The sun had just set and we were driving around looking for a place to hook up, which we found in a small rest station near a town. It still rained pretty hard that night, we ate dinner and relaxed and went to sleep early, the next day we would begin our trip north up the entire coastline. At the sight of first light we were already at our first location ( Natural Bridges Cove), what was a last minute location added to the list turned out to be one of the most beautiful of the entire coast. Aqua green water splashes against the arch shaped rocks that extended into the ocean from the mainland, some rocks lay deeper in the ocean forming mini islands with just a sprinkle of a few Douglas Fur trees on the top, a truly spectacular sight to see. The drone was able to capture this location in it's full glory as much of the coast here is inaccessible due to it's sharp cliffs and rocks.
Our next location was Gold beach where we got to see the true unprecedented grandness of the Pacific Ocean at sea level. We indulged the perks of having a mobile kitchen and cooked omelettes and enjoyed coffee while we watched the fog coming in from the ocean .The giant rocks on the coast would disappear and reappear and the sound of the waves crashing against them could be heard faintly in the distance. It was hard to leave this place but we had locations lined up for the entire coast, so we returned to the road until we reached Bandon Beach. These treeless shores were unique for their bare arched rocks that reminded me of the funny shaped blocks I used to play with as a child. Mother nature finally had some mercy on us at this location granting us a few hours of much needed sun light. We hadn't really seen the full sun since we left New York. It felt so good to feel the warmth of it's light on my skin, we took our time here sitting in the grass photographing and filming, watching the waves splash through the holes in the rocks. By the time we left this place the sun was already getting low and the race to catch sunset at the next location was on. Unfortunately we had just missed it at the Oregon Sand Dunes, we were only able to capture the dim glow of twilight. It didn't really matter to us, we had seen plenty of coastal beauty that day and were pretty exhausted, we all new the next location would be a restaurant where we could get a good classic Oregon dish. We drove until we reached a small town named Florence and after carefully navigating through its small streets with our giant RV found The Waterfront Depot, a restaurant tucked away next to the Suislaw River. Its small local gems like these that make our travel experiences much more memorable, the outstanding seafood and the warm hospitality of the Oregon people made an impression on us. After a very satisfying meal we returned to the road and drove into the night until we reached the cliffs of Cape Perpetua. The road here was narrow and at night time quite spooky, on one side was the steep rocky mountains and on the other was a 50 foot drop onto the rocks in the ocean. We found a small pullover on the side of road etched into the mountain where we parked the 30 foot RV for the night. I don't think any of us slept comfortably that night as the thought of another vehicle smashing into us and rolling us off the cliff haunted us. There was also the sound of the violent waves of the pacific ocean slamming into the cliffs below ensuring no chance of survival if the worst were to happen. After a while it was the repetitive sound of those waves that actually put me to sleep.
