On Sunday morning we woke up to rain and the sobering realization that we were still 300 miles from Portland. We packed up camp, including wet gear, as best we could in the rain and strapped the boards on the roof.
Less than a minute down the road, the bus passed a pullout full of surf cars, boards strapped to roofs and sticking out of pickups. A few surfers were changing out of their wetsuits. The signs were too promising to ignore. LA and I followed a long boarder down a sketchy, overgrown trail to the beach.
As we stepped out of the forest and onto the sand, we saw we were standing near a rocky headland beside a long cove, a harbor jetty at the far end. The surf was clean, with a light rain falling on a couple of mellow, chest-high peaks.
The rain and cold forgotten, we raced back to the bus and grabbed our boards and wetsuits. The water was surprisingly warm, and our Rip Curl wetsuits made sure we stayed toasty even in the chilly air.
It was one of those magic sessions where time stands still and the only thing that matters is the next wave. A small wind swell was in the water, producing consistent waves. A four wave set came every few minutes. The session lasted for three hours and we paddled until our arms nearly fell off. The sun peaked out from behind the clouds and the water revealed itself to be crystal clear.
The long, tapered right broke into a second cove and a finger or rock covered in fir trees jutted out into the ocean, protecting the break. The takeoff was a slow glide, followed by a long, even wall that peeled evenly towards shore for 100 yards.
Back at the car, we packed up and peeled off soggy wetsuits.
The drive to Portland followed the beautiful, wide and slow-moving Umpqua River.
We hit Portland close to 10 pm, checked into the Jupiter Hotel, a hipster haven with a party vibe, and found a ramen joint up the street for a late dinner. The underage front desk girl was a fan of that van life and she upgraded us twice to a nice ass party suite with mirrored walls. We slept like rocks in the king size feather bed.