The drive from Portland to coastal town Lincoln City took about two hours on winding roads through dense forest and light rain. The sun began to peek through the clouds, giving false hope that the excursion to the beach would not result in drenched clothes.

My tour guide pulled off in Lincoln City to allow us to view a stretch of beach during low tide. The only evidence of how high the tide usually reached was the driftwood lining the sand thirty feet from where the waves lapped the shores. And the waves were large, brought ashore by strong winds that chilled to the bone.

We made our way to the Silenz Bay Wildlife Refuge to do some hiking. It had stopped raining so we set off in search of blacktail deer and otters. Two blacktail deer caught our scent and were running into the woods before I even had a chance to snap a photograph. Sneaky little devils.

It started to rain then, drizzling at first before shifting to a steady light downpour. I had mistakenly left my rain jacket in the car so I was soaked by the time I was back were I started. That marked the end of our hiking for the day so we headed off to Newport. Our hotel, The Elizabeth Oceanfront Suites, had exactly what I needed after getting chilled on the trail. A fireplace in the room and, as the name suggests, an oceanfront view.

As luck would have it, my aunt and uncle were also traveling in Oregon as the made their roundabout way from Arizona to Michigan. We met at Clearwater Restaurant for dinner. They ate seafood and I had a veggie burger. I never acquired a taste for crab or cod so I stayed with what I liked. The food was good, but it was the company I was there to enjoy. That, and the hope that tomorrow’s adventures would be dryer.

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