Free coffee in hand I crossed over into Oregon and the first thing I noticed was the sign of a windsurfer. I felt the familiar calmness, one I’ve come to recognise in Oregon. I think it is what makes it so different from the rest of the States I’ve been to, why it makes it my favourite.


Another stormy day meant another day in a coffee shop working on surf reports and with the lack of water time I decided to treat myself to a shower. Since I had yet to pay for a night in an RV park, I asked the manager at Canon Beach RV Resort what makes their park so special. She simply replied there is no other park like it. And she’s right, most of the other parks I’d seen were a messy mishmash of trailers parked on top of each other, electrical hookups crossing like telephone wires in India. Here, each RV had its own space, the bathrooms where clean and well kept, but best of all is I got to enjoy the hot pool all to myself.

After my night of luxury, I went into town to chat at the local surf shop to see if there might be any spot working on this swell, they told me a to check Oswald Beach park, but first I wanted to get a few shots of Canon Beach. There was a break in the clouds and it looked like there might be a good sunset. To bide the time I popped into Bill’s Brew House, which seems to be a bit of an institution and one of the only places open during the off season. It was packed. I took my seat at the bar and washed away a garden burger with a rather good porter.  Definitely worth a stop if you are passing through the town.

By the time I poked my head out the door, the grey had come back along with it killing any chances of any colour. Luckily I had been given the keys to a house in Manzanita just a few miles down the way and headed there,
lured by the idea of a warm Christmas eve. While it was great to have the space to warm up next to a fire and have a hot shower, the emptiness of the place made me feel claustrophobic. So with charged batteries I spent the rest of Christmas eve watching movies in the cosy comfort of the van.

Having missed Oswald Beach the previous night I decided to spend Christmas day on the beach and set off to find surf on Short Sands Beach which is where Madeline told me to take a picture. Surf was forgoten when a lonely
surfer shared some bud with me, sparking a chain of conversations and sharing so that by the time nature had finished her show, I was in no state to drive. Frozen to the bone I was so happy to have the van
were I could warm up with soup and crawl into bed.

The voices of surfers discussing the conditions woke me with the memory that I had slept in the parking lot and was at the only surf spot working in the area. I got down to the beach to find at least 30 surfers dotted around different peaks. Most clusterd on the far left corner trying to take the same wave. I had watched for hours, taking pictures and had noticed that occasionally there was a right which no one went for. I surfed the right all to myself with about 15 guys sitting only meters away from me all going left. It was the best surf of my trip thus far and when I came out a fellow surfer on the beach stopped me to ask about the conditions.

I left him with the gift of the right and started to prepare myself to tackle the snowy pass into Portland where I was to pick up a windsurfer and have some work done on the van.

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