Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Nice Golf Course, No Golfing. Miles of beach, No Surfing.

July 16 - 19 (catching up with Internet)

Highway 101 between Tillamook and Astoria, OR is rough and uneven, but we arrived without the side of our house falling off so we were pleased :-) 

We had reservations at the Lewis and Clark Golf and RV park, and finally I outsmarted Randy (our evil GPS). I checked the route on Google Maps, including using Street View to "drive" right to the park (thanks Pam!), and knew exactly where we needed to go. When Randy had us taking a wrong right just over the Youngs River Bridge I ignored her, but figured she would reroute us in the right direction. Nope, we would have been stuck on the steep, tight streets of Astoria if I had listened. Instead, I knew we crossed back over the river on a much smaller bridge (with construction it was a tight squeeze), and knew which road we turned on - and there was the park! Whew, dodged that nightmare. Using Street View has been a great option for knowing the terrain of these two-lane roads, and what the area looks like where we pull into the park. Better than Satellite view, you can actually drive the highways that the Google car traveled......love it.

So we pull in and while Bill unhooks the Jeep, I go in to settle up.  The owner is very nice and then very apologetic when she had only made our reservation for two instead of three nights. She's stressing more than I am and I offer to move on the third day as long as we have a spot. That works and she puts us in a very nice view site for the two nights.

View through our front window

Bullfrogs croaked all night from the little creek at our site :-)
Generous space between A11  (us) and A12
For a planner like me to not have done a better job of hooking us up with the BFF Janis and her husband Nick is ridiculous. They are part-timers and have been on the road since April. Heading south down the Oregon coast while we're heading north should have put us in the same park for a few days of hanging out together. Nope, totally blew it!

We did get close at this stop though and they drove up to see us from Seaside as soon as we arrived. In time to share with us that the large slide won't open. Hit the switch. Nothing. Nada. Because it isn't trying to open, not making any sound at all, we figure it's a power issue and not related to the new bolts. It pulled in just fine in Tillamook.

Janis and I visit while I show her the inside of our new home and immediately start getting caught up. Bill actually gets some help from the owner's manual (rare) and in a few minutes we are opening the slide with no problem. Yep, a power issue.  Of course Janis and I could have used about another two hours of girl time while the guys did the troubleshooting but I suppose it really is better that it was a quick find :-)

We visited for a while and they took off so we could finish setting up, knowing we were getting together at their place the next day.

Weird to get up in the morning to go see people. People who we know!

We picked them up in the Jeep and Janis directed us to the beach. The beach, not a parking lot, not a pull out. The beach.

On. The. Beach.

Very temporary tracks in the tide
Goofballs (Nick and Janis)
There was also flying on the beach
We're there too (I am not really two feet shorter than Bill!)
It was such a hoot to drive on the beach! There were other vehicles out there, but not a lot, and not a lot of people. We got out and let Miss Tessa do her thing which of course had us all laughing. Walked along the water's edge for a while and then back to the car.

Did I mention we drove on the beach?

Drove around Seaside, taking in all the tourist traps and deciding we needed no part of that. Meandered through some of the small streets along the beach in Gearhart enjoying the gray-shingled bungalows and larger clapboard houses in well-established neighborhoods with beautiful gardens and big trees.

Lunch at the Bigfoot restaurant in Seaside was good and then we headed back to their site. It really is crazy that we didn't plan to stay there as well, but with only a day and half more in the area we didn't think about moving south 25 miles. So we visited for a short bit and then returned to Astoria.

Next year we'll do better!

Like every place we'd been, there was so much to see in the Astoria area. I really wanted to see Fort Stevens State Park and downtown Astoria. Sounded good to Bill so that's what we did on Saturday!

First thing we did when we got back to the beach? Drove on it!  Now this spot really did require four-wheel-drive to get out on the beach itself. The sand was very deep and keeping our speed up was the only way to pull it without going into low, so we plowed and bounce our way out there. That bike rack for the trykes is doing really well :-)

Back on the beach with the trykes still attached
The water was beautiful

A rare moment of standing still

We headed away from the numerous people near the entrance and drove a ways along the water. Not sure what the draw is, but dang that is so fun!!! 

Tessa ran and ran and then just followed us around while we searched for sand dollars. Bill had found pieces of them the day before and they are huge there. More like $5. Found a couple nearly whole, a couple large mussel shells and that was about it. We have seen very few shells along the Pacific Coast.

