Hello everyone! It’s your favorite Blogger checking in! We are still chugging along albeit with limited phone and Internet service during our time on the Oregon coastline. But who cares when we were seeing some of the most beautiful beaches in the world!!!??? Well, that’s what National Geographic says–to be specific, one of the beaches we stayed at–Cannon Beach–was placed on the top 100 most beautiful places on Earth. And NG knows their beautiful places all right–just look at the amazing photography of impossibly beautiful, fascinating places they give us in their magazines, web site, etc. (Apologies if I am really into NG–I just went to a photography seminar presented by some very well known female NG photographers and was blown away by their work! Thanks again, Bonnie, for that opportunity! Bon was not able to go to the class she signed up for and gave me the opportunity to go in her place. The photographs were astounding!)
I haven’t forgotten my Blogger duties–but sometimes I get so caught up in doing stuff (we are in Washington State now) I just can’t get it out to you as timely as I would like. But never fear–I always try to catch up as I settle in somewhere for some quiet time. Bob got back to Sequim yesterday and we traveled today, after sitting in a repair shop for half the day in Mount Vernon, WA. We have an occasional wobble in the front end at low speeds so they went over the coach and checked it out thoroughly. Seems they think the cause could be the fancy Tryon things we have on the front tires to prevent out-of-control blowouts. One more thing on the list to get checked out when we get down to Florida! We feel better now that we know nothing MAJOR is going on.
So instead of my usual nap I was trying to finish this up on the road since I have even more fodder ready for the blog once this one is out! But that didn’t work out so here I am trying to finish before the clock strikes midnight… Since Bob and Ashley left for Indianapolis for a family gathering on the 27th, I have been trying to get at least the Oregon travelogue up for you. Unfortunately (or fortunately for me) my exploring bug was biting and I was all over the place during the day. Island hopping, hiking mountain peaks to a glacier, checking out a rain forest–you will hear about all this eventually–but right now I have lots to tell you about Oregon. So here goes…
On the Road to Oregon….After leaving Lake Tahoe we cut across California in a Northwesterly direction headed for the Oregon coastline. Our destination was Coos Bay, where we planned to stay several nights. We spent our last night in California sleeping in a grove of huge Coastal redwoods along the Avenue of the Giants. Yes, that is the real name, and every stop on this road (101) has a claim to fame–all very interesting and entertaining. I am such a sucker for all that stuff and would have stopped at every crossroad but we had a schedule that included picking up Ashley at the Portland Airport in a couple days, so we tootled on down the road with my making a mental list of all the places I would like to come back and visit. However, I did get a little taste of HWY 101 kitsch at our campground. First of all, let me tell you it was more than a little eerie. Huge, very old trees (like thousands of years!) surrounding you, like wizards of the wilderness, with even the street we came in on –the Avenue–seemingly closing off with the shadows deepening as the sun began to set. Although dark and deeply shadowed by the GIANT trees during the day, it was downright scary as nighttime crept in. And then these weird anomalies out of nowhere–shall we think Twilight Zone here?–a truck made from one single Redwood tree that appeared in the parking lot the next morning; and the “Immortal” tree sitting in the parking lot that reportedly refused to succumb to fire, lumberjacks, lightening and a long list of other life-threatening events too long to list. And oh yeah, let’s not forget the house “in” a tree! Yes, that was just behind the café where we had breakfast the next morning; the house was big enough that you could walk in the door, eat, sleep, and whatever in the house if you don’t mind a certain amount of dark gloominess–no electricity–and I don’t think you would want to build a fire!
