A Visit to the Oregon Coast

driftwood structureTo a native Oregonian, a visit to the Coast means 3 things - - driftwood, dunes, and Mo's clam chowder. Last week we traveled to Florence to escape the heat in Eugene (it's only an hour away, but about 20 degrees cooler). We didn't reach the dunes (all that sand freaks me out), but we did experience the other 2 coast landmarks.

Hiding in the driftwood at Florence Ore
That's me looking through one of several human-built structures on the beach, made of driftwood. The shores are strewn with the stuff. The name comes, I think, from the wood's aimless swirling journey in the sea. But a better name would be "ghost wood." It's pale and very light. Maybe that's why visitors can't resist picking it up and building things with it.
It's also tempting to look at smaller disfigured limbs and imagine what you could make. Although they won't admit it, every Oregonian has made or purchased driftwood art. It typically involves googly eyes or clocks.

Happily, I discovered during this visit that it is possible to create something more pleasing. After a hearty meal at Mo's, we walked a few blocks to the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum. Among its many treasures was this large driftwood collage.
It looks like old bones or an aerial view of a crowd tightly packed into a long tunnel. Here's a closeup.
Does this count as upcycling? There was another piece that certainly qualified. It was a pillow made of leather postcards. More than 100 years ago, settlers made postcards out of cow hide. I guess paper couldn't survive the early postal service.
pillow made of leather postcards
It's beautiful, isn't it? Each rectangle is embellished with text and hand-drawn (burned?) images.

Another room of the museum is devoted to old technology, which I love. Look at this typewriter lineup.
Old typewriters
See that green machine with a crank on the floor? I remember making mimeographs in elementary school. I miss all the purple text.

Next to the typewriters was a lonely computer. It was my first one! An Osborne. In college, I was one of the few students who turned in papers generated on a computer. I felt smug, ahead of my time, and not at all bothered that it lacked lowercase letters.
Osborne computer
Update: See these examples of driftwood art on Pinterest