Saturday, August 19, 2017

Cave Junction, Obrien, Oregon

August 17th – 19th,2017

We were so surprised to see what looked like Customs down the road.  Did we take a wrong turn? I thought we just crossed the boarder from Oregon into California?  What's this all about?  Come to find out, it was the "Citrus Fruit Police" making sure no one was bringing into California any potentially contaminating citrus fruit.  

Here in the Cave Junction National Park area, the forest fires nearby were becoming more noticeable.  The sky had a eerie hue, almost like a sunset. The air was definitely smelling of smoke from a large, out of control fire only 15 miles away. It was a little nerve wracking not knowing which direction the fire might spread. 

We heard about this cool saloon across the street, McGrews, which was also described as a wonderful restaurant, so decided to walk over and check it out. This is not something we typically do, but I was yearning for a little “gaiety”, and it's never too hard to persuade Norm if a beer is involved, and it was, after all 5PM the official "happy hour".

 Walking into this very rustic restaurant, we wondered where everyone might be. We checked out the bar to see if that was where people were hiding, and saw only two guys seated at the bar.  Long gray beards, and attire straight out of the 60’s.  Norm and I looked at each other, and simultaneously said “Oh, Boy!” One fella turned and gave us a big, friendly grin, introducing themselves as the Dooby Brothers !  That smile was hard to resist, so we took a seat at the bar next to them, and was both entertained and fascinated by their care-free marijuana-induced aura. 

Traveling around the country is all about seeing and experiencing the unusual and stepping out of your comfort zone when possible.  These two men called themselves the "Dooby Brothers" and were so darn friendly.! They willingly answered all my questions about marijuana.  How it is grown and how the different varieties have different "characteristics".  All very fascinating.  I have led such a sheltered life!  

This guy is quite the character!  In fact, everyone there was!

They explained how beer and whiskey chasers only enhanced their outlook on life, as he proudly showed us he collection of electronic e-cigarette devices or “vape” he called it.  Different type of weed for different affects?  Fascinating.  I have always been a “good girl”, and have never been around anyone that smoked pot or did drugs (that I knew of) so talking to these guys was “on the wild side “ for me! 

I ordered a simple Cosmo martini, but the bar tender didn’t really know how to make it. “I never had “fancy people” in here before.”  Fancy?  No make-up and old clothes not much better than hiking attire make us “fancy”?  This place is a hoot!

It appeared everyone in this bar were legal marijuana growers.  They hugged, laughed, and shared their “blends” with one another.  Maybe I have been missing out on something great.  I am too afraid to try any mind-altering drugs – I detest even have a booze buzz.  I am trying to preserve the few brain cells I have left!  Norm says he is very allergic to pot.  How does he know that, I wonder……..

Our new friend told us of this miracle salve he makes from organic herbs (most important ingredient is marijuana, of course) and bees wax that has cured his arthritis.  I showed him my still-swollen and sore thumb and he generously gave me some to put on.  Norm tried some on his knee, and thought it made it better, as well.  Later that night, I could have sworn my thumb took a turn for the better!  I was hooked!  Does that make me a junkie? 

The menu in this little rustic place in a town of about 500 looked quite good, it’s reputation excellent, and the atmosphere interesting to say the least, so we made reservations for the following night in their outdoor dining area, where we would also have the special treat of listening to a local band playing. 

At this point in the trip, I was definitely needing a “spouse-less” day, and to me, one cave is not all that different from another. Add the fact that the temperature was nearing 100 degrees, I quickly declined the Cave tour that would require a hike up a mountain in the heat and smoke.  Norm would never pass one up, and I am sure enjoyed his own “me time”.

I spent the few hours talking with friends and family and doing a few chores.

The next night we went back to the bar, dressed even more casually, while nervously looking over our shoulders at the beautiful sunset and the flame-red sky.  It was getting really close, but no one seemed to be more than a little concerned.

Sitting at our table we enjoyed the group immensely!  They started with wooden flutes playing soft music, then by night's end entertained with soft Rock!