The next morning we woke up early and were eager to leave our bird nest on the cliffs and get to our first location for sunrise. By the time the sun rose over the horizon we were already photographing the exotic landscape of Thor's Well. One of the most amazing places I have ever been in my life, we had the location all to ourselves and we took our time enjoying the tranquility of it's desertion. Finally as humans began to arrive we moved on to the next on the list, unfortunately it would rain and remain cloudy for the rest of the day. We did a quick stop at Seal Rock and stopped again at Neskowin where it began to rain forcing us to relax in the RV for a while. We kept driving again until we reached Cape Kiwanda, another one of Oregon's most beautiful locations in my opinion. Made mostly of sand this location was stunning to look at even on a cloudy day and especially from the top of the 200ft great sand dune of Cape Kiwanda. This location's beauty is cursed with danger, most of the rock here is made of hardened sand and over time the sinister waves cause large sections of cliffs to collapse. Although the edges of the cliffs have barriers a few people still have fallen into the ocean and have had to be rescued, some never made it out. The wind began to pickup and the darker clouds were rolling in, we knew it was time to go so we packed up our gear and began making our way back to the safety of our mobile home. After a quick meal in the RV we drove in the rain for 63 miles north until we reached the Cannon Beach area where we found a nice RV park and hooked up for the night. We enjoyed the amenities here such as good Wifi and nice showers, I must have taken an hour in the shower that night. It's funny how you take the small things for granted until you experience life without them, in the RV we only had a 5 gallon water heater for all 3 of us. This meant 2 minute showers with barely warm water if you were lucky, not to mention the shower in the RV was the size of a refrigerator. The rain continued so we stayed in the for the rest of the night relaxing and celebrating the progress of our trip with some drinks and snacks. We spoke about our favorite locations and our experiences so far and how we looked forward to the next morning at Cannon Beach, all we needed was for it to stop raining by morning. We went to sleep optimistic, but to our dismay awoke to torrential rain and howling wind. It was some of the worse rain we had seen the whole trip, the windshield wipers struggled to keep up as we drove closer to the beach but it was worse here. Curtains of rain just poured down from the sky, it reminded me of the thunderstorms we would get in New York in the middle of the summer, they only happened rarely but when they did they were severe. It was 6AM and there was nothing we could do but wait, instead we tried to kill time by having some breakfast at a local diner, even ordered desert and sipped several cups of coffee. But the storm would not let up, we were now back at the RV and it was already 11am, we thought about abandoning this location as we could not waste a whole day waiting for more preferable conditions. And in fact we did decide to abandon it, we were to relax for 30 minutes and then get back on the road but just as we were getting ready to leave Chris noticed that the rain had slowed down, so we went outside to investigate. Not only had the rain slowed down but it seemed the sun was trying to break it's way through the clouds, we couldn't believe it. By the time we repacked our gear and arrived on the beach front the sun was casting it's rays across the landscape and the rain had stopped completely, whatever fog was left burned away in the sunlight. Another jaw dropping scene to behold, another experience burned into my memory, never to be forgotten.
We spent about 3 hours here, the location was as beautiful as everyone said it would be and we captured some great content including drone footage. Once again it felt refreshing to feel the sun again, we had been missing it for most of the trip. We left Cannon Beach satisfied and refreshed, ready for the next location which was the shipwreck of Peter Iredale for sunset. Of course when we got there it was mostly cloudy again with the faintest gold glow coming from the horizon. Despite the clouds, it still looked beautiful, the skeleton ship wreck sitting on the shore, waves splashing against it, the horizon was now a pinkish hue as the day came to an end. Even as darkness fell we stayed at the shipwreck playing with lights and exposures, experimenting with photographic ideas. We returned to the RV feeling a sense of accomplishment along with a slight feeling of sadness, we knew this was our last location on the coast and that our coastal adventure was coming to an end. The good news was that we still had one of the best locations in Oregon left to explore, and so after a good dinner and some coffee we began our drive back east towards Oregon's mainland. We arrived in the outskirts of Portland late at night and found a RV park in a suburb area where we hooked up for the night. Exhausted and worn out from travelling we didn't waste any time in going to sleep, we knew the next day there would be a lot of hiking and possibly even some swimming in our itinerary, we were excited, we crossed our fingers hoping it wouldn't rain. It felt like I had just closed my eyes when the alarm went off in the morning, it was 7am and the guys were already up making coffee. As I sat up and looked out the window I was greeted with a fresh cup of steaming Oregon coffee which was just what I needed to shake off the morning chill. To my amazement, no rain but it was however very foggy, still we were glad to have any kind of dry weather. About an hour later we were almost at our first location in this region and the landscape we were driving through was just stunning, we had heard and seen many things about this area but still nothing could prepare us for the ultra green beauty of the Columbia River Gorge area of Oregon. The fog was starting to give way, revealing some of the greenest mountains I have ever seen. As I stared out the window I couldn't help but smile, I knew it was going to be a good day....
- Cesar Vasquez Jr