29 October 2006

Fall Color

Some people wax ecstatic about the brilliantly colored Autumns out East, but let me tell you, there's nothing quite like a nice Fall day on the Oregon Coast. I was there this weekend, doing a geological mapping activity on the rocky shore along the town of Yachats to make up for a field trip I missed while in Ottawa. That section of the coast is riddled with surge channels and spouting horns, and the wind and tide were both at just the right levels to make the surf put on quite a show, without being so strong as to make me feel as if I were in imminent danger of getting swept out to sea. Since it wasn't the middle of summer, the only people I was sharing the park with were locals (nice both for the solitude and because I would have gotten extremely tired of answering questions about what I was doing with a compass, a notebook, and a weather-beaten aerial photograph of Yachats). Even in that fairly built-up part of the coast, I saw my share of wildlife as well, best of all a line of pelicans scaling above the breakers not fifty feet from where I stood. It's no secret I love coasts - the Northwest Coast most of all - at any time of year; they give me an oddly comforting sense of human insignificance in the face of nature. Days like this Saturday just remind me how lucky I am to be living in the greatest part of the world, somewhere where I can drive an hour and find myself in wonderful Fall weather on one of the most sublimely beautiful coasts anywhere. The Easterners can keep their colorful leaves: we've got the better end of the bargain by far.

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