Over the next 4 hours we were treated to a shockingly incredible meal that started with a free appetizer of fresh vegetables and homemade dressing, to the delicious main meal.  The waitress was friendly and apologetic for the very slow service.  Norm and I actually were glad that the meal stretched out for hours, allowing time to enjoy the entertainment and of course, a few additional beers and rather good wine. The Dooby Brothers, and then several other people, stopped by our table several times to meet us and chat. 
This band had quite a variety of instruments, and their sound was incredible.  One member was a long-time music teacher. 

I would be remiss to not say that this band was amazing!  They played a broad range of music from Celtic to classic Rock n Roll!  If they had a CD we would have purchased one, and that says a lot!

We stayed until the band finished, and walked back to the RV a little after 10PM.  What a great little town, filled with very happy people that enjoy a simple life of good friends, small pleasures and a very strong sense of community. 

The sunset was very pretty, but knowing it was from nearby forest fires was a little unnerving. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Gold Beach, Oregon

August 13-17th 2017

During our drive to Gold Beach, we finally left the fog behind and was blessed with warm, brilliantly sunny days here on the southern coast of Oregon!

We have been in contact with fellow RV friends from The Villages, and low and behold, they coincidentally are nearby!  We made plans to meet up here in the Gold Beach area.  They have a smaller, 25 foot motor home so they found an camping spot right on the Rogue River.   We were at a nice campground called Honey Bear by the Sea, albeit RV’s were pretty close to each other.  We were, however, glad we were not buffeted by the incredible winds those who had fabulous views of both the sea and the brilliant sunsets, had to endure.

It was so fabulous to finally see the coast once the fog/smoke retreated

After pulling over at a scenic rest stop, we discovered a path leading WAY down to this beautiful beach.  The hike back up on this very hot day was pretty tough, but worth it.  

We met up with Carmen and Allen at a local restaurant and had dinner, catching up on each other’s travel stories.  On the way back to the park Norm and I stopped and watched the sun drop below the horizon in a blaze. 

Having experienced the taste of huge, perfectly ripened fresh blackberries on the side of the road the other day, Norm and I went blackberry picking at the campground.  Trying to escape the huge thorns, we filled our bellies as well as a couple of pints before heading off to Jerry’s Rogue River mail boat run tour.  We enjoyed the late afternoon boating up the Rogue River, stopping a few times along the way to look at a little local wildlife, most of which are pretty common in Florida. 

These Common Mergansers weren't so "common" to us.  We had never seen such a bird. 

We hit it off with another couple with whom we chatted throughout the ride, and also at the restaurant we stopped at, which was at the furthest point of our tour.  It was a lovely day, but a little boring. 

Every once in a while the boat captain/tour guide would through in an exciting 360 degree turn to give us a little thrill and get us a little wet!  It was more funny than thrilling, but the cool water felt really good.

 I had wished we had taken the jet boat ride trip option, but Carmen and Allen said it, too was boring and the extended trip with the intense sun and wind was just too much. I felt a little better. 

Gold Beach is the furthest campground south we are staying at on this trip. From here we will drive south in the car a couple of hours to California in order to see Jedediah Smith State Park which is also, we found, part of the Redwood National Park

These incredible artists were painting a mural on the Visitor's Center at Jedidah State Park 
The talent of these artists painting a mural on the Visitor's Center just amazed me.

The giant Redwoods dwarfed Norm!

It was extremely hot, so we took the dirt scenic drive among the majestic giant redwoods centuries old, stopping to take pictures and a couple of hikes along the way.

he parking spots at the few trail heads were packed, but we were fortunate to squeeze ourselves off the road and park among the bushes. 

We took advantage of the lovely trails meandering among the redwoods at the Jedidah State Park/Redwood National Park.
The road through Jedidah Smith State Park were awesome!  Tightly woven between the trees, it was a little nerve wracking and very dusty!  We were glad we hadn't already washed the car.

We stopped at a couple of small seaports, hoping to buy some fresh fish.  We didn’t have any luck, but we did enjoy hanging out with a herd? Gaggle? Harem? of sea lions about 50 feet from a pier. They barked and frolicked in front of our eyes!  I felt lucky, since the fog had become incredible thick along the coast and even if one went to the commercial “Sea Cave” tourist trap, I don’t think you would have been able to see them since reviewers say they are about 300 feet off shore. 

