Friday, January 29, 2010

A Grand Day Out

Not by choice, mind you - I had a job of work down at the Coast today.So I loaded up the wagon and headed to Beverly...Beach, that is. No movie stars, - in fact, not much of anyone, the Coast being rainy and windy at the best of times in the winter, and the best times are far between. You can see by the size of the big North Pacific swells that sort of weather we'd been having.

But, delightfully, the rains held off, and we had a dry and very pleasant day.

The postcard view above is of something called "Devil's Churn", which, as you can see from the snapshot below, was churning quite vigorously today.

Cape Perpetua is one of the several massive basalt headlands that washboard the Oregon Coast. Because it's south of the main tourist destinations around Lincoln City and Seaside it doesn't get as much visitation. But it has a spectacularly morose sort of beauty.The one inescapable thing in the coastal forests is moss..The constant dampness and deep shadow are perfect for the stuff, and it creeps over and enfolds everything like a congressman slurping down lobbyist lucre. Everything immobile gets covered with the stuff. Everything.

The view from the top of the Cape is pretty...mmm...impressive.Along the quiet path was this, a secondary feather from the wing of a Northern Flicker, which must have left in some haste. Lovely, fragile thing, as crimson and weightless as a kiss. It made a striking contrast with the stone gray and moss green and conifer black of the forest around me.Ah, lad, it's not work you're doing, is it?

At the very crest of the Perpetua massif the CCC constructed a stone structure in 1934 that remains today. To call it a "shelter" seems like hubris; it wouldn't shelter a large dog from the fearsome storms that beat against this coast. But it was a pleasant spot to sit and think and enjoy the view.One thing I wanted to mention just as a by-the-way; I seldom listen to country music - I don't have a dog or a pickup, don't drink much or cheat on my wife, and I would look silly in a cowboy hat or boots. But the radio selection at the coast isn't wide, and I usually end up listening to more country there than I ever do elsewhere.

I used to work in Texas in the late 70's and 80's, and spent a fiar amount of time in North Carolina then, too. Country music was inescapable there, and I heard my share of it.

I have to note that the stuff I was hearing today had a lot of similarity to what played on country stations in 1979; pickup trucks, whiskey, pretty girls (either stealing your heart or stompin' that sucker flat...). And lots, LOTS of mawkish sentimental guff about wives, sons, daughters and Jesus. Ack - sorry, I'm too cynical for that shit. But after a full day of listening to the 2010 version of "country" there was something I believe I noticed.

Oh, and while I was down at the coast working, I wasn't ONLY you can see.The "old" country, the country music I listened to in the late Seventies and early Eighties - when a lot of the singers and songwriters had come up through the honky-tonk pre-Nashville country - was a sad music, really. A lot of the songs were about loss and pain, about being the small man or woman in a big, rich world, of getting beaten down and discarded. The country singers were telling their listeners that they knew about getting fired, about losing your ranch or getting forclosed out of your home. Of being looked down on for being poor rubes, sneered at as a hayseed, of losing when the banker and the lawyer were winning.But a lot of the country music I heard today had a LOT of puffery about how proud the singer was to be a redneck, how great life is in the sticks, how them city folk don't get it. It wasn't ashamed about being unsophisticated. It seemed to be saying "Country folks are BETTER than you, and if you don't think so that's your problem."

I'm not sure what that says about country music and the people who perform and listen to it. I offer merely the observation.

The black turnstones were working harder than I was, picking over the shell midden at the Oregon Oyster Farms;...and slipping under the beaks of the larger, more aggressive crows and gulls, succeeding not by strength or pride but by perseverence and diffidence. Perhaps the turnstone is the old-school country singer of the shorebird world.?I got some of those delicious little reptiles, too. Mmmmm. There's something about the Yaquina Bay oysters - they're fresh, clean and delicious.

And then I had to leave the modern-day shell midden behind and get on the road for home. It's been a long week, and I'm for bed, Hal, and all's well.Hope you enjoyed the Coast. Come back and visit again soon, 'K?


rangeragainstwar said...

Really wonderful scenic shots -thanks.
Now for some refresher training-paratroops stand on 2 legs-even the old farts.

FDChief said...

I like to think of that as the rear leaning rest...

Lisa said...

What stunning photos - I esp. like the 4th down; quite poignant, IMO. Thank you.

FDChief said...

Lisa: Ta. I love the coast, it's one of the big perks of living here.