Coos Bay, OR…We finally reached our first campsite in Oregon at Coos Bay. And what a campsite! It was on the beach within earshot of the pounding surf—and a two minute walk to some of that astounding scenery I had been admiring all day. By the time we had set up camp, it was time to go to bed since I was trekking to Portland the next morning to pick up Ashley. She was coming in for a week to join us on our trip up the coast of Oregon and none of us had anticipated what an amazing week it would be! The next day I left early for Portland to pick up Ashley by following the Coast (HWY 101) for a while. I left early enough to give me enough time to dawdle a bit. Then Ash called and said her plane was delayed so I dawdled even more. As it turned out, I dawdled so much that I drove up just as she was walking out with her luggage. Good timing, I must say. Ashley agreed when I explained to her all the things I had done on the way up–and even got the car washed for her. She was most appreciative since Baby (the RV) tends to spew yuck all over the Jeep while on the road. (I think she gets a little peeved about having to pull the Jeep every time we head out!) My first self-appointed task once we reach our destination is to get the car washed. I HATE driving a dirty car!
While driving up the coast and then back down after picking up Ashley, I took more pictures. So many views and so little time—-I was getting a little freaked out by the beautiful scenery. How could just one state have all this???? Good thing I took all the pictures, since Ashley was such a sleepyhead almost all the way back to Coos Bay, she remembered nothing of the 5-hour trip. Maybe lunch–I know she was awake then–but shortly afterwards I was back to Sirius XM and the sound of surf on the shore (not the Beach Boys) while cruising 101.
Driving up and down the Oregon coast was MAGNIFICO! On my way to Portland, however, I had to finally cut across the country side and make my way northwards. What a wonderful surprise when I found this elk grazing area. I took a break (who am I fooling?–I’ve taken a lot of those!) to see if I could spot any elk in the pastures. Thank goodness for my trusty telephoto lens!
I can’t leave this side excursion to Portland Airport until I tell you about one memorable thing that happened in Portland that sticks in my mind. I was just getting into Portland and was negotiating their spaghetti junction–a concrete jungle of highways coming together in one spot–when lo and behold Mount Rainier floated into my vision and then totally vanished from view. I know–Mount Rainier is in Washington—so how could this be? I had a similar experience in Seattle a number of years ago when I was there working. It was a remarkably clear day and I stepped outside for a walk one evening and there it was–Mount Rainier floating in front of me. A couple days later I decided I would go and find it after the day was finished–but alas–it had fogged in that afternoon and the only thing I found was my hand in front of my face. It makes me think I am hallucinating. The problem is that it only appears momentarily so you start wondering–am I imagining this???? So I call this the case of the Disappearing Volcano. Today, I decided to investigate this phenomenon and in my next installment I will tell you what I found out. So hold on—this mystery is something that’s been bothering me for years so I have to get this one laid to rest! Exploring Coos Bay…I cannot begin to tell you how astonished Ash and I were when we ventured out on the beach the next day. It was the most amazing beach–an understatement of course. And the more we explored the more we found to be amazed at. Our first night we enjoyed the campfire and pounding surf with fog horns sounding on ships rounding the bay. Can’t get much more relaxing than this! We couldn’t wait for the tide to go out so that we could explore the next morning.
We spent several wonderful, relaxing days here and then the road called and back on the road we went—Road Wanderers! By that time I thought I would have Ashley in vacation mode but that child went to sleep every night hanging over her work computer. I would sneak up to her and gently pry her fingers off her computer and work papers and she would wake up and say “No Mom–I’m not finished!” and then back to sleep she would go. I would just have to watch her and catch everything before it slid to the floor. She is so committed to her job–but she needs her rest too. I resolved to get her mind and spirit into vacation mode. Beach therapy, anyone?
Sea Perch RV Resort, Yachats, OR……..As soon as we drove into this place all three of us knew we were going to love it. The wind was blowing so briskly that Spirit Horse had to stay in his stable (Bob put him out for a little while but he threatened to blow down the beach so back in the stable he went).
This beach is an explorer’s dream–beautiful driftwood, rocks, rivulets, eddies, sand, and all kinds of living and once living things in the most unusual places and arranged as if by a master botanist.
