August 19, 1997
Lincoln City, Oregon, USA
Yesterday morning, after a quick shower and breakfast at Adventure Cove(the Scout Camp), I headed out on the water. Other than a little bit of chop, I had great conditions, and nothing too exciting happened until later in the afternoon as I was rounding Hecita Head. There, I found an isolated cove with steep cliffs surrounding a thin beach covered in fat shiny brown bodies. At the back of the cove, a waterfall flowed into the ocean. And to the left, at the waterline, was a massive cave which acted like a megaphone, and amplified the bark of the seals within it. The place was spectacular. There were a half dozen seals swimming around my kayak. Each one must have weighed about 300 pounds, swimming around my kayak. The closer I got to shore, the more seals there were circling around me. It got pretty intense, and I backed off. Id guess there were possibly 500 seals in the cove.
After leaving the cove, I paddled through a couple of narrow arches, and then along the base of a 400 foot cliff. My destination for the evening was four miles straight ahead. I had three hours of sunlight left... The wind was at my back... and I had following seas. Life was easy. At that moment, I thought I had just experienced one of the best half hours of my life.
At 6:30pm, I landed at Lincoln City. Its a very touristy town, a lot like Cannon Beach. There were a few guys playing frisbee close by, so I asked them to help me carry my boat. At the half way point we stopped for a break. The Stuarts father, Tom, and sister, Jill, came down to see what was happening(Stuart was one of the guys playing frisbee). People walking along the beach come over. A small crowd formed. I was answering questions one after another. People were asking to have their picture taken with me. Video cameras were rolling. I was cool with it, but the attention felt totally undeserved.
As I was setting up my tent, Tom invited me to join his family for dinner. While feasting on Mos seafood chowder, we talked about mountaineering and the Mormon faith. After supper, Stuart , Jill, and their friends Neil, and Joe, took me out to see a movie called Conspiracy Theory, starring Mel Gibson, and Julia Roberts.
This morning, Stuart and Jill drove me around town doing errands. I needed film, some groceries, and the lyrics to a few Bob Dylan songs. For the lyrics, we went to a book store. They had a complete book of all his works for only $10. It was a huge book and I only wanted a few songs, so I sat there on the floor for a half-hour copying the ones I wanted. A few of the songs I chose included: Like a Rolling Stone, Subterranean Home-sick Blues, and Blowing in the Wind. I figure Ill have them memorized in a day or two.
Stuart and his family live in Washington. The house they were staying at here belongs to a relative. A few hours ago they headed back home. Im now in a neighbors home. Its raining out. I decided not to paddle today. The people here dont own this house either. It belongs to a friend of theirs. A lot of the houses around here are just summer homes. The winters here are nasty - lots of rain and windy as hell.
At the moment, Im watching Saturday Night Live. Its Tuesday... Its the middle of the afternoon.... and its an old rerun. In the room with me is Currin, Erin, and Courtney. Erin and Courtneys Dad Kevin, is Currins boyfriend. Kevin has taken his son Ryan, who has an ear infection, to the doctors office.
Since I got here, Currin has been telling me the story of her life. Shes a bit messed-up. Its too bad really... because she is also pretty good looking. She keeps informing me of how much her life sucks. "Ive never had anything of my own..." she explains. "Im always serving other people." Here is the dilemma Currin is facing: she feels like an outsider when she is with Kevins family. Even if she marries Kevin, the kids wont treat her like a mother. Currin wants to have a child of her own, but she knows Kevin doesnt want anymore kids. Currin loves Kevin, but knows ultimately they will have to split up if she is to be happy. I knew that they live together in a rural area, so I told her "Kevin is a great guy! Stick with him... Get a horse!" Hey... It worked for Julia Roberts. So what if it was a movie...