I Survived the Ghost Pepper

Sometimes, you’ve just gotta recharge your batteries. Tara has been working a lot of long hours lately, and craved a weekend getaway. When she suggested an impromptu adults-only trip to the Oregon coast, who was I to argue? We were able to find a last-minute deal on a beach house in Pacific City, and headed out Friday afternoon for a much-needed break. unnamed

Only, I almost died before we reached our destination. We stopped at a roadside farm stand/general store for some fresh produce; it was one of those places that has a whole bunch of samples set out. Little plastic cups filled with mustards, jams, dips, and hot sauces. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to try a ghost pepper hot sauce.

It was not a good idea to try a ghost pepper hot sauce.

I dipped a pretzel stick in the cup of hot sauce. No big deal, right? It wasn’t…until I put the pretzel stick in my mouth. The second it hit my tongue, I knew I had made a grievous error. To say it burned is an understatement. It actually scorched my tongue and the roof of my mouth. I stumbled to a glass display case filled with beverages and grabbed a carton of chocolate milk. My mouth burned for the next twenty minutes, no exaggeration.

And like spicy foods! But this hot sauce was in a league all its own.

You’d Be Amazed What You Can Cook On An Electric Skillet

We had driven through Pacific City before, but never stayed there. It’s much less touristy than some of the other Oregon coast towns like Newport, Lincoln City or Seaside. We were able to snag a cozy studio on the middle level of a beautiful house on a bluff with a view of the Pacific Ocean. It had a bed, love seat, dining table, and kitchenette. Unfortunately, there was no stove – but we made do with an electric skillet (two, in fact, since we’d brought one from home). We ended up cooking all our meals there, instead of going out to eat. It was hard to resist being able to relax and take in such a nice view! We had pasta with bay shrimp and asparagus the first night, bacon and eggs Saturday morning, steamed clams and New York steaks that evening, and scrambled eggs with English muffins Sunday. Everything was cooked in the skillets.

Steamer clams cooked in an electric skillet? Yes, please!

Steamer clams cooked in an electric skillet? Yes, please!

Oh. We might also have had a few Bloody Marys. And evening cocktails. R&R, remember?

Mostly our weekend was all about doing a whole lot of nothing much. We went for a walk on the beach Saturday morning, but other than a couple of runs to the grocery store in town, stayed in the house or on the deck, listening to music and reading.We attempted a jigsaw puzzle. Tara “napped.” (Right, mom)?

The Giant Sand Dune: My White Whale

Checkout was noon on Sunday. On our way out of town, we stopped at the beach, because all weekend the sand dune at Cape Kiwanda was taunting me. This is no ordinary dune; it’s 220′ feet high and features an expansive view of the coast. I decided to tackle the arduous task of climbing up.

Cape Kiwanda sand dune.  My White Whale.

Cape Kiwanda sand dune. My White Whale.

That black strip running horizontally near the top is a stone ledge where people can sit and take in the view. That was my destination.

“Have fun!” Tara said. “I’ll be checking out these tide pools over here.”

Smart woman, my wife. One thing I did not anticipate was how hot the sand would be. I was barefoot, because trying to make that climb with footwear would have been even more difficult. And it was nice and sunny, whereas the day before had been mostly overcast and cool. After two or three steps, I discovered my feet were sinking into the deep sand…and it was hot in there. But I’m a stubborn guy, so I kept going, one step at a time. Had to pause on my way up three or four times and sit down because, holy hell, my legs were rubbery and felt like jelly after a couple of minutes. Eventually, I made it to the ledge, and was rewarded with a stunning view.

View of the Oregon coast looking south from atop the sand dune.

View of the Oregon coast looking south from atop the sand dune.

After that adventure, it was time to begin the trek home. We got back around 3:30, and spent the rest of the evening recuperating.

Here are some more pics from our wonderful weekend getaway!

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11 thoughts on “I Survived the Ghost Pepper

  1. “We went for a walk on the beach Saturday morning, but other than a couple of runs to the grocery store in town, stayed in the house or on the deck, listening to music and reading.We attempted a jigsaw puzzle. Tara “napped.”

    Mark, it sounds and looks like you and Tara had the PERFECT getaway weekend!

    “Eventually, I made it to the ledge, and was rewarded with a stunning view.”

    Bravo to you for climbing up the HIGH dune! And WOW…what a STUNNING view is right!

    Your slideshow was awesome. Loved the exterior and interior of the beach house you stayed in. What cute and cozy studio. And the sunset photograph? Magnificent!

    Thanks for sharing, buddy!

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  2. Minus the ghost pepper sauce, it sounds like you had a fantastic time. I need a getaway like this very soon! It seems the small getaways are ones that will always be remembered because they are needed that much more.

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  3. WTH on the ghost sauce? That tiny sign was NOT fair warning!

    I climbed a dune just like that near Lake Michigan once. I was sort of surprised at how hard it actually was to do. But wow, that view you posted is incredible!

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    • I knew ghost peppers were hot…but damn. And there was a scorpion hot sauce that the cashier says is even hotter. I don’t know how ANYTHING could be any hotter! And that includes the surface of the sun…

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  4. Looks like a great getaway spot! When I was a kid we often went to a place called Grand Beach (because I had family who had a cottage there). They have beautiful white sugar sand & lots of dunes there. I remember climbing into the dunes & napping where it was nice & warm, out of any wind. Good memories!

    Like

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