It was early autumn – late enough that the summer heat had died off completely, but not so late that all the leaves had fallen from the trees. I was in a bit of a tough spot – a little anxious, trying to figure out how I should map out the next year. Early one Friday night, I was home brewing some tea and trying to see the silence as a tool for effective contemplation instead of a terrifying reminder that I had no idea what I was doing with my life; then it hit me. I should take a drive. Just go somewhere – anywhere – and get away from the norm for a couple of days. I threw the bare necessities into a duffle bag, snatched up my guitar, snacks, and my handy little uKeg (freshly filled, too – what luck!) and I was on the road.
I lived several miles north of Seattle at the time. I drove as far as Longview and then cut over to Astoria and followed the coast even further south. Almost seven hours later, it was after four in the morning and I couldn’t drive anymore. As I pulled into Newport, I saw a cozy-looking little motel – the Whaler. I parked, dragged my tired body out of the car, and rented a room. It was so dark outside, even if my eyes had been able to open all the way, I wouldn’t have been able to see my surroundings. So I went inside, dropped my things and passed out in my clothes on the bed.
When I woke up the next day, I drew open the curtains and received one of the most pleasant surprises of my life. My room was on the ground floor. It had a small balcony, and just beyond it was a beautiful, sprawling beach. It was about noon, but the morning haze was still heavy over everything. The waves were the only moving parts of the whole scene. Not another person in sight. I changed clothes, grabbed my guitar, poured some of my beer into a little styrofoam cup, and spent the next two hours thinking and playing, then thinking some more.
I took myself to lunch at a small surf-themed cafe, then returned to my room, filled another little cup with beer, and read and wrote until I fell asleep that evening. Although I didn’t have any clear cut future plans by the time I left the next day, I felt like I could be at peace with myself, and that was all I could have asked for. Thanks, Newport. <3