OCT Day 7
Approximately 3 miles
I awake once more to the sound of rain, sigh. Actually today is my last day hiking and I don’t have far to go, so whatever. I sleep a bit longer, and the rain has stopped. I set about breaking down my tent, when I notice a woman and her little dog trying to get my attention from the beach. At first I think she’s waving and trying to say hello, but then I vaguely here, “Can’t…there…Go!…Call security.” Ok Karen (my apologies to anyone actually named Karen, but the meme you know), calm down. Apparently she doesn’t like the fact that I stayed on her beautiful beach without buying a multi million dollar home first. As I mentioned in my previous post though, there was no signage, and it was out of view from the surrounding homes, so fair game. Since she is too far away to actually communicate with, I ignore her and her yappy dog. Once I start hiking, I pass her as she is coming back along the beach. I smile and attempt to make eye contact, willing to civilly converse. She refuses to acknowledge my existence at this point because, not only is she a bully, but like most bullies she’s also a coward. Good riddance Karen, go home and mind your own business.
After a very short walk, I arrive in Oceanside. My phone has no signal, and I don’t know where to wait for the bus. I locate a cute little cafe attached to the “Three Arches Inn.” I’m in a bit of a mood from my Karen encounter earlier. One of the baristas says he saw me walking on the road yesterday, and that I looked like the happiest guy he’d ever seen. This cheers me up immensely, as does the French toast and cold brew. While I’m enjoying breakfast, another middle aged woman that I saw on the beach asks if it was me who was camped on the bluff last night. I get ready to defend myself, but she just says that it looked like a beautiful spot, and she hopes I enjoyed it. It turns out that she also has taught abroad, like way before I did, and in much more rural areas. It’s an enormous delight speaking to her, and such a dramatic change from the Karen. Once she leaves, I talk to the barista a bit more, and it comes up that I’m a flight attendant. He says he could never do it because he’s afraid of heights. He overheard our conversation, and also wants to assure me that I was fine camping where I did last night.
A little while later I’m on a transit bus back to Tillamook. It’s a short trip by bus, and then I’m waiting at the Tillamook transit station. Bus stops man… there’s someone coughing like consumption is making a comeback, but I can’t see the culprit. There’s a lady who asks me to call the DMV for her because she doesn’t know how to use her smart phone. There’s a couple who have clearly been doing more than smoking weed now smoking weed under a hedge. There’s also a woman with a ridiculous dog that she keeps calling a Chiweenie. If she says the word Chiweenie, one more time I may lose it.
Finally the bus arrives. I don’t have exact change, so I end up with a round trip ticket with no expiration date. I guess that’s good, as I need to get back to this spot. After about an hour and a half I find myself back in a Portland, where I plan to catch up with a couple of old friends, eat too much, and maybe buy a couple books. I’m looking forward to a rest before heading back to work, but also very excited to come back to the OCT in spring. Thank you all for reading along…
“Strange roads have strange guides…” -Ursula Le Guin