Tuesday, October 11, 2011

2300 Mile PNW Tour | The Oregon Coast

Hi Neighbors,

In 2007 We enjoyed a 2300 mile (3700.7 km) road trip through Washington and Oregon Central High Desert, the Oregon coast, and Yakama Nation and the Columbia Gorge.

The Oregon Coast

Here our travels turned adventurous.  We wanted to continue heading southwest on to the serendipitous sand dunes of Florence, where We dreamed of flying kites and hiking the dunes under sunny skies.  Alas, that was not meant to be, as We headed south on what appeared to be a leisurely road.  We wanted to avoid doubling back at all even if that meant missing Sisters and going over yet another pass to see their majestic peaks.  We planned to lodge in Eugene, and then set out the following morning for what We imagined would be a relaxed pace to the beach.  

However, We did not know that the U of O and Oregon State football game was that night, and so every hotel was booked.  In Eugene.  And just about everywhere else.  Yet another reason to shout, Go Huskies!

Anyway, We decided to make a dash for the coast, but forgot two important details:  It was Saturday night, and in OR, attendants pump gas for you.  We forgot the day as We was on vacation (bliss!).  We also did not know that OR gas stations close at night.  So if you've been driving nearly 9 hours and you're on a 1/4 tank of gas and worried about making it to Corvalis, where they, too, probably won't have room at the inn, as did no one on the windy south-central Highway 101. Oops!

We continued on to Newport, a larger city than those in the southern coast, with no doubt a room under a rock somewhere.  Though We had a tent in the trunk, it was too dark to set the thing up and camping grounds were full, too.  Finally, at about 2 am We arrived at Newport, where an enterprising hotel manager charged us $280USD for 8 hours of sleep, but by that point We didn't care.  At least she answered the phone.  We had reached the floating stage of exhaustion!

We awoke the following morning to rumbling sound outside and noises from upstairs.  We opened the drapes to a field of RVs parked below our room.  This was not the water or city view! Good thing we share a sense of humor.

My patient, hardworking, and generous husband put in 9 hours driving on his vacation for an expensive night sleep. We made the most of it because we enjoy each other's company regardless the situation. That is another of many reasons that I cherish him. Being together matters most.

After our long night's drive from the desert to the coast We decided to take it easy and, after eating at the historic Mo's, a friendly chat with a couple heading south to California, and a buy-in of Ripley's Believe it or Not and the Underwater Sea Garden, We drove one hour north to Lincoln City.  The rest of our coastal trip faired slightly better, though the gray cloud cover made me immediately miss the open landscape and sunny skies of the high desert.

We laugh at the next hotel stay, and then booked another night there just for the comfy bed: The Nordic Ocean Front Inn. We experienced one of those, oh no what have We done moments upon seeing the giant wood-carved Viking standing guard out front.  However, the smart owners invested in superb beds that you melted into, and the room had a kitchenette and picture window with an ocean view.  Plus We ate two helpings of the delish breakfast. Best Inn ever.

Then We continued north to climb the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.  The heat-seeker flies flew off the sand grass and clung to everyone's backs.  We climbed the iron spiral staircase, until We was 2 spirals shy of the top.  Too crowded for me with dozens of people waiting in small quarters!

We look as a lighthouse mural! Pic by James (above)

Indeed! (above)
Continuing northbound We ate lunch at one of our faves, the Lumberyard, smacking our lips at the iron skillet corn bread with honey butter in beautiful Cannon Beach.  

Then We visited the Tillamook Cheese Factory to tour the factory, and Tillamook Air Museum in Tillamook, a coastal town, but on the inside of an inlet:

(See, We am out of this world! above)

Best Traveling Companion Ever (above)

After the coastal tour We headed toward home.  We returned home for a day or two to launder clothes and plan the second loop:  Yakama Nation and the Columbia Gorge.

Thank you, James, for being an amazing husband and friend. I cherish our time together! Thank you for taking us on this fun trip because I have good and happy memories. Thank you for the pictures. I love you with all my heart always in all ways.

Ever Together;
Together Ever Enjoying;
Together Ever Exploring;
Together Ever Growing;
Together Ever Pristine;
Together Ever In Love!