Birthday’s End

Orion joined us while we sat beside the fire outside the Gearhart Hotel.

The end of Pedro’s birthday road trip was actually the beginning. His birthday was in the middle of the week, but we had started our vacation the weekend before. We stayed Tuesday night at the McMenamin’s in Gearhart, Oregon. And Wednesday morning was the actual birthday.

We checked in to the hotel and got the rundown on how to get stamps for my McMenamins passport, what pubs were open, etc. We even got a birthday stamp. Gearhart Hotel is very close to the beach and right on the edge of a golf course. Naturally, golfers like to stay here. The entire hotel and restaurant and bar have golf themes.

The stairs to our room.
The door to our room, named Gargantuan Jugglery
Illustrated by this image.
Based on this fun quote by British writer, Arnold Haultain. “A sort of Gargantuan jugglery, a prodigious prestidigitation, a Titanic thimble-rigging, a mighty legerdemain.”

We dropped our luggage and looked around the room, which was small and cozy. The headboard of the bed was the same shape as our headboard in Bothell, Washington last month.

Cozy room.

While we were still feeling awake and alert, we decided to go solve puzzles and get stamps. We explored up and down hallways deciphering clues. At this location, we had to scan QR codes and then answer quiz questions. The answers could be found in the different artwork and photographs displayed in the building. This is a new thing, and maybe it’s exclusive to Gearhart Hotel, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing the online quizzes from now on.

The hallways hold clues.

We were not hungry, since we were still sated from the seafood at Mo’s in Lincoln City, but we were in the mood for a drink. Downstairs we found a tiny pub. No one was visible, and we happily explored till the very friendly bartender appeared. She said she was about to close and asked if we minded if she continued to clean while we had our drinks. No problem.

Pot Bunker Bar
Fire burning in the Pot Bunker Bar.

We spotted the wall of scotch behind the bar and that’s all the suggestion we needed. The bartender laughed and said it’s always the hotel guests who ask for the scotch and never the golfers. “We put this display out here for them, but they never want it.” After a very comfortable wind-down from the day, we said goodbye to the bartender. As we got up to go, she told us there was a fire burning outside as well, and she always piled logs on before she left for the night. Feeling rather impressionable, we immediately decided to go there next. We STILL had not finished the Zinfandel from the yurt, which had been carried over from the Itty Bitty Inn, so we grabbed the two glasses from the little table in our room, grabbed the half-full bottle of wine, and went outside to enjoy the stars.

It was a lovely setting, and I managed to get the photo of the Hotel, with Orion, at the top of the post.

The next morning, both Pedro and I woke up with a desire to go for a run on the beach. He is training for the Shamrock Run race in Portland, and I just wanted to be active after all that sitting in the car for days. It was a very very cold morning, but bright and sunny. We put on some warm running gear, complete with ear-warmers and gloves, and began running as soon as we left the front door.

This is practically across the street from the McMenamins.
Before we ran, we had to get photos! ha ha

We ran only a couple of miles. I know Pedro would have liked to go farther, but I am not in as good of shape as he is. I did my best. He let me walk when I needed to. šŸ™‚

Peaceful seagull on a beautiful morning.
There were multiple vehicles driving around on the sand. I can’t fathom why someone would prefer to drive on the beach rather than walk on it. Those are our tracks in the bottom left.

After our run we cleaned up and packed up, and managed to get ourselves out of the room just in time for our 11am checkout. By that time we were hungry. We went to the Sand Trap Pub and had a wonderful lunch. Then we stepped outside to take a look at the grounds in the daylight.

Inside the Sand Trap Pub
A view from the balcony of the Sand Trap Pub. Golfers happily doing what they do.

One last thing I remembered to show you is the Tsunami warning network around here. I don’t even notice it anymore. When I lived in Eureka, California, and here as well, there are tsunami evacuation routes marked everywhere you go. The signs are along all the coastal roads and even in the neighborhoods. But I thought this might be interesting for anyone who does not live on the coast. It’s a way of life here to just get a good sense of which direction to run in the case of a tsunami.

Tsunami Evacuation Map, it says. You are here.
Information signs educate people about tsunamis of the past.

I wished Pedro a Happy Birthday and thanked him for having it so we had an excuse to go on this great trip. He said it was no trouble at all.

In an hour and a half we were at his place and we unloaded half the Dragon Wagon. I kissed him goodbye and drove the final hour to my place and hugged my kitty Racecar, who about that time was wondering if I would ever come back.

9 thoughts on “Birthday’s End

  1. AWWW! I really enjoyed your celebration. I didn’t know about the McMenamin’s in Gearhart. Love that town and always wanted to go back. Running anywhere isn’t an option any more but that beach looks heavenly. Tsunami’s make me nervous now. I think that’s why I opted out of buying at the beach. Glad Pedro had a good birthday. I hate being so far away.

    1. Yes! Tsunamis are a real thing, as you have realized. Being cautious makes sense. I see new homes being built in low areas next to the beach and I think they are crazy. Maybe not today, maybe not in ten years, but eventually, that building will get demolished by the sea. Silly people. The beach at Gearhart really is lovely. And there were no people. A few of the trucks out there were old men clamming, which I think perfectly sets the character of a cold Oregon beach. Pedro did have a good birthday and then he told me he has to stay home and work for awhile. Since he met me he has used up nearly all of his vacation time, ha ha!! I have this long trip coming up and will be going on the road trip solo. It’s good though, I miss my solo travels.

      1. I’m planning to have my entire kitchen floor clear before you get here. We had snow last night. It will be gone soon but it is sooo cold right now. Be prepared for every extreme here. HOT in the valley, It will warm up a bit next week. šŸ™‚

      2. I heard from a girlfriend here in town that it had just snowed here. She will also be driving to Phoenix the same day as me. Her mom and sister live there. Yes, I expect very cold in the park. I even made a note to myself to bring my winter sleeping bag instead of my summer one. I will send you my itinerary!

    1. I agree. We are staying in the McMenamins hotels, one by one, and this was one of the more enjoyable stays. She was such a riot – sometimes you meet people like that. When we finished our drinks she shooed us out so she could lock up. “Go find something better to do,” she said, “I’m certainly not entertainment.” “Oh, yes you are,” I told her.

  2. Lovely finish and all’s well that ends well. The golfing theme would not excite me, but the room and the surroundings are really nice. I live near the sea but have never even heard tsunami mentioned by an Italian. Maybe it’s not such a danger in our Med, even though there are volcanoes all over the place and numerous earthquakes…

    1. That is an interesting question, Manja. I wonder why the concern about tsunamis is not the same there, when, as you point out, it’s an active volcanic area. That is a mystery. But tsunamis do occur here regularly (though often only a couple inches to a couple of feet deep), so we keep the concern fresh in our minds.

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