Settling into Small Town Beach Life

Life has taken on a comfortable routine. How long we’ll be happy with small-town beach life remains to be seen as we have notoriously itchy feet. But after nearly five years of almost non-stop motion, it’s fantastic to establish a routine. My favorite part~ how unexpected it all is. If you had told me 6-months ago that I’d be embracing life in a small coastal town back in Oregon I would have scoffed at the idea.

As camp occupancy increases the days have been flying by as we search for an easy balance between exploring our new area, seeing friends and family, both locals and visitors, and offering up our best to our guests all while spending as much time with Aspen as possible.

Three weeks ago we had a terrible scare when she became violently ill in the middle of the night. We didn’t think much of it at first but the next few days became a haze of us rushing back to check on her while cleaning up vomit and diarrhea. She refused to eat and became totally lethargic, sometimes not even bothering to raise her head to greet us when we entered the trailer. The morning of day three I got her to the vet, knowing this was certainly not a simple case of an upset stomach.

Salmon poisoning was the first suspect although a few of her symptoms didn’t seem to match the norm. Blood work, a stool sample, and x-rays later no other culprit was found and so the vet decided we’d go for treatment for the fish poisoning and see how it went. Not exactly the diagnosis hoped for but, fortunately, the anti-nausea and antibiotics did the trick within 24 hours. Our sweet baby girl was reluctant to eat, although obviously hungry, but a couple of days of plain rice, canned pumpkin, and limited quantity turned her attitude around.

We fully realize that having an elderly dog means our time with her is not long but we certainly weren’t ready to lose her just yet. The good news: She is back to her old self and, somehow, actually seems less bothered by her arthritis than before even without us adding CBD oil and turmeric paste back into her diet. Crisis averted, we are even more conscientious about watching her on the beach, her favorite place in the world, and a literal smorgasbord for a labrador!

The recommended vet hospital, Hanson-Meekins, was not only efficiently run but also reasonably priced. A find indeed.

It has been a joy to reconnect with Jen & Patrick, long-term travelers who we first met back in 2015, shortly before we hit the road for good. The flukes of fate had them settling in Coos Bay so we hit town having built-in friends, always a joy. Dinners with friends and chance meetings about town are just a couple of the perks of small-town life and they have even introduced us to fellow locals/ travelers.

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Our first visitors have also arrived and the weekend found us sharing a communal dinner with Ken and Wendy along with our sweet friends Ryan and Laughlin from Coeur d’Alene. The rain disappeared in time for a stunning evening and weather perfection. Sadly, their visit was too short, but seeing friends and family is also a revival for the soul. Good friends. Good food. Good fun.


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In terms of the town, I’d say we’re enjoying it more than anticipated. Coos Bay is certainly still in a bit of a depression. Far different from the richer and “quainter” towns of the central and north Oregon coast, it is a city in transition. We are learning of the interesting history when the port was important on the west coast and hope that new businesses, such as Bay Point Landing, and a dedicated local community will continue to encourage a resurgence.

Thursday evenings sometimes involve free concerts in Mingus Parks, Wednesday mornings offer the local farmers market, and we’re learning our favorite grocery stores and routes across town.

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Overall, it’s been an easy transition. It’s proving to be a relatively easy trip to see Jim’s parents and more friends come to visit soon! Yet another new adventure continues.


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