The driftwood serves as natural benches to sit on while we just relax and soak up the sounds of nature–and perhaps take a little nap. A favorite hike–Bob’s Creek–which empties in meandering streams into the ocean. This is where we met the Irish Setter who loves to sit and swim in frigid water.
We accidentally found this little treasure of a state park within the little village of Yachats. Priceless. As the sun began to set, the warmth settled on everything, blessing the world with a peaceful glow. I think Ash began to really relax at that point!
Edit as of 7/2/14: I have to edit this post! Mikaela sent me an email reminding me that I forgot to talk about the WHALES!! How could I???? My only excuse was it was late, I was tired, and I am a tad feeble-minded. So here goes…
While we were in Yachats, we were told that this village by the sea was a prime viewing area for migrating whales. We were very excited by this news–if only we could see a whale! We spent lots of time those few days gazing out to sea watching for water spouts, when we weren’t mesmerized by a sunset, or taking a nap, or whatever. We had learned that the primary migration had already occurred with 18,000 whales going by before the end of May. But we thought we may be in luck because about 800 mama whales and their babies were still playing around the coast waiting for the babies to get stronger and improve their swimming skills before tackling those rough waters heading into Alaska for their summer feeding grounds. We were also told that on the northward migration the whales swim close to the shoreline just at the breaking waves. Our last night in Yachats, we were having dinner at the Adobe Hotel and Restaurant which juts out into the sea with an astounding view from every table of the ocean and waves pounding the rocky shore. We were halfway through dinner when Ashley spotted a spout and a flash of whale. I think she almost forgot to eat she was so excited. She saw glimpses a few more times but the people outside must have been watching too (we found out later that the restaurant passes out binoculars to diners) since the rocks were crowded with people gazing out to sea. We finished and left but we were happy that Ashley had at least seen a glimpse of a whale.
The next morning we were headed for our next beach destination and packed up early since it would be a big hop that day. At the last minute we decided to pull into the big parking lot at the Adobe and park the RV there while we went in for breakfast. We were in luck–they put us at a table with a prime view of the beach. Within minutes Ashley spotted water spouting and glimpses of whales frolicking and rolling in the waves. Eventually everyone in the restaurant tuned in, they began passing out binoculars, and someone would occasionally yell “Water spout!” (usually us). I suspect the display was mommies working with their babies to work on their swimming and diving skills, but to us they were playful and having fun in the surf. This went on for the rest of our meal and Bob started urging us toward the door so we could continue our trip. It was so hard to leave! I wanted to catch a picture of them but you would have to be clairvoyant to know where they would pop up next and when. So, alas, no pictures! But we could see they were orcas playing in their natural environment–not Ocean World! And it also felt as if they did this JUST FOR US! What a special, special breakfast! I can’t even remember what I ate…. But on to Cannon Beach!
Cannon Beach, OR…This is the beach National Geographic named as one of the 100 most beautiful places in the world. The village itself, the adjoining state park, and the one of a kind beach is like a dream sequence. It just keeps on coming…
What can I say about Cannon Beach that hasn’t already been said? Alien in its ultra charm and beauty, otherworldly, with mystical views that constantly change depending on the weather (a very misty day when we were there), and definitely a people magnet. A wide, wide beach where tiny ripply waves come shooting across the sand chasing us until the water just gives up and dribbles away.
Sequim, WA….After (regretfully) leaving Oregon behind, we headed to Sequim, WA to check out the Peninsula’s sunshine town. Known for having more sunny days than anywhere in Washington, Sequim shows off its sun-filled spaces with a sprinkling of lavender farms throughout the region.
So I have finally reached the end of the week with Ashley keeping us company. We had such wonderful days together and quiet evenings relaxing. And then she and Bob left for their trip and instead of relaxing and catching up on my reading–OK, you all know me so well! I was out from morning till night sightseeing, hiking, and just messing around the little harbor towns getting the feel of each area and soaking up the ambiance. But that is all for my next blog–so good night dear friends and family! Happy trails!