Thank you, global warming.
Though your effects mostly are going to be disastrous, today wife, dog, and I enjoyed an amazing late January afternoon on an Oregon beach, Neskowin, in mid-60's temperature, no wind, sunny.
Here's a photographic tour, courtesy of my iPhone.
Neskowin is a few miles north of Lincoln City. It's our favorite close-to-Salem beach. But often (well, usually) this stretch of the Oregon coast has something annoying going on when we arrive after walking from the parking lot to the water.
Too cold. Too cloudy. Too windy. Maybe all three. Today... perfection. And it was freaking January 25!
One of the reasons we headed to Neskowin after watching the great Oregon coast weather report on the evening news last night was guilt over being Bad Dog Parents. We adopted Zu Zu about three years ago, yet had never taken her to the beach.
Naturally Daddy Brian had to take a photo of her first look at the ocean. Zu Zu enjoys lakes and rivers, but we wondered how she'd react to the Pacific Ocean. A bit warily at first, understandably. It didn't take Zu Zu long, though, before she was happily retrieving sticks Mommy Laurel threw into the waves.
That was great.
Not-so-great was Zu Zu's habit of running up to me with the just-retrieved stick as I sat on the beach, snapping photos from what initially was a dry, non-sandy perch. After a few dog visits, dry and non-sandy were distant memories.
I was, however, able to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in semi-peace. During most of my lunch Laurel and Zu Zu were distant dots on the edge of the water. The warmth, sunshine, and calm air felt decidedly un-Oregon'ish. Especially for late January.
She played with lots of other dogs. Pleasingly, Zu Zu showed no sign of taking up the behavior of a previous dog of ours: digging holes ferociously, usually, it seemed, with the intention of spraying us with sand as we sat on the beach.
Aside from the cold water and temperature in the 60's, I could almost imagine that we were in Hawaii. Some youthful beachgoers were in shorts and shirtless (only guys, unfortunately). This girl was skimboarding, if I've got the term right.
We took an amazing number of photos of Our Baby's First Visit to the Ocean. Believe me, you're only seeing a few of them. Be thankful for that.
Walking just a ways up the beach, it didn't take long before we came to one of the most enjoyable things about the Oregon coast: often no people are in sight.
Leaving Neskowin in late afternoon, the sun was just setting behind the trees on the top of Proposal Rock. It was a beautiful way to end a beautiful day on the beach.