The dawn greeted us at the Cape Disappointment State park, and we were up and out, cruising south on highway 101 along the northern Oregon coast with its lighthouses, rocky cliffs and endless ocean. The coastline has so many towns to explore…. Tillamook. We went for the free cheese samples. People are crazy for cheese. Lines for samples, lines for Tillamook memorabilia, lines for having your kid get his picture taken in the cheese-van driver seat. We were frightened by all the people; no cheese for us. We ran out of there in 5 minutes after patiently waiting for Laura’s turn for her picture in the cheese van. We were later waylaid in quaint Wheeler at a fabric store and a deceptively enormous Antiques & Oddities shop full of mason jars, old tools and end tables. Heceta Head Lighthouse, one of the most photographed lighthouses on the coast, was also visited.
We were winding our way towards Reedsport, a small town on the Oregon coast. A billion years ago, Laura spent a summer at her cousin’s restaurant, the Harbor Light. She needed to get off the Coastside and spent July and August being a go-for to her talented chef-cousin, Lauree. Many vegetables were chopped. The tradition has continued over those 20 years, and various other cousins have spent the summer in the kitchen.
It turned out to be a unexpected mini-family reunion! The current crop of kitchen help is Laura’s cousin, Anna. Her sister Karly is a veteran of the Harbor Light, too, and happened to be visiting on vacation. Flying in from Colorado was their mom, cousin Patty, or “Pat” to her daughters. Or “the Patster” to Patty herself. Rachel, another cousin and Reedport local, rounded out the herd of gals.
What a fabulous time with fabulous weather: we had a dinner and lunch at the Harbor Light Restaurant, we picnicked at a local lake, Laura got to briefly reprise her sous-chef side-kick role for Lauree, and we got the flavor of living in a small town: When no one really wanted to drive 90 minutes to Eugene, OR to pick up Patty, who had just flown in from CO, we ordered her a shuttle service and could they just drop her off at the Little Brown Hen Restaurant in Florence, OR? Great, thanks. The shuttle driver and Patty became fast friends and would have stopped at an estate sale on their way to Florence, but since they were already behind schedule, they decided regrettably to pass.
In search of a pie for the picnic dinner, we called Kitty, of Kitty’s Kitchen Is Christmas Forever, a combination pie shop, Christmas boutique and hot dog stand. And the lemon meringue was on its way!
We camped in the driveway/back lawn of Lauree and Rachel’s house and were alert for a cougar (a real one!) that had recently peered into a bedroom window. Anna photographed it. We’re not sure we wanted to meet it or not.