I was regretting not having gone on the seal tour nearby, therefore I was really excited to discover a huge group hanging out on a local pier.  We stayed and watched them frolic for quite a while. 

It was a very long drive home, but a great day.  We are so glad to have had the opportunity to see these huge trees!  Although further south in California at Sequoia National Park they have even bigger redwoods, I can still probably cross them off my Bucket List!

The remainder of our stay we took another drive to check out more of the coast.  

We just had to stop to check out the dinosaurs at Prehistoric Gardens in Port Orford, Oregon.  It looked rather interesting, but would be definitely worth our while to take the grandchildren when they get older.   

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Waldport, Oregon

Tuesday August 8th – Sunday August 13th 2017

Driving further down the coast on Route 101 another 120 miles, it took about 3 ½ hours.  A lot of this route is inland so we couldn’t see the coastline, and when we did that stubborn fog combined with some nearby fires added to the haze.  Driving inland the last few miles to Rovers RV Park the air cleared and the sun shone just as the park advertised!
From Netarts to Waldport took about 3 1/2 hours.  Trip in RV is in BLUE.  Day trips as far south as Dunes National Recreation area in Reedsport is outlined in RED. 

Our first impression as we pulled into the tiny campground road was “Oh boy. This place looks really bad, and we are here for 5 nights!”  We discovered initial impressions can be deceiving, but those same impressions were shared by nearly all the other RVers here.

The site was probably the best in the place with plenty of room and a pretty good view of the river in behind it.  Nothing special, but was adequate. We were a little concerned by the fenced in doggie area beside us which is usually not a good sign, and a huge area in back where large dogs can run free. We soon discovered that the main reason people come here is because it is so dog friendly. We somehow missed that on their website. 

Over the next few days, Rovers RV Park ( it just occurred to me perhaps the name “Rovers” means “dogs?” ( How in the world did we miss the connection? ) became one our my favorite campgrounds.  The owners were constantly working to make improvements, plus they had cable TV (Which means Norm will not have to cuss Direct TV out again for lack of service! Yeah!) and free DVD’s, plus books that people can take if they would like. The biggest benefit here was their approval of RV washing, and working on your rig should you want to. “Knock yourself out” the owners said. Since we have not found a place to do that in months, that was such a big deal to us.

 They lit a huge communal fire pit each evening that most of the campers attended. I went several nights but Norm decided to stay inside. The people were very interesting, and definitely funny.  This older Welsh couple, who had just gotten their first travel trailer, entertained us with their stories of trying to park. The wife was afraid that after 60 years of marriage they may not make it to 61 after purchasing this tiny little trailer.  We roared with laughter!  It was great spending some time with a group of hilarious people.

Most everyone here had at least one dog, running free and playing with one another.  They never fought or barked.  Poop was collected as far our shoes could tell.  We were positively amazed!  Perhaps the secret to doggie happiness is doggie freedom?

These huge and delicious Oysters at Ona Restaurant in Yachats, Oregon were incredible!  I never had tried Oysters before this trip, now I am hooked!  ( I will never try a raw oyster, however )

We started out our stay in style by going out to dinner at Ona Restaurant and Lounge in Yachats, about 25 minutes south. Parking in this small but popular town was terrifying due to the aggressive maneuvers people were using to snatch that rare parking spot I was about to pull into.  When I hesitated to pull back into traffic, obnoxious folks leaned on their horns to voice their disapproval.  By the time we were able to park, that special martini was all I could think of, and boy, was it good!

We constantly saw Tsunami evacuation signs all over the west coast, but never saw one indicating a route up a set of stairs!  Very unnerving. 

The fog and smoke was still with us, but over the next few days we headed both up and down the coast, seeing the sights in our car that we otherwise could not in the RV.

Norm and I laughed when we saw this sign to Boston clear across the country.  We lived very close to this same Route 20 when we lived in Massachusetts.  It also reminded me just how far away from family we are!

I spent one morning booking flights to visit our kids when we get back.  I miss them so much, we are going to go crazy when we see how our grand-kids, ages 4,3 and 2 years old have grown.  That is definitely the downside of this fabulous trip.

