Bandon or Bandon-by-the-Sea is a sleepy fishing town off the coast of Oregon that sits on the mouth of the Coquille River, about 5 hours southwest of Portland. Every year, thousands of exec-types pour into the town to avail themselves of what I have been informed are the "best damn golf courses in the country." (In fact, when I was in Chicago last month, anytime I mentioned I lived in Oregon, the first thing people asked me was if I golfed in Bandon. Ummm. No.)
The first and last time we were in Bandon was about 6 years ago and by pure accident. We came across it as we returned from a roadtrip from southern California to Vancouver, British Columbia--the trip that galvanized our plans to move out of southern California and into the Pacific Northwest.
We had been driving south all day on I-5, determined to make it into San Francisco to meet Vila. We took one turn off the highway south of Eugene and found ourselves cast into the dark of night on a sinuous moutain road to where we knew not. I recall being in a half conscious daze, but still cognizant (and slightly terrified) of the fact that this single road was completely devoid of light and certainty. After driving for about an hour and a half and passing small towns on the way, we found ourselves about as west as we could go and in a town called Bandon. We stopped at the first little lodge that showed a vacancy and ended our journey for the day.
When we awoke in the morning, we gazed out of our window at the harbor below and chuckled at our luck. What a charming town. Alas, San Francisco (and home) beckoned, and, after a hurried breakfast in a local cafe, we went on our merry way. South. To reality.
He loves Bandon, too. He turned 13 this week!