Cape Foulweather is the most appropriately named place I have ever been to. We were barely out of the car when the wind rushed up to kill us, attempting to throw us to the wet asphalt and then over a low railing to the rocks below. It was such a mad scene neither of us could stop laughing–all the gusts and dismal clouds overhead and horizontal rain. It was a beautiful place, it was a terrible place.
Hand blown glass is a big deal on the Oregon coast. After leaving Lincoln City it seemed we passed a shop selling artisan glass every mile or so. Night fell. I was concerned the fog would take advantage of the sun’s absence but I guess all the wind kept it off the highway. Needing gas and a bathroom, we stopped at the Fred Meyer in Florence. It was a big store–bigger than the Fred Meyers in Portland– and had a full-fledged electronics section and a jewelry store. I guessed it was the only game in town as I didn’t see a Target or a Wal-Mart. At the gas station a kid in his early twenties filled up the car for us. He was missing a few teeth and seemed a little slow as if he had been in an accident or abused drugs. After I paid him Candy pulled back on the highway and we opened a box of Girl Scout cookies in celebration of leaving another town behind us.
It’s funny how the stories of others become your own. Candy told me that she never eats Mexican food in seaside towns. When I asked why she explained that one time she had gotten some lousy food at a taqueria on the California coast. After she told me that I became fixated on spotting Mexican restaurants in the towns we passed through: Comida del Mar. Pollos Grande. El Taco. Once we arrived in a new town I could not rest until I spotted a Mexican restaurant. I never had to search for long; even if the town only had a couple dozen people there was bound to be at least one taqueria.
The original plan was to stop at Coos Bay but Candy felt like driving on. I didn’t mind because Coos Bay didn’t seem like much of a place. Finding my phone, I called ahead to the Motel 6 in Gold Beach to make sure they still had rooms. It took us maybe an hour to get down there. Our luck with the fog was holding out which has to be rare for the Oregon coast in winter.
The Motel 6 in Gold Beach was up a curving driveway cut into the treeline. We parked and went inside even though both of us knew we would be driving on. The woman behind the counter was wary, middle-aged, and wearing a sari. We saw a few Eastern Indians running motels on the trip and we always took it as a good sign because they always provided good service and made sure the rooms were clean. The wi-fi might not work but there wouldn’t be cigarette burns on the sheets or pubes in the shower.
Leaving Gold Beach, Candy turned on the radio and began flipping through the channels. We were in a dead zone of Country stations and Christian talk shows; pickup trucks and End Times. She turned the radio off and to break the silence I began telling her about my family home in Orick about two hours to the south. It was funny to me the emotions that came back with the memories, maybe because it was the last thing my parents worked on before splitting up. We stopped at the McDonalds in Brookings to use the restrooms and get a snack. There was a strange poster in the lobby for something called the Lego Movie so we stared at it for a few minutes before getting back on the road. All the employees seemed like pod people and I had the strange but undeniably feeling time had ceased to move forward.