I’m currently reading David McCullough’s “1776,” a book that chronicles that pivotal year in American history. Thanks to Hamilton, I’m inspired to learn more about the American Revolution. I’m a bit of a war buff anyway and while I’m quite familiar with both WWII and the Vietnam War, my knowledge of the American Revolution is lacking.
So far, the book is everything I hoped. Gripping and illuminating. I can see why George Washington is so revered; he was quite the charismatic leader, but McCullough stops short of mythologizing the man. It’s clear Washington was a mortal human with doubts and fears that certainly rivaled those of his contemporaries. And he never truly believed he was deserving of the honor of commanding the Continental Army.
In any case, I’d gotten about halfway through the book, and it’s already mid-December of that year. With another 180 pages remaining and 1776 rapidly drawing to a close, I could not help but wonder about his famous crossing of the Delaware. I began to question my knowledge of American history. It did take place in 1776, right?! Curious, I googled the info and learned that, yes, Washington’s crossing of the Delaware in a surprise attack on the Hessian forces in Trenton occurred in 1776. December 25-26, to be exact. Because I am currently reading about events on December 18, I was immediately annoyed. “Spoiler alert!” I muttered out loud, and then laughed over my reaction. I’m pretty sure historical events that occurred 242 years ago can hardly be considered spoilers, and yet, I was mad at Wikipedia for a minute there. So I just stopped reading and went back to my book.
I’m dying to know whether it’s the British or the Americans who emerge victorious, but for god’s sake, DON’T TELL ME!
Yesterday we crossed one more item off our Farewell Tour list. It may turn out to be the last, actually. I’d wanted to see the Pacific Ocean one final time, so we spent the day on the Oregon coast.
After dropping by the leasing office to turn in our final rent check – and by the way, kiss my ass for charging us $1,487 for less than a full month’s rent (god, I will not miss the cost of living here!) – we headed west. 100 miles later we arrived in Cannon Beach, where we grabbed a bite to eat at Ecola Seafood Market. I have enjoyed many a clam strip there; the food never disappoints. After lunch we drove south, deciding to check out Manzanita, one of the few towns along that stretch of U.S. 101 we’d never been. We wandered the beach for awhile, and were mesmerized by the parasurfers catching gnarly air. Probably spent a solid half hour just watching them.
Look at that sky! We lucked out and enjoyed perfect weather the whole day. If you are at all familiar with the Oregon coast, you know how rare days like this are. Even in the middle of summer, it’s more likely to be gray and damp there. It was cold; there’s always a stiff wind blowing off the ocean, and we shivered in our hoodies while walking along the beach. But the blue skies were phenomenal, and away from the ocean, it was very pleasant. In the upper 60s or so.
After we’d filled up on parasurfing, we headed back north to Cannon Beach, ducking into a bar for a few cocktails and a mid-afternoon snack of hummus, veggies, and pita bread. I ordered the “Aloha Mule,” a Moscow mule made with pineapple vodka and a splash of both pineapple and cranberry juice. And another, and another….let’s just say we happily killed a couple of hours there.
We headed out to the beach next, and walked down to Haystack Rock. “Goonies” fans know this sight well!
There was a lot of quiet, contemplative reflection during this walk. I did not shy away from the water, regardless of how cold it was; I let it wash over my feet, and thought of how the Pacific Ocean has been my sanctuary for the better part of two decades. In fact, I did the math last night and figured out that I have lived in states either bordering or surrounded by the ocean for 87.7% of my life (I was very precise, lol), so the Midwest is going to feel like a true novelty.
Despite this, there was no sadness. It may have been bittersweet, knowing that the ocean – which has always been a mere 90-minute drive away, there for me whenever I needed a bit of salt water therapy – will no longer be accessible. But I am too excited for all of the upcoming adventures that await us to dwell on any sort of melancholy. I imagine the vastness of the Great Plains will provide moments of solitude and soul-quenching, too.
We debated hanging around until sunset, but at this time of year that is pushing 9:00, and we still had a long drive home. So rather than stick around for another two hours, we bid the Pacific Ocean farewell with one final glance over our shoulders before we began the long trek home.
Next week is Tara’s last at her job. And look at this, folks…
Countdown: 19 Days