David Rupkalvis

Last week, I asked the readers of The World for some input as far as stories they wanted to see in the newspaper. I have done this before in other locations and received maybe four or five responses. It was far different here.

After my column hit the streets, I received probably 30 or more emails from readers with a wide variety of thoughts. So, before I get going this week, I want to say thank you. Thank you for caring enough to read this paper and for being invested enough to care about the stories you see. Thank you to those who so graciously welcomed me and gave me ideas of things I need to see, and especially those who told me where I should go eat. Over time, I will try to do everything that was suggested.

The last week has been a whirlwind as I have tried to get my bearings in a new home and a new job. I have seen things I never imagined I would, and I know it’s just getting started.

Last weekend, I drove down to the ocean to see if I could find the cliffs I had seen in so many pictures of Coos Bay. Thanks to some help from others here at the office, I found the right spot and spent hours walking around in the rain and wind. While the weather was far from perfect, what I saw was breath-taking. In the three hours I was out walking around, I took so many pictures and videos, my phone almost died.

I also spent several hours walking along the bay and through downtown Coos Bay, trying to take everything in. It’s funny how when you see so much, it is sometimes the little things that jump out. One thing that excited me the most was the seemingly endless numbers of wild blackberry plants. Seeing one of my favorite fruits growing wild, and with dead or dying fruit still on the vine was pretty cool. Now I can’t wait until next year so my kids and I can go pick some and enjoy nature’s bounty.

On Monday, my boss and I took a trip to visit two of our sister papers, in Brookings and Crescent City, Calif. I will be making the trip on my own again soon, and I am a little worried. The scenery is so amazing, especially when the ocean appears, I imagine it will be a challenge keeping my eyes on the road.

I know most of the people who live here are probably used to what they see every day, but as someone who has traveled a lot of our country, I can assure you that what you see every day is not the norm. I have lived near the mountains and near the ocean in my life, but this might be one of the few places on the Earth where you can be in both. I hope you appreciate this as much as I do.

After stopping in Brookings, Ben and I made the 30-minute drive to Crescent City. Again, wow. It wasn’t long after entering California that I saw something I had only seen in pictures — real redwood trees. No, they weren’t the biggest ones in the national forest, but still — wow. When I return, I am going to have to pull over just to get a little closer.

In Crescent City, we made a stop at the harbor, and I started hearing a sound that reminded me of scenes I had seen in nature videos. It took a little exploring to find the source of the sound, but there it was — sea lions. Yes, in real life, in the wild.

My only disappointment was it was a foggy day, so while I could see the sea lions it wasn’t clear enough to get good photos. So, when I go back, I will be looking for them again.

This region truly is one of the most amazing places in the world. There are adventures around every corner and scenery that is hard to even comprehend. I am thrilled to be here and I can’t wait to see, learn and experience more.


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