Essay by Yachats resident Alice Lewis
The lady with the effervescent personality came bouncing into the office. As I handed her the documents, I asked, “Why are you so happy and excited?” She said, “Because I am going on vacation tomorrow to the most beautiful place in the world.” I asked her, “And where is that?” She answered, “Yachats, Oregon.” I could only respond, “Ya What?” She described a little village on the Oregon Coast, and her words convinced me that a small patch of heaven had dropped onto the Pacific shores.
Yachats was in the back of my mind as my sister and I talked about our upcoming vacation plans. We agreed that she would drive from northern Utah in her new, white Camry and pick me up in Las Vegas and we would head for San Francisco. We would continue up the coast to Port Angeles, WA and take the ferry to Victoria, Canada. We never made it to Canada, or even out of Yachats. We stopped to eat lunch at the Adobe Restaurant. As we ate we watched the water slap, spray into the air and then envelop the volcanic rocks along the shore. People were whale watching from the rocky bluff and farther out, fishermen were pulling their crab traps from the water. We were hooked. We rented a picturesque, little cottage with a picket fence at the west end of Colorado Street next to the beach and stayed in Yachats for the rest of our vacation.
For the next seven summers, while I waited to retire, we vacationed in Yachats. We walked the 804 trail, discovering a small beaver pond in the woods right before the little stream reached the ocean. We picked up agates and smooth pieces of sea glass on the seven miles of sandy beach between Yachats and Waldport. We were thrilled to find a sea lion on the sand waiting for the tide to come in and pull him back into the water.
We marveled at the beautiful and tranquil scenes we found as we drove through the overhanging trees and past meadows and farms along Yachats River Road. We stopped to get a closer look at the llamas that were a delightful surprise. We were fascinated by the “Oreo” cows with the white band circling their black bellies. We later learned that they are native to Scotland.
We discovered the old pioneer Carson Cemetery tucked back in the woods on a hillside. The weathered headstones were scattered among the pines and blooming rhododendrons. We strolled among them reading the fading names and dates. We sat at the picnic table and soaked in the peace and serenity. We could feel the holiness of the sacred grounds. The only sounds were the creaking pines and rustling leaves when a little breeze touched them.
We parked and picked blackberries along the meandering river road. We followed it for miles beyond where it changes from pavement to dirt and were stunned to discover an old, red, covered bridge spanning a small river. Who built it and why was it here at the end of an isolated road? A giant oak tree at least 10 feet in diameter hugged a hillside and added drama to the “Ann of Green Gables” scenery.
Beyond the bridge is a private road to an old farm house with a huge barn. Katrina, whom we met at a farmers’ market where she was selling her organic vegetables, lives there with her two big dogs. She had invited us to her place where she cut us fresh rhubarb for pie. The rhubarb grows along the river bank that skirts her private, little haven in the woods.
Seven years later I was finally able to move to Yachats. I quickly became acquainted with Shirley, a Yachats legend, now deceased, who was the village notary and bait and fishing license provider. She told me, “You did not find Yachats…….Yachats found you and brought you here. That is the way it works.” I tend to believe her.Share on Facebook