We plowed our way back through the sand and drove around the grounds of the fort. It was a warm day and there was a pretty good crowd. Forts are also not Bill's thing so we just checked out the foundations of the old barracks and chapel and guard house. I thought it was pretty cool!

Next time I'll see it all

Spent some time along the river path, checked out the memorial cemetery, and took the back way to Astoria. Besides seeing the downtown and river walk, I also wanted to try on some good hiking shoes. I knew I wanted Merrills or Keens and there was a shoe store downtown that had been there for decades and also had both brands.

I was looking at shoes for both of us and one of the salesman went out and got Bill and Tessa - apparently both men and dogs are welcome at Gimre's. Know this if you go there.

They actually had size 15!

We both found what we wanted, left the boxes in the store, tossed the shoes in the Jeep, and headed to the waterfront. At 85 degrees it was hot for Astoria. Already feeling like Oregonians after a couple weeks, it was hot for us too. Found excellent food and brew at Baked Alaska just off 14th Street. Best smoked salmon Bill has had, and there was plenty of it on his sandwich. My pear, blue cheese and arugula pizza was heaven on thin crust. Two of the beers were very good, and the other two fair. I can never remember the names of any of them :-(

Very warm, sunny blue skies

Didn't notice the balancing act until I downloaded the shot
We liked one and three best. We drank the others too.

Melt in your mouth yumminess

Already in your mouth tastiness
Laundry needed to get done before we were off to a state park, so that wrapped up our day. We had moved to the secondary spot first thing in the morning, and we were glad to not be doing that in the heat.

This stop was the first time we'd been out of the trees and seeing a sunset was a real treat. 

The sun sets on our last night in Oregon.....for now

A good night's sleep, perfectly working slides in the morning, and we headed for that really big bridge on our way north to Washington.


  1. I'm typing this just before I start prepping dinner and the food shots are making me hungry!

    Sounds like there's going to be a little hiking in your future!

    1. I sure hope so! Little will likely be the optimum word to start, but there's so much to see away from the road :-)

  2. Glad to see you type perfectly working slides at the end. I'm not so much for driving on the beach. No wonder there are no shells to find - well whole shells that is. Not so much for forts either or war anything for that matter. I'll hang with Bill. Love those waves though and the enthusiasm of Tessa and your very cool friends.

    1. Unfortunately there have been no shells on any of the beaches where there's no driving either, I don't know where they've gone. I remember as a kid finding lots and lots of them on CA beaches. Mom made me choose three, never taking handfuls home on any visit. Not sure what the appeal of forts is for me as I'm against war and aggression, but they do fascinate me as a "way of life".

  3. So glad to read that Google Street View saved you:) Running around with 50+ feet makes it tricky at times if one isn't prepared. I like the sounds and looks of the park especially with the golf course!

    How cool to be driving on the beach:) Glad you had a little time with your friends. I couldn't believe you wrote that the slide wouldn't come out!! I thought what now! Hurray that it was a simple fix!!! Fun times in Oregon:)

    1. Without question, using Street View has made the biggest difference for me as the driver - I am so grateful for that tip!! You guys would love the little 9-hole course I think :-)

      I may have jinxed that full slide since I worried about having one so long from the beginning :-(

  4. I loved driving on Daytona Beach, Jodee...but I question my sanity for taking my 8800 pound Ford out there! Much safer with your toad. :)

    I do believe Tessa is loving full timing!

    1. Yeah, at 4800 pounds we're a little lighter in that sand - I suppose if you didn't get stuck you are too crazy :-). Oh yes, she is a huge fan of all this fun!!

  5. Love the photo of Tessa "flying" on the beach! Sounds like you had a great time with your friends. So….did you get Keens? I haven't found anything else as comfortable!

    1. Yes, Keens they are! Love them so far :-) Janis captured that fun shot of Tessa - she just loves running on those beaches!

  6. As a teen, my family went to Pismo Beach several times and we drove on the beach too. Quite the experience. I think we may have even camped on the beach as well. I do remember my mom's homemade clam chowder made with freshly dug up clams from right where we were parked :-)

    1. Oh wow, chowder from clams you dug! That must have been a great experience. I've seen others driving on Pismo, but this was my first time doing it - so much fun :-)