Our brakes in the car have been scraping so we wanted to have those checked at the local Honda dealer.  The appointment was at 3PM so we drove around killing time and having a scenic picnic lunch overlooking the beach.  They looked at it very quickly and assured us there was nothing wrong.  I emphasized that the emergency brake was not working even when put to the floor ( which it shouldn’t do ) but they insisted it was fine.  I was skeptical, but hey – “if it ain’t broke don’t fix” they say!  Driving off the scraping noise was still there but we were glad it checked out ok.  Perhaps there was just dust on the rotors.

Stopping at a random parking lot, we climbed up over a small dune to this very beautiful sight!  I just had to go back and get my camera!
During the next couple of days we drove around checking out several beaches, many overlooks, and the Heceta Lighthouse where the ranger gave a brief talk and tour. 

Several volunteers gave tours of the Heceta Head Lighthouse.

Heceta Head Lighthouse in Yachats, Oregon

Although tired, we wanted to check out the sand dunes at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Extending 40 miles from Florence to Coos Bay, Oregon its sand dunes can reach the dizzying heights of 500 feet above sea level! Speaking of “dizzying” check out the short video where I choose to roll down 100 foot dune.  I got a little dizzy, and a lot of sand in my pockets!  Let’s just say I won’t be too quick to do that again anytime soon.  We didn’t drive the entire length of road where these sandy marvels beckon travelers since we have seen plenty of sand dunes in our life.  We just wanted to see a BIG one! 

Wait for me, Norm!  Walking in deep sand while trying to take pictures was slowing me down!

We had to check out where all the noise was coming from, and watched these crazy people ride almost vertically!  

As we headed back the fog rolled in and within minutes hid the most photographed lighthouse on the coast.  Luckily, I pulled over, jumped out and got a picture before it disappeared.  Norm was wondering what the heck I was doing, then couldn’t believe how it was there one minute and absolutely gone the next! 

As we were driving back, I swerved to the side of the road ( view point ) then grabbed my camera and  jumped out to take this picture of Heceta Head Lighthouse as it suddenly peeked out amid the thick soup-like fog.  I scared the crap out of Norm.  A minute later, it crept back behind the fog.  How neat!
We timed our visit to Devil's Churn during low tide.  Boy, there are so many warnings!  

There was a very well built path down to the rocks so people can watch the incredible force of the tides as it "churned" its way into shore.  People however ( we were among them ) climbed further out to get a closer look at nature's power. Norm and I, however, stayed away from the edge.

This stupid fellow obviously did not give this ocean, or the many warnings, the respect they deserves!  He was so lucky he didn't get swept off the rocks!  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Crabs and crabs at Netarts Bay, Oregon

August 4 -7th

The drive to Netarts Bay further south on the Oregon coast, wasn’t nearly as bad as we thought it might be.  Perhaps it was because we left early.  There were plenty of lookouts and interesting shops we passed, but we are too big for most of them.  Without plenty of advance warning, Norm can’t safely pull over anyway, especially if someone is driving too closely behind him.

The drive from Ilwaco south to Netarts Bay.  

As we traveled south and approached the mountains immediately to our left, the fog came rolling in, unfortunately blocking out any view whatsoever of the sea and coast .  We were so disappointed because this section was purported to be the most beautiful 50 miles of the coast! Not all was lost, however, since it still gave it a eerie affect. We later learned that when it is hot inland and the air and water is cold on the coast it creates the fog.  I am surprised that I never knew that having lived on the coast of Massachusetts in the fishing town of Gloucester, where there was frequent fog.

The fog, although rather awesome, blocked any view of the incredible coastline!  Such a shame!

Netarts Bay Garden RV Resort, our next stop, had fabulous customer service.  The staff were extraordinarily friendly and helpful ( they very willingly allowed us to have a couple of packages there, one of which, was a couple of month’s worth of mail.)  At this resort it wasn’t about the beach - but about the water, and what’s underneath. Dungeness crabs by the thousands, and this campground embraces the opportunity for their guests to gorge on these coveted crustaceans. 

The people here at Netarts Bay Garden RV Resort were so friendly and helpful.  Most were here for a month or more to crab for Dungeness Crabs.  Instead of motorcycles, or ATV's, campers here brought small boats! 

