March 13, 2015

Good ol' USA

There is no question that I am a wee-bit obsessed with Europe (hence my degree emphasis in European Studies). I'm afraid that I must admit this obsession sometimes clouds my appreciation of my own country. I live in San Diego, California and it is therefore kind of my job to just take for granted the fantastic place I live (I apologize to the rest of the country, as I sit writing this in a breezy café, while the temperature drifting through the open windows is a perfect 85º).  

California isn't the only great state in our oversized country either; as I've mentioned before I'm also a huge fan of Oregon. Having been to this state maybe a dozen times previous, when we went this past summer I feared we may have run out of things to be awed by. 

This was not the case: we found big foot and solved the scientific mystery of the ages.

When I was traveling the great unknowns of Europe, I always did an extensive Google-Pinterest-Blog-Stalk of every new place I was going, so I thought for this trip to the Oregon Coast I'd do the same. As luck would have it, just a few hours north of Coos Bay, was a natural site we'd missed on every trip prior. 

With a new goal it was over the hill and through the woods (away from grandmother's house). 

When you arrive in Cape Perpetua the landscape is overwhelming and there is many a sign pointing to you to a variety of scenic views. If you're searching for the only thing in Oregon more mythic than Bigfoot, follow the sign towards the Spouting Horn.   

The trail leads you directly to the Spouting Horn, and while it is quite a spectacular sight to watch the geyser-like phenomenon, this was not our actual destination.  

Watching the horn it was hard to imagine anything being more impressive or worthy of the 5 million photos I couldn't resist taking. 

Then we found it. At first, it looked like nothing; it may have been totally missed had other wanderlusters not been gathered around the cavernous hole in tidal rocks.

Then suddenly a marvel occured as the tide washed over the deep gorge and we saw the splendor that is Thor's Well

We can assume Thor made this majestic hole with Mjölnir, fighting Loki or some other kind of tomfoolery. 

The effect of the water as it gushes out of the cavern with the tide is both mesmerizing and terrifying (Mom was a bit afraid I would fall right in as I took a zillion more photos in my utter fascination). 

The higher the tide gets, the more treacherous the Well becomes, and the bigger the splash.  

Soon the area becomes entirely inaccessible, and the whole thing will disappear, left lurking beneath the water, only to appear as if from no where with the next low tide.  

After being dragged away from (before falling into) Thor's Well, we explored the rest of the thrilling landscape; there were innumerable other things to become fascinated by. 

Devil's Churn, which had tempted us earlier, was lurking just around the corner, also becoming more deadly as the tide rose. 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the Oregon Coast is a spectacularly underrated sight. 

Even the next day when we visited Shore Acres, a place we had been over and over again, we somehow found new ways to be enchanted. 

How could we not be entirely enthralled by an ocean vista so blue?

I don't know how whimsical pictures of daisies don't pop up on Pinterest when you search "Oregon Coast" because they were dazzling, and everywhere. 

I've seen some spectacular seas and the Pacific Ocean crashing against the Oregon seaboard makes a fair effort in measuring up, to say the least. 

Whether it is me, Pinterest, or Google I think it is fair to assume that in a generation readily becoming overwhelmed with the travel bug, our good ol' USA has been forgotten in the need to go abroad. I am completely guilty of this myself, and I believe it probably has to do with the accesibility of travel in Europe.

Backpacking Europe? Hostels and fellow travelers here you come. 

Cross country all American road trip? Are you bringing an RV and the kids? 

The kind of stigma traveling the states has gotten is a pity, because it is easy to see that with just a little bit of research, there are hidden gems all across country. I think we've got a bit of "state pride" as opposed to national pride, as well. I can tell you all about sunny Cali, but Kansas? I can hardly locate it on a map. 

So how to remedy this problem of having seen more of the world than I have of my own country? There is only one logical plan: cross country road trip. I haven't worked out the details, the economics, or even for sure travel companions, but the way I like to secure my future is by saying things over and over until I have no choice but to do them, just to prove to everyone that I can.

So here it is: Summer 2015 Update: Fall 2015 Kenna (and ??) Take America (and/or Move Cross Country). 

As I've said, I know little to nothing about the rest of the states, and I look forward to learning so much, but I may need a little assistance. If you have any tips (places to go, things to see, a bed for me to sleep on, or most importantly, things to eat) please comment! I'm open to all advice and will be spending the next three months planning this extravaganza. 

Yours, Kenna

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