What could be more perfect than a mild winter day with sun and no wind at the coast? These are what the late outdoor writer Doug Newman called “blue holes.” I picked a week to travel up and down the coast where I hit three of these fabulous days. Couldn’t believe my luck. Although this winter, we have had a string of beautiful days both in December and January.
Because January is the slow time on the coast, there are not many visitors here to enjoy these blue holes or to buy copies of Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges. When I called various venues south of Florence that carry the book, only Winter River Books in Bandon said they needed more. I had two other stops down the coast, so I headed out.
Having been in many bookstores during the past year, I feel like a bookstore connoisseur. At Winter River I found all the latest books, the wonderful line of Shannon Martin cards, labels, etc, and––most important––a friendly ambiance. And it was good to see a steady stream of folks coming in while I was there delivering books. Being located in Bandon’s Old Town doesn’t hurt.
I took the scenic drive from Old Town south along the cliffs and stopped at one of the state parks to eat my packed lunch. What a day, what a view! It was warm enough to walk along the beach with just a windbreaker––but no wind. A blue hole for sure.
On the way back, I stopped in Coos Bay at the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Information Center. Wow! It had been a couple of years since I had stopped. An impressive new building stands at the same location as the older, smaller one. With their location between the north and south lanes of Highway 101, they receive lots of traffic. Perfect spot for Crossings, and, of course, the Bay Area is home to the McCullough Memorial Bridge over Coos Bay—more than a mile long and McCullough’s favorite. I dropped off a copy of the book, my PR info, and a card and talked up the book. Makes it harder for the director to say no when the volunteers want it.
The following Wednesday, I headed north. I had made many calls and at least five venues wanted books. I wasn’t able to connect with others, so I stopped at them just in case. I was beginning to feel just like any other salesperson out there on the road hawking their wares.
Adobe in Yachats, Canyonway and Burrows House Museum in Newport, still had plenty of books; Hatfield in Newport was closed (Tuesdays and Wednesdays); and I learned that Seatowne Books also in Newport had closed for good. I hate to see any bookstore close. Waldport’s Alsea Bay Bridge Interpretive Center, Newport’s Yaquina Head Interpretive Center, and Allegory Books at Salishan Shops all needed books. And while I was at Yaquina Head, I enjoyed my packed lunch and took a walk. It was another sunny, non-windy day with an unending ocean view.
And Crossings is now available in a new location—the Nye Beach Book House. This is a charming bookstore in Newport’s historic district of Nye Beach close to the Sylvia Beach Hotel.
While I was at Salishan Shops, I stopped in the Lawrence Gallery––one of my favorite galleries. It’s because of all the space and light and fabulous artwork. A couple of years ago when I doing research for an article on the Lincoln City area for Oregon Coast magazine, I stopped and talked to Kevin. I told him about the book I was writing. On this visit, he was again on duty. We got to talking, Crossings came up, and, lo and behold, he bought a copy. It happens!
On the way home, I stopped at the wayside at Rocky Creek Bridge to catch the sunset. Afterwards, the sky showed brilliant flaming colors followed by muted pinks and purples above a deep blue ocean. I swear the colors lasted all the way home.
A couple of days later, I received a call from the Bay Area Chamber, and they wanted 10 books. For 10, I’ll make a special trip—even if it was Friday the 13th. So I dropped what I was doing and took off. The weather would be changing the next day, and the forecast wasn’t good.
I delivered the books and had a good chat with the director, whom I had known from my days as editor with Oregon Coast, but I had never met her in person. It was almost 60 degrees and I had to put a window down on the drive back. I also had to stop at an ocean viewpoint near the Umpqua Lighhouse to eat my packed lunch. Selling books on these wind-free, blue holes of winter is not too bad. Bottom line: three trips—37 books sold. Not too bad indeed!
Winter did return this week and with a vengeance! Glad I wasn’t doing all that driving during the two days of snow with all the accidents on the roads or during the past few days of fierce storms with heavy rain, hurricane-force winds, and flooding. . . . Sometimes I get it right!
Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges can be yours for $24.95 plus $3.99 shipping. Order from Pacific Publishing at http://www.connectflorence.com or email@example.com. It is also available on the coast in bookstores, museums, and gift shops; in Eugene at the airport, the historical museum, and several bookstores; and in Portland at Powell’s and the Oregon Historical Society.
Judy’s PowerPoint presentation with book sales/signing:
February 19, Sunday, 3 p.m.––Port Orford Library, Port Orford (1421 Oregon Street [Hwy 101])
Judy guest on TV show:
March 13, Tuesday, 2:30––The Author’s Forum, a talk show with host Dr. Veronica Esagui, chiropractic physician, author, and public speaker, on Portland area public access television (channel TBA)
What a nice excuse to enjoy those beautiful days, as if we need an excuse! I’m thinking there won’t be many bookstores, visitors centers, museums, etc., that won’t be carrying “Crossings” by the time you get through. (I’m assuming the book is available at the Curry County Museum?)
I always enjoyed Nye Beach; it’s truly like stepping back in time. I think it’s important that we preserve our historic buildings. Wandering in those old areas conjures up images of the challenges that came with living on the Oregon Coast in the early days…definitely not for sissies.
And the crazy weather we’re experiencing now? I’m loving it! (Maybe not so much if I had to navigate an 18-wheeler along Hwy. 101, though.)
Keep having fun, Judy, & I’ll see you soon. 🙂