hello to people as you pass on the street and get a friendly reaction, but he, largish, mid 20s perhaps, didn’t miss a beat nor slow down, but managed to get out a deep and resonant “how’re you folks doing today?” Brilliant.

“devote themselves to the avoidance of every opinion with which they were not perfectly familiar, and regard their own brains as a sort of sanctuary, to which if an opinion had infer resorted, none other was to attack it.”

The rock from the Goonies

The rock from the Goonies
Cannon Beach, OR

Cannon Beach, OR

Last night we had dinner in a diner, which is another big American must-do for me, though I only realised it when the possibility presented itself. Look over there, other side of the road from the motel (another essential… etc), Grumpy’s, and still open. We started today with breakfast in the same place. There is something to this American customer service-even with slightly grumpy staff service was good. Plus it’s perfectly okay to talk to anyone in the US. I hope I am broken for the UK’s grumpiness (or so it seems from here) now, freely calling hello to strangers and freaking Londoners out by looking them in the eye. I have always done that, but normally settle into avoiding it once a few have looked shiftily away; it would be nice to be oblivious. For the greater good, of course.

Low buildings and wide streets in small town USA
Small town Americana.

On to Seaside, via Cannon Beach. The latter is smaller and quainter, plus it has the rock mentioned, sitting in the bay, close enough to shore that it’s almost as if someone left it there meaning to come back later to position it elsewhere. It’s a grand rock. No pictures, you’ll have to check it out in the film.

Today was a storm watcher’s day, so much so that the afternoon passed in Seaside hostel’s music room with horizontal rain outside and books in. Apparently people do come here just to watch the storms. It is a fairly big town, plenty of shopping, including outlet stores, to keep holidaymakers busy when they’re not on the huge beach. The Hood to Coast relay finishes in Seaside – 1200+ teams of 12, that is a whole host of people to arrive on the beach-as does the Lewis & Clark trail. They explored from 1803-1806, it says here.

“Our party from necessary having been obliged to subsist some lenth of time on dogs have now become extreemly fond of their flesh.”

Reading: Samuel Butler, Erewhon.

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