Splinters of thought #9: My Magical Coast.

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Blog entry by bearkatwood posted 03-02-2016 02:59 AM 1953 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Mind your own Beeswax Part 9 of Splinters of thought series no next part

It is not often that I make it thru a day without realizing what an amazing place I am blessed to live in is. I know that sounds cheesy, but it is true. The Oregon Coast has a magical quality to it that I just can’t escape from. I tried, years back I took my family on a cross country tour of America just to see it all. We got out to West Virginia and got hooked on it’s beauty and history. We had been looking for a place to buy for years, but being so close to the number 1 golf course in the world has driven real estate prices up dramatically. We moved everything we had all the way across the country which took three trips to move a family of five and my woodshop, with all my wood supply. I sold off my woodtek table saw before the move and bought my uni in West Virginia.
After three years of remodeling a house and putting our blood, sweat and tears into a dream home, we came home one evening to find it completely engulfed in flame. Yeah, that sucked.

It was hard to pick up from that, we stayed for a few months debating weather or not to rebuild, but we missed our coast. So we moved it all back. Funny enough it was winter both times we moved. So now I have a good selection of lumber in my shop that has about 6,000 miles on it. The bulk of my supply (about 3k bf) I got while in West Virginia. So the return trip included a table saw and all the new lumber, though I did have to leave some of it behind. Thankfully I had a new delivery truck to bring some things back in.
Which brings me to my comment of how thankful I am that I get to be where I am. It feels like a dream sometimes that I ever lived in West Virginia. I still miss my mountain home sometimes.

We used to joke about that song by John Denver “Country roads” We called it speghetti road take me home, because the road to our house was so windy, I still get a little choked up when I hear it now.
This morning started early with an eerie sunrise. There was a splinter of sun trying to poke thru, but monstrous winds and dark gray clouds pushed in to drive away the light. The rain started just as I hooked up the trailer and started on my path. I was heading to get my new jointer, a find on craigslist. I have been wanting a wider jointer, but wasn’t sure what I wanted. I had entertained the idea of a 12 inch combo grizzly, but it just didn’t seem right. I absolutely love my Delta Unisaw table saw so when I saw the old dj-20 I knew it was the one for me.

Unfortunately the first day I was supposed to have gone the two hours north to pick it up a massive landslide washed away part of the road. Thankfully they had one lane opened back up this morning. The trip up was very stormy and I have always loved the storms here, we get some doosies.

I tried to get some good pictures of my trip, but it almost impossible to capture the majesty and power that can come from one of these coastal storms. The ocean waves seem to stretch up to the sky and you feel surrounded by this awesome churning power that threatens to squish you like a bug.

A trip up the coast of Oregon takes you through some wonderful quaint fishing towns with colorfully decorated shops that pander to the summer tourists. Winter is my favorite time to tour Oregon, that is when you meet the real people that live here and get to experience it a whole different way. It seems that in summer we are all just part of the exhibit, wildlife in a zoo for the visitors to experience while they madly click off pictures of their “trip to the coast”. You ever see the movie “Goonies”? That was filmed in Astoria, it gives you a good idea of the coastal towns in the winter. Yeah we really are that weird out here. Truffle shuffle baby! ;)

On my way back home I made a friend by the side of the road, it was too windy to fly so the bird just let me walk right up to it and almost touch it before it took off.

The person I bought the jointer from also had a sander to add to my shop which I think my wife will like. I don’t use them too often, but they are a good tool to have on hand.

On my way home I stopped at an antique store and found an old Stanley 71 router plane that was missing some parts so I got it for a song. I think I have what it was lacking back home, so that was a bonus to the trip.
By the time I got back home the sky’s had cleared and the sun was shining on the wet pavement, the green surrounding shining with the drink, all the colors seemed to be bursting with fresh energy.
So there was my adventure for the day, it was not a day in the shop like most but a fun and enjoyable day just the same.
My new tool looks right at home, now I just need to get rid of my old one.

That thing has been part of my shop for about twelve years now and i know its’ idiosyncrasies and how to best work with it. It is going to be weird to start with this new one, but I am excited to do it. I am going to run a fresh electric line to it as it is wired for 220. Thanks for reading about my adventurous day.
The Oregon Coast is a beautiful place and I hope you all get a chance to take a trip out here and experience it. If you do, be sure to drop me a line and let me know your coming so I can put a pot of coffee on. ;) until then.

Be safe and have fun woodworking

-- Brian Noel

15 comments so far

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


1053 posts in 2308 days

#1 posted 03-02-2016 03:15 AM

Life is Good ! Thanks for taking us on the trip and sharing the past Brian. Beautiful pics.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8577 posts in 3225 days

#2 posted 03-02-2016 03:21 AM

I dig learning the wood”worker” as much as the craft. Thanks for sharing bud.

