I guess it's easy to overlook Sunset Bay State Park. It's just one of what must be hundreds of state parks, state waysides, and state whatevers that line the Oregon coast -- and yet here we are, lucky to find a tent spot with just a few days' warning on one of the busiest weeks of the year. We pull in at 4; the shadows are already bathing out site in semi-duskness. Tent up and sandals on, we walk through the campground, under the road, and out onto the beach. Mist oozes along the tree tips but is breaking. When we return in the morning it's perfectly clear, brilliant and chilly, and of course Cooper takes his shoes off and runs into the water.
Maybe there are more spectacular beaches in the world, but not today. A narrow path led through the forest to breakers we had been hearing all morning. First up is a stream struggling to meet the ocean, then an elephant seal, looking unhappy as he molts in the dry sand, and then the beach itself. Too cold to swim, but just right to hang right on the thin line between land and water. Most spectacular, maybe, is how many people walk on to the sand behind us, snap a photo, then turn around leave. Cooper, of course, pulls out his trucks and starts to drive, meaning I have to pretend to drive them too, which gives Laura a precious few moments to pull out the remnants of the Sunday paper and read. Is the tide coming in or out? Is it getting warmer or cooler? Why did I not bring beer? Who cares? We have an hour more and intend on using every minute of it.