God Bless the Pacific Northwest…

by Stephanie Casher on August 11, 2006

I’m so happy that when I mapped my itinerary I ended the trip by coming home through the Pacific Northwest… I’d been to Seattle and Portland before, but have never driven through this part of the country. It is so beautiful everywhere, and the closer we get to California, the more and more things are starting to look and feel like home. Feels great to be back on the West Coast again — the Westside RULES!!!

It took us two hours to get across the border coming back from Canada, but we got into Seattle by 4pm, enough time for me to grab a hot shower and a grubbin’ dinner at the Outback Steakhouse before the concert. Seattle is a great city, and I loved being in the thick of it. Our hotel was walking distance from the Key Arena and Seattle Center, which made my concert mission totally manageable. This show was special because it marks my 30TH time seeing Tim McGraw in concert :-) The fact that my 30th show falls in my 30th year is kinda like ball players scoring a triple double or some other silly statistic like that — I love it! And Mr. and Mrs. McGraw did not disappoint — they blew the roof off that place like they always do. Faith ad-libbed a bit during “There Will Come a Day”, letting her political leanings show (“I don’t believe in war… I don’t believe in killing people… I believe in LOVE!!!” GO FAITH!) And Tim played a brand new song which I’d never heard before, “Fly Away”, which had Gracie, Maggie and Audrey singing at the end… AWESOME! I also ran into a couple at the show that I partied with at the Coyote Ugly in Nashville which was so Random but hella cool! See, I’m not the only fan that travels far and wide chasing cowboys ;-)

After leaving Seattle, Megan and I drove down to Astoria, Oregon which was an awesome stopover. Meg wanted to see it because the Goonies and Kindergarden Cop were filmed there, lol. But it was a cute little fishing village town on the Columbia River, and we stumbled across the Astoria Column which is hands down the coolest column I’ve ever seen. The mural wraps around and up telling the story of how the area was discovered and settled. Then we climbed to the top of it (164 steps!) and had a gorgeous 360 degree panoramic view of the surrounding area – oceans, rivers, mountains and all. GORGEOUS. I’ll upload a full set of pics to Flickr as soon as I can, but for tonight all I have the energy for is the blog…

From there we drove down the Oregon Coast which is just GORGEOUS. It almost hurts me to say this, but the Oregon Coast kicks the California coasts ass! And I can’t even describe to you how giddy I felt laying eyes on the Pacific Ocean again after all these weeks away. I have officially made it from coast to coast to coast people!

I’ve decided that one day I must also own property on the Oregon Coast, lol, preferably in Cannon Beach or Arcadia. Imagine dense lush forests, tree-covered mountains, bridges and bays, AND the ocean all converging in one scenic vista. It was amazing. Simply amazing.

By the time we arrived at our destination in Cape Lookout, Oregon, I was already awed and beyond inspired… But when I pulled into our campsite just STEPS from this gorgeous beach, I realized what it means to be truly blessed. It could not have been a more perfect stopping point. We pitched our tent and then headed down to the beach where I got to watch the sun set into the Pacific Ocean for the first time in five weeks… And then later I fell asleep to the sound of the ocean waves rolling and lapping against the shore. For an ocean girl such as myself, this is about as close to heavan as it gets folks…

Currently we’re in Ashland, Oregon, about 15 miles north of the California border. By this time tomorrow I will be resting peacefully in my own bed, cuddled up with my kitties, having come full circle… I can’t believe I’m almost home, but at the same time, I’m so ready to be home… California, here we come!!!

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