My introduction to the Pacific Coast Range occurred on a cold, foggy day in November. I was driving my family from Portland to Rockaway Beach to celebrate Thanksgiving.
As the elevation increased, the temperature dropped. Patches of snow and ice made driving difficult, so I recall only impressions of the scenery: fir, pine, cedar, and hemlock; ferns and mosses; various shades of green and soft gray. The dense vegetation was unlike any I'd seen before in other mountain ranges. I suspected that the last stand of fey creatures might live in a remote place of such drama.
On Thanksgiving Eve we built a fire on the beach. Warming ourselves in the orange flames, we watched as the full moon rose over the grand foothills of the Pacific Coast Range. If there still exists on this earth a place of magic, this might be it.