spence here. currently, we are stationed at a neat little coffee shop in manzanita. 55 degrees, but warming, overcast, but the sun is breaking through, and we have had a lot of coffee. surf mission is looking up.
we arrived yesterday afternoon to our secret free camping spot outside nehalem bay. we have spent the last few days organizing the stuff for our first leg of the surf mission. we also spent some time packing up our belongings at my friend emily’s house. it was so amazingly wonderful of her to offer us the “old spence cave” in her house. We crashed there for a couple months while we worked our asses off to save up money for the summer. Her generosity is beyond normal human levels. Anyway, I can’t say I was sad to leave Portland, but i was happy to leave loving it still. We’ll be back around here and there so I don’t feel like it is goodbye forever, especially with all my wonderful friends living there.
When we set up camp at the secret spot, I started proudly pulling out the tarp I bought at next adventure. As I started to pull it up over the back of the van, to set up our camp kitchen, billy took one look and said “that thing is the size of a hankerchief…” I guess it looked a lot bigger in the middle of a crowded store. We cooked under it anyway and had a nice bro-bowl for dinner (mac n cheese with broccoli, chips and beer cooked it). We decided to leave the surf boards in the van for some reason and cram all in when the rain started coming down. We hoisted the surfboards inside the van to create a loft of sorts. Somehow, we didn’t mind a bit snuggling together for our 10 hour sleep. We needed it. Today we picked up a bigger tarp, to double our living quarters. The car top carrier is now totally full, how did that happen? I love the marzo. (soon to come, a video tour of the van, when the rain stops!).
Billy here. We have officially broken loose of the city and are living out of doors and in the van. Our last stop in Portland was to drop off a new drawing at Silver Moth. Thank you, Mary Frances, Queen of Rogues and Fairy Doom Mother to us all.
We listened to surf punk rock on the drive out to the coast, passing as usual the little town of Cooterville, which always reminds me of a slang term for an unsavory person. (“I would stay away from him, he’s cooterville.”) At the top of the forest road past Nehalem is a camp spot where you can stay for 21 consecutive days without fees. We set up our little handkerchief kitchen off the back of the van hatch and spent our first day in a clearing between old hitching posts. The fog, ghost of the ocean and portal to the sky, poured in over the dark hillside. Spruces and pines rose up in shadowy cathedral spires on the ridges. Rain and birds nicked up the silence in tiny seeds of sound, small and hard as mustard and poppy seeds. The persistent sound of a northern flicker rattles through the woods. There is a large brush of dead pine that stands out in the green mist: the needles a chocolate rust and the branches black as coffee. The rain kept us snugged up in the van most of the day and keeping ourselves busy doing ridiculous things. For example, everyone has an arbitrary large number they tend to use as an example of an enormous amount beyond imagination. My number is usually 17 billion. “There are 17 billion human babies eating up all the resources.” 17 billion years is more than the age of the universe. Unimaginable. Spence is fond of the number 50 million. So I decided to figure how many years it would take for a person to count to 50 million if they counted one number per second for every waking hour of the day (16 hours). Turns out it would take two and a half years to count that high. So then we decided his large number could also be expressed in years. “These cars have been backed up for 2.5 years!”
We walked the Manzanita beach and found our first evidence of tsunami wreckage from Japan. Someone’s been eating marshmallow crème pies and drinking bottled iced tea! Ha! Also, a lovely little coffee shop in Manzanita had a poster on building global community in the restroom which I liked, so I’m posting it here.
The weather is supposed to break tomorrow and we will hopefully get to test our new surf boards in the waves. Tonight we will head to another secret camp spot right on a cliff overlooking the coast.