Many of these sites had little sheds for people to store their crab pots, plus there was a convenient boat launch and even a place for folks to cook their crabs! It was crabbing season, so campers here took their boats out early and got their fill.

A great majority of the other campers have been here for months, and come back each year during crabbing season.  They were all very friendly, courteous, and were happy to advise us on the area.

The few days we were here, the beautiful coastline was playing hide and seek with the fog.  The fog won most of the time. 

Tired of driving and seeing nothing, we tried to wait until the fog cleared. We gave up waiting and finally went to hike nearby Cape Lookout State Park to see what we could see.  The park ranger suggested the best hike for the foggy conditions which was the Cape Lookout Trail where on a clear day you can see all the way to Cape Kiwanda!  We had a pretty view, but only of the beach below us.  We had a lovely walk through the woods, trudging once again up pretty steep inclines, which is not my favorite type of hike.     
This was one of the viewpoints on our hike at Lookout State Park.  The fog hid the land at the top of this picture, but what we saw was sure beautiful. 

A beautiful ( and bouncy ) suspension bridge was found along the trail
Two trees in sweet!
The silent fog crept along the trail and reminded me of a horror movie....

While in Netarts we drove north to Tillamook which is known for its huge cheese industry. We got some groceries and checked out cheese factories.  One, Blue Heron French Cheese Factory, was a small facility that also had tastings of spreads and jellies.  I fell in love with a Huckleberry preserve and the fact that I actually opened my wallet and purchased a jar is a testament to how much I loved it!

Tillamook Cheese Visitor's Center, had terrific educational displays (complete with plastic cows) of the modern dairy farming business.  We read reviews that said this temporary building ( the new one will be completed next year ) was disappointing, but we were pleasantly surprised how huge it was.  

The other is the highly advertised Tillamook Cheese Visitor’s Center, where they had a great mock dairy barn and informational boards describing the modern techniques for raising dairy cows and the production of their dairy products. One placard stated that their baby cows are immediately removed from their mothers so they can monitor what the eat and drink. They are then put in cozy little pens to ensure they don’t hurt themselves.  Come on, now! Really?  It all sounded like their cows must think they are in heaven, but I know better, unfortunately.  Just do some research on CAFO farming. Concentration Animal Feeding Operation.

Norm has had some dairy farm experience as a young boy, and grew bored of the informational section of the Visitor’s Center, but I found it quite interesting.
Norm and I are not real fans of cheese curds, so didn't wait in line for the chance to sample.

The big draw to this facility was obviously the tasting room.  Long lines of people awaiting the free samples of cheeses and curds dissuaded us from tastin

I am not sure exactly why we didn’t indulge.  Was it because we could look around at our overweight fellow Americans and see the negative effects of this sweet concoction? Or perhaps the combination of it both being lunchtime and the long line?  

They also sold grilled cheese sandwiches positively dripping with cheese, but we went home and made our own (with a lot less cheese) with the same Tillamook Cheese I had previously purchased from Costco.

My thumb that I injured mountain biking July 2nd in Port Angeles was still really hurting. Maybe more and more each day. I was getting nervous that I may need to do more to it than I have been. I purchased a couple different thumb splints but the part most sensitive ( top knuckle upward ) was exposed and more vulnerable wearing the brace than without.  Not wanting to risk permanent damage I decided to go to an Urgent Care facility 10 minutes away. 

I got right in to see the Physician’s Assistant that seemed to know what he was doing. (Hopefully) He didn’t think I tore the tendon most often torn by skiers. If I broke it, he said, too much time had passed now to do anything about it.  He offered an X-ray, but could not give me a copy of it before we left, so I passed on that.  He set me up with a better technique to brace it, and off I went feeling more assured.  A few weeks ago I did, however, book an appointment with a really good hand orthopedist that was already scheduling into October in case it wasn’t healed by then.

We were really looking forward to meeting up with two couples that we met in Vancouver Island back in July.  After examining our itinerary, they saw that we would be very close to them when we reached this destination, and invited us to call them when we got here.  We did, and much to our delight, they invited us over for a Crab Boil that they were having, with the crabs that they would catch that morning! 

