The Oregon coast is unmatched in the Great 48. Sorry California. The Redwoods in NorCal are actually the only thing that keep it in the conversation. How the Oregon Tourism Commission hasn't attracted more tourists and residents to the area, and how anyone that's visited hasn't plastered it's glory over every social media outlet, is beyond me. But I'm glad, and please don't.
That disconnect is actually what separates Oregon from California, and any other coast. In an age where Google Maps' satellite view covers every stretch and stone, and aggregates photos from lookouts to street corners, where Tripadvisor documents every Inn and attraction, it's amazing that from Astoria to Brookings you feel as if you're still exploring untouched land. That experience alone is almost worth the trip. Add in diverse landscapes; from massive dunes, to lush forests, and dramatic cliffs....God damn, it's what Cali must have felt like 40 years ago. I shit you not, I was alone, on some of the most beautiful stretches of beach I've seen in the country. I hiked unmarked trails to Instagram perfect locations, with not a soul around. From the state's most popular beach town, I stared up at night, and saw the Milky Way.
My experience, and the Oregon coast, can be summed up in one anecdote. While at a pull off, staring out at what constituted part of the largest coastal sand dunes in North America, I overheard a fellow photographer say, "Thunder Rock Cove, some of the best.." blah blah blah. That's all I needed to hear, "Thunder Rock-fucking-Cove". It was a treasure hunt, as if a secret note slipped out of the sleeve of a dusty old book in an antique shop. I raced to my caravan, and began barreling down the 101. Chasing time, and the sun, as they wound down. The best bit....there were no signs....you can barely find information on the internet about it. I drove past it three times! And you guessed it, when I got there, it was just me and nature.
That's Oregon right now. I'm afraid I've said too much already. Keep this to yourselves, like the Goonies map, which is also the fun bit about Oregon. Nerding out on all your old childhood memories from the movie. But I digress. Seriously, you didn't hear this from me. Don't share this on social media.
Oregon, I love you. I'll be back soon. Please don't change.