After a difficult journey reaching the Oregon coast (see “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Portland”), my husband, Ken, and I reached the little town of Depoe Bay. At last!
Unfortunately, we arrived during a downpour. Dense clouds hung over the ocean and the wind howled down the coast. Not much chance of spotting any whales or hiking along central Oregon’s beaches today. Travel-weary, we visited a grocery store for fresh ravioli and a bottle of Oregon pinot noir and headed to our vacation rental condo.
Walking into the Skyshine Vacations condo (aptly named “Valhalla” after the mythic grand entry hall into the Vikings’ afterlife) we were wet, tired, hungry and disillusioned by our airport nightmare. We were greeted by a luxurious living room, dining room, and kitchen with 24/7 views of the ocean.
Amid the storm, the ocean waves exploded over the rocks just 20 yards from our second-floor balcony. It was exhilarating. Being from a landlocked state, my mood is always lifted by the ocean—even on the rainiest of days. I just can’t get enough of tidal activity and salty air.
After all the hardships in getting to Oregon, staying at this oceanside condo felt like we’d died and gone to, well, Valhalla. Ken and I cozied up by the fireplace, uncorked our wine, and toasted the waves and wild weather. As we cooked dinner that evening we kept one eye on the stove and the other on the horizontal rain lashing the coast.
A Touch of Viking Paradise
Our luxurious Valhalla condo included a fully equipped kitchen (with a waffle iron and a set of knives much nicer than we have at home!), and a massive flat-screen TV (which we never watched because the boiling waters in the bay were far more dramatic than any HBO movie).
The master bedroom had a king-size bed with another whole wall of windows. We were so mesmerized by the sea’s capers that we slept with the curtains open at night so that when we waked, we could witness the churning water at high tide—without leaving bed.
In the mornings, we sipped coffee in the hot tub on the balcony while watching sea lions, cormorants and pelicans hunting for breakfast. Although the air was brisk in early January, it was divine to sit all warm and toasty with the ocean spray on our faces.
After our first good night’s sleep, the travel ordeal was but a memory, washed away by the waves. That’s the healing power of nature for you.
—Laurel Kallenbach, freelance writer and editor
- When has nature enchanted you on your journeys? Share you experience with a comment.