Trade ya for my grizzly….

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View BB1's profile


2443 posts in 2091 days

#3 posted 03-02-2016 03:50 AM

Heart breaking to have lost your home in WV. Having visited the Oregon Coast on numerous times I can understand the draw to return. Thank you for sharing the pictures…had me trying to figure out where they were taken. :) That last one is particularly beautiful.

View ToddJB's profile


8790 posts in 3373 days

#4 posted 03-02-2016 04:03 AM

Great blog, Brian. Great jointer, too. The wider is a given, but the longer will be a sweet sweet bonus.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View WhoMe's profile


1568 posts in 4486 days

#5 posted 03-02-2016 04:19 AM

We did a tri down the Oregon coast from Washington to just north of Coos Bay.
And the trip was just too short. We fell in love with Newport and Tillamook.
You are right, the Oregon coast is stunning and we wish we could go back.
Thanks for the great read.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View murch's profile


1380 posts in 3867 days

#6 posted 03-02-2016 10:19 AM

Thanks for putting that all together. Great story.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View cebfish's profile


182 posts in 3931 days

#7 posted 03-02-2016 01:04 PM

It’s funny I was raised in WV left for 17 years but draw of the simple life of WV drew me back .WV gets a bad rap sometimes but I love the mountains. I live in the coalfields of WV .I can jump in my truck and in 5 mins.I can be as far a way in the mountains away for all the worry’s in the world .PS: I have the same sander I hate it I can not keep the bottom belt from breaking

View bearkatwood's profile


1835 posts in 2254 days

#8 posted 03-02-2016 02:15 PM

West Virginia is a very amazing place, there is a rich history to explore, some very unique towns fun of lively characters and beauty every where you look. Like you said it is fun to jump in the truck and in five minutes be on your own planet. I was particularly fond of the people that lived near me, they had pride in calling themselves mountain people. The were unabashed at the term hillbilly or any other thing the outsides might think was a negative connotation, they lived where and how they wanted and were the purest people I had ever met. And Man!, they make some good hooch! ;) I got the opportunity to go help bottle some fresh legal stuff at the Smooth Ambler distillery I needed some trees cut down one time so I called up this guy, I tried but couldn’t understand a word he said. His son finally came to translate for him. After a few years I could understand him fine and he was a wonderful man, but one comment he said stuck with me… “your from the west aren’t you?” I just had to chuckle. Country roads take me home, what a place.
While I was back east I was able to go see New York City and North Carolina, Myrtle Beach, Roanoke Island, but I was captivated again by the coast of Maine, if I had to move again, that might be where I would want to go. I would love to go back again, I have plans to take a wild woodworking tour when my kids leave home, I have about 5 years to go before they are all in college, so for now this site will have to do. ;) thanks for reading.

-- Brian Noel

View pottz's profile


20663 posts in 2227 days

#9 posted 03-02-2016 02:37 PM

brian ive always considered oregon my second home having spent so many summers dad retired to grants pass in 92 and my brother also lives their,maybe retire their myself some day,so your story stirs my emotions,have always loved the oregon coasts beauty,thanks for sharing not just your woodworking but you.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View duckmilk's profile


4843 posts in 2567 days

#10 posted 03-03-2016 05:59 PM

Thanks for sharing with us Brian. Great to get to know you better.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View Steve_W's profile


17 posts in 2779 days

#11 posted 03-04-2016 01:22 AM

Just finished up reading your entire blog and it was time well spent. I’m looking forward to your future posts and, if I may make a suggestion, post your workbench build on the ‘Workbench Smackdown’ forum here on LJ. They’ll go crazy for it!

View AgentTwitch's profile


631 posts in 4739 days

#12 posted 03-06-2016 02:28 AM

Wow, thanks for sharing. I found Oregon and Washington to be beautiful states. And if you do decide to switch coasts again, Maine has plenty of room to welcome you back

-- Regards, Norm

View bearkatwood's profile


1835 posts in 2254 days

#13 posted 03-06-2016 01:44 PM

I think if there was any place else I would live it would be the coast of Maine, I just have a problem with all that white crap that comes down every year. I grew up in Montana and have had my fill. I love the Oregon coast, you don’t have to shovel rain ;)

-- Brian Noel

View AgentTwitch's profile


631 posts in 4739 days

#14 posted 03-07-2016 02:11 AM

I hear ya, Brian.

-- Regards, Norm

View Hammerthumb's profile


3116 posts in 3218 days

#15 posted 03-09-2016 10:43 PM

I used to live in Klamath Falls, and before that on the Columbia river gorge across from Portland. I understand your attachment to the Oregon coast.

Thanks for sharing Brian.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

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