The story of this vacation started as the plane wheels left the runway, but the journey to Oregon truly began the moment Mt. Hood decorated the plane windows with snow-covered mountaintops. Here there are wonders that tower far above the reign of skyscrapers; here the pulse of the ocean out-roars the hustle of city life. Here, I feel completely at home.
My parents and I made our way to the plateaus and meadows of Sun River, a resort where my step dad spent many vacations of his childhood. All throughout the drive, he pointed to the horizon and named the mountaintops all in a row: Mt. Bachelor, the Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Hood. To a native like him, navigating through the winding roads was as effortless as breathing, but to foreigners like my mother and I who are used to straight streets and ninety-degree intersections, we couldn’t help but laugh because, for all we knew, we were hopelessly lost until we settled in our cabin.
During our stay we spotted deer and fawns that wandered yards as if they were safe in their own home; in fact I stood no more than two meters away from a young fawn, and stared into it’s big glass eye for a few minutes before it ran off to its mother. Even the ducks that swam alongside kayaks down the river drifted within an arm’s length from boaters, waiting for someone to toss out cracker crumbs and without the slightest expectation of danger. Towards the residents, there is little sense of fear in the creatures that roam the woods, so there is a welcoming sense of community between the wildlife and the visitors.
My absolute favourite part of Sun River was horseback riding. Here I met Salem, a horse whose hair glowed a beautiful autumn brown. Together Salem and I trotted through meadows that stretched to distant mountain ranges, and despite never riding a horse in my life, Salem and I rode together as if we had been doing it for years. After crossing the meadows we took the trail that ascended up a small mountain until we reached the summit, and then stood, looking out over the evergreen hills and golden grass fields. In that instant, my spirit gasped and leaped, and I felt as if I were a living verse out of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s, The Oversoul, breathing with the Earth and its entirety, with one common heart.
After a few days of adventuring through the resort, the journey ended on the shores of Cannon Beach. It has become a sort of tradition for my parents and I to stay in the Tolovana Inn, right on the beach and next door to Mo’s (our favourite seafood restaurant), and all within walking distance of Haystack Rock. After eating dinner and unloading our luggage, we made our way out to the beach to watch the sunset.
I stood on the edge of where the sea met the land. I felt the push and pull of the tide pulsing within me, synchronizing with my heart. Constantly it beats, and a wave rises; it beats, and a wave crashes again, smoothing the sand like the ocean breeze that breathes through my soul. This is where I come to step back and admire the breathtaking imagery of the world; this is where I come to step back and truly be myself. Here there are memories that whisper out of seashells scattered along the shore; here there are dreams that exist only in fairytales, where the sun sets on the day like the closing of a book.
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