Thursday, September 18, 2014

Oregon Coast - Part 5 : Ecola Park


Our last day there we went to Ecola State park, which while also sounding vaguely like a non-lethal intestinal bug was apparently the place we went last time to take our family photo. It's high up over the beach and quite pretty. Wheeling gulls and ocean-wind swept vistas and the like.

There's a rather involved drive where you follow a twisted road. I'm sure it was laid down before any sort of laws were passed about turning radius, minimum shoulder width, and all things that make the average North American road not make you want to grip your steering wheel white-knuckled. At all times, anyways.

I was constantly reminded of professional drivers: truck drivers, delivery drivers, and any and all who have to operate multi-ton vehicles in anything more tricky than the Bonneville Salt Flats --who have a sixth sense where their vehicle is, bringing their tire within an eighth of an inch to the curb or building or small child running for her red ball -- apparently without worrying and sweating and accidentally hitting the horn twice and the high beams once in the process.

This was the sort of road made when men like THAT made roads.

You can imagine them, hacking away at the Pacific Northwest forests, making what they perceive to be a perfectly reasonable path and that would not tax at all the abilities of the average office worker whose trickiest spatial reasoning he has to make is how ergonomic, exactly, IS he sitting.  Optimistic, perhaps a little too generous with those who don't have an easy swagger, and skin made from calluses and rugged individualism.

The pictures were taken, with more squint than was desired, as these things tend to go. The camera balanced inexpertly on a camera bag, inches from the sort of fine sand you should ABSOLUTELY keep from your camera at all costs.

It turned out. It's funny how pictures like that tend to turn out, even when they turn out poorly (well, back in the days of no-preview film), it's poorly in a nostalgic way. The way your cousin is blinking and how dad's hair is something medusa would feel a little self conscious about, these become features and not defects. Mental watermarks on a day that only seem to get better in hindsight.

After that bit we went back tot he cottage for one last day just hanging out and, for whatever reason, not going to the beach. The kids can get in a rhythm where they actually enjoy playing with each other, and it's kind of the magic you want to keep going, not interrupting to go do this or that activity. It also perfectly suits my loosely realized vision of Hands Off And Lazy Parenting. Also known as 80's Parenting.

The cottage is tiny, even smaller than our townhouse, but because it has a somewhat odd layout and there are bunkbeds this makes for a WONDERLAND of fun, apparently.Sure it's a small boring bedroom, but it was a small boring bedroom with a bunkbed with a window that looks out into the family room, how CRAZY is that? Very, apparently.

So we let them have their fun, running around slightly different layout with odd choices for rooms made by budget rather than aesthetic. I'm sure it'll help them develop that spatial reasoning that will only atrophy in time; a skill they'll wish they had when, 20 years from now, they are driving white knuckled through some federal parks' idea of a reasonable road for drivers in 1932.

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