Back to the Oregon Coast

Pacific City and Oceanside   We originally set the dates for delivering the van(s) because we wanted to make it up for Northwest Overland Rally, which was a fun event last year and would not only be a great marketing event for us but another chance to see friends in the community that we were too busy at Expo to catch up with. Oddly, the second we felt the freedom of selling the vans we changed our minds.

As much fun as NWOR sounded, it was also still work. It would have meant a last second finishing of what is now our new home on wheels, a long drive to northern washington and a long weekend of being “on” in terms of marketing the business.

We decided quickly to opt out. Instead, we spent an hour or two cleaning out the shop, moving things to storage and making sure everything was in the works with our fabricators/suppliers for the next run of cabinets… and then we loaded the van and left town. It felt so… normal. Like we were ourselves again. We drove out of town not yet even knowing where we were going but headed generally for the ocean.

We wandered through wine country and thought about pulling over for some tastings or events but just as quickly talked ourselves out of that as well. We pulled into a Lowes and walked the plumbing aisle for a bit thinking about a parking lot propane upgrade but the pre-holiday crowds were insane and we decided to simply do without.

We drove as far as Lincoln City where we pulled up and stared quietly out over the open for a long time. It was just what we needed. The expanse and rhythm of the ocean and the fresh air were exactly what our bodies and minds were seeking. We talked a little business, we talked a little about alaska and next steps…but mostly we just sat. and stared. and enjoyed.

Eventually we pulled ourselves away and decided to hit the casino for a place to sleep (and a bit of craps). In the morning we rolled into Pacific City, where we aired down and drove out onto the beach (please people…always air down your tires before driving onto the sand)… and parked in front of the haystack rock. The beach was mostly empty, but not for long. Poler stuff in Portland had arranged an “adventure vehicle round up” and the rigs started pulling in and setting up rooftop tents and spreading out gear. It was a fun group and nice little gathering of likeminded people with a chance to check out other vehicles and at least a bit make us forget we were missing NWOR.

As typical, there was a ton of interest in the awning and the van and we spent several hours answering questions and giving tours, but mostly as our home not as a business trying to sell anything. This is the type of “marketing” we enjoy, and what we imagined when starting ZENVANZ… sitting on a beach and talking with others about vanlife and the benefits of living and traveling in our van.

Sadly, this grouping of vehicles wouldn’t be the only ones on the beach today. The holiday weekend was upon us and the vehicles and mayhem packed onto the beach in a way we haven’t seen since the beaches of mexico around semana santa. It was fun and festive for sure… but the crowd wasn’t what our brains were seeking right now. We were after the calm and peaceful not after the crazy party. We eventually threw some hugs to new friends, waited out a time when there wasn’t a few vehicles stuck in the sand between us and the beach entrance and drove away.We pointed for oceanside, where we knew things would be quiet, and where our friends/family would be arriving later for their holiday. We once again pulled over and took in the ocean and found our calm again while the fam slowly started rolling into town…and we got our beach on.

We entered a constant state of relaxation. This has always been a calming retreat for us to share with the fam, and nice empty field for us to park the van (detached bedroom) in so we can easily go inside to hang with the fam and retreat to the van for some quiet time or sleep. The 4th of July is about the only week that you ever run into more than another couple on the beach but its a fun week to watch the families come out, celebrate and watch the parade and fireworks on the beach.

Such good memories here and we certainly made a few more this year! Catching up, enjoying one another, playing games and soaking in the hot tub. It was a terrific and much needed week of nothing.  Sweet, simple, glorious nothing.!!