Thursday, August 18, 2016

Joe Omundson

Hitchhiking on the Oregon Coast

From Newport, I got a ride with a guy several miles north to Beverly Beach where I wanted to camp for the night. He was from Mexico, had been in Newport for 15 years, had struggled with alcoholism and painkillers in the past but is now clean. Interestingly, being a bartender works well for him because he still gets to be around the "party scene" but isn't allowed to drink while working. He was extremely kind and open.

After getting dropped off I walked past the campground and onto the beach. I was a little nervous about finding a campsite, as the coastline was rather steep, but I explored the first area I saw that had potential and found a lovely (if somewhat sloped) campsite. Camping in coastal forests is ideal because there isn't much undergrowth and they shield you from the wind.

On the last day of the festival, someone gifted me with some MDMA and LSD. I decided to use these here at Beverly Beach to process some feelings about my step mom (Beverly) who passed away last December. It was my first time trying MDMA (other than a couple small doses before that I couldn't really feel) and it was quite an experience, especially combined with the acid. I've never taken a drug that imparted a certain concrete emotion in the way that MDMA gave me absolute warmth, empathy, and euphoria. It was interesting. I had some cathartic processing on that beach, walking in the warm wind, full moon glowing among passing clouds, laughing and crying and making sounds as I walked and ran. My sleeping place felt like the heart of the forest mother and I was like a forest fairy. The LSD kept me awake past 4AM but I didn't mind too much. I like an occasional dose of insanity to provide contrast to my sober life.

The next day I packed up, took a shower, visited a store, and started hitching again. After 36 minutes - which has been a very consistent amount of time here on the coast - I got picked up again, this time by a gal who had also been at Beloved fest. Her car smelled great and was decorated with lots of new agey kinds of details. Getting picked up by a female at all is rare, and wow she was beautiful and we had a good conversation. She was heading up to Washington to do some hiking as well. She offered to drive me to Portland and I almost wish I'd said yes!

Instead I rode to Neskowin, my last stop along the coast for this trip, a town I visited many times as a kid. Again I was uncertain about finding a camping spot but I walked far enough, got past the houses, and found a small forest area over the sand dune ridge. I camped without a tent this time and I slept amazingly well, falling asleep before 10 and waking up only once in the night before rising after 7.

This morning I splurged on breakfast at the Hawk Creek Cafe, and I'm about to travel to Portland, where I will stay for a few days before hitting that last PCT section.

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