Norm and I had never had Dungeness crab before, but we do love crabmeat, minus the work. But we were more than up to the task!

What gets better than this?  New friends, a beautiful day, fabulous food and lots of wine!

When we arrived, we felt like we were longtime friends, catching up on all our travels.

They had a couple of large coolers filled to the brim with the 48 crabs they all caught that morning.  They cooked them two different ways, so we could sample them both.  And sample we did, and they were incredible! 

The crabs we ate with these new friends will be a memory that won’t soon be forgotten.  The flavors and aroma’s have made themselves home in my mind – making any future crab dishes pale in comparison.  A nice problem to have, actually. 

We ate, we laughed, and we drank until it was no longer safe to continue to do so, considering the 25 minute drive back. It was such a great night!

Even in dense fog, if you get close enough to the Cape Meares Lighthouse you get a good look at it.

Again waiting out the fog on another morning, we gave up and drove to Cape Meares later in the day, hiking to the light house.  The fog enhanced it’s coastal feel, so we were glad we went. Fog comes and goes without rhyme or reason, so it’s important to get out there anyway and see what you can.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The start down the Pacific Coast - Illwaco, Wa

It was a good 4 1/2  hour ride south to our next destination.  

July 31st – August 4th 2017

The drive from LaPush to Ilwaco here in Washington, was much longer than desired, but finding a campground that we could fit into was a challenge much before  this point south on Route 101.  There wasn’t much we would be missing, so after we gut out this drive, it would be pretty easy sailing for quite a while from here.

Upon arrival at this particular “Resort” we didn’t fair too well.  The turn coming into Eagles Nest Resort was ridiculously tight, between the overgrown bushes on the right and the dilapidated booth on the left.  Having to choose which to hit, Norm correctly chose the bushes, however we were furious that we had to choose whether to merely scratch, or dent the length of the RV!

We were assigned a campsite where the ground was so uneven, we were sure to twist an ankle.  Norm would never get any Satellite TV reception there, so we asked to change sites.  I must honestly admit that we asked for the next site, but Norm and I had a bit of a communication problem getting into it, and got hung up on an overgrown rhododendron. More stress. Norm then spent the next hour (or two) getting the satellite to work.

The sites here at Eagles Nest Resort were very heavily treed ( although it does not look it here ) and difficult to get into. I couldn't figure out why Norm was not paying attention to my directions until he finally told me his 2-way radio was dead!

Finally settled, we figured we had had enough excitement for one day, and hung out awhile before our private happy hour and dinner.

The next day, without having done much “homework” on the area, we headed up the peninsula to a few spots people told us we had to see.  The wind was whipping so hard, that when we got to the huge and beautiful beaches, we were getting sandblasted by the blowing sand.  We walked down to the water’s edge, looked around at the beautiful coast and returned quickly to the car.
25 MPH on the BEACH?  Good Lord, watch out everyone!

We drove around what seemed like hours searching for a place for lunch.  Now we have not had lunch out ( I believe ) since we left months ago just because of this.  I need to eat around noon, and it has to have some gluten free options, so we find it so much more convenient to just make it ahead and have picnic lunches when and where we want.  (Cheaper, too)

Marshes Free Museum is where you can find antiques and oddities such as a two-headed lamb, shrunken head or the famous "Jake the Alligator Man" which customers are urged to join his fan club.  Very Odd, indeed!  Norm loved it here!

I swore by the end of the day that we would never again aimlessly drive around.  I want to know what the area has to offer, decide what to do, have a plan and write the addresses down!  Things and mood can change, but I like to have an agenda.  Easier said than done.  I’d rather play than pour over books and fliers. 

That night we headed into the nearby town of Astoria and had dinner on the water at Bridgewater Bistro, and enjoyed the fabulous view of the Astoria bridge.  The oysters in the Pacific Northwest are huge and incredible!  I never thought I would like them, but pan-sear them, and I am hooked!  We have been eating them whenever we can.

Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach is seen all a tremendous amount of merchandise.  Norm and I have seen so many nicer 

The next day, plan in hand, we headed south to Cannon Beach where EVERYONE said we MUST go.  Since the interior of Oregon and Washington were having record breaking heat ( 108 degrees ) there was a ton of traffic on their way to the coastal beaches. The beaches are miles upon miles long and wide, so they all still felt amazingly deserted.

We thought it best to hike before going to Cannon beach, since the chance of not being in the mood to hike afterwards was pretty darn good.  Ecola State Park’s Clatsop Trail was a nice sounding hike that had the right amount of mileage for the time and energy we had.  What we didn’t comprehend was the heat, humidity and elevation gain we had to conquer. Norm was fine ( he sweats a lot ) but I was truly suffering.  Actually, I think I got a little bit of heat exhaustion because even 2 hours later my face was really sweating and very flushed. I really didn’t feel well.

Luck was with us as we found a great parking spot at the insanely busy Cannon Beach. Finally, some decent shops!  Little boutiques that showcased fine crafts from real “artisans”.  Not the “arts and craps” that we have seen so far on our travels.  

Alison was climbed out on this edge to take the picture below.

This crazy fisherman somehow climbed down to this precarious place to fish on the mouth of the Columbia River.  The huge waves were crashing all around him!  Do fish actually take the bait under these conditions?  Are they "Rock Fish?" 
Seeing everyone with the fabulous looking ice cream cones, we decided it best to get one.  I only had a few bites of Norm’s and I instantly felt better!  Maybe some sugar was all I needed!  I checked out a few more shops, still not buying a thing.  There was plenty I loved, but the price tag of those usually had a comma in it. ( thousands of dollars ). 

 We saw the famous Haystack Rock, but couldn’t for the life of us understand the attraction.  There are so many places prettier, in our opinion. 

Returning home, we got stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for about an hour.  Since the tide was now low (best for viewing) we forced ourselves to hit Fort Stevens State Park where we walked along the beach near the Colombia River.  Here the waters are supposed to be the most active in the world, but we couldn’t see that from where we looked.  The Peter Iredale shipwreck partially buried in the sand was pretty cool.  There were children ( and grown-ups pretending to be children ) climbing all around and inside this rusty old shipwreck.  We hoped they all had their tetanus shots!

Kids played on the rusty Peter Iredale shipwreck where it ran aground in 1905 near Ft. Stevens.  I hope they had their Tetanus shots!

We then pushed ourselves to check out the jetties that promised the most treacherous waters of the Pacific thanks to the river waters rushing out while the ocean waters rush in.  The wind was blowing pretty hard, but the water didn’t appear to be turbulent to us. Hey, what do we know? We were just expecting perhaps huge waves creating whirlpools sucking down ships or something.

Regardless, it was a gorgeous day so we hung around absorbing the natural beauty – drinking it in.
This fabulous park has the distinction of being both a State AND a National Park!  

The main reason we were staying where we were, was so we could easily go to Cape Disappointment, just up the street where the lighthouse has been warning sailors away from shore for over 100 years.

Believe it or not, that is actually bird guano ( poop ) on those rocks, and a lot of it! 

The narrow scenic road twisted and turned as it brought us closer to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.  In school neither one of us was particularly interested in Lewis and Clark’s explorations, but after an hour watching a short movie and reading the dozens of panels detailing their discoveries and experiences, I have a whole new appreciation of what they accomplished!  In my old age, history has become so much more interesting!

Norm explored the many military bunkers there while I glanced around and basked in the sunshine trying to get warm.  We then headed down the hill back to camp.

There was so much to learn about the Lewis and Clark expedition, you could spend all day at the Interpretive Center.

Norm found the military bunkers at Deception State Park fascinating. 

At this point in the trip I can see the advantages of being in a tour group.  They drag you out to see unusual things (or the usual) that you might not otherwise have the ambition to go see. Or to drive another drive.  The Maritime Museum in Astoria was supposed to be phenonomal, however we just didn’t have the energy to drive yet again to Astoria since we had a couple of days in a row. Too bad, we lose.  We have found since we past the 3 ½ month point that is happening more and more.  I am not sure I would take a trip this long again.  We are suffering a little from “burn out”.

Cave Junction, Obrien, Oregon

August 17 th – 19 th ,2017 We were so surprised to see what looked like Customs down the road.  Did we take a wrong turn? I thought...