Saturday, October 31, 2009

Newport, Oregon

Sat - Oct.31

It rained all night and got done. No rain today. We went to Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, Bridge & Marina and the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center. At the Marine Center they had an octopus, but we were not allowed to photograph it, because the flash upsets him. Who knew?

It's Halloween (hallowed eve) the eve before All Saints Day. It's John's birthday tomorrow, which according to him makes him a saint. Of course, we all know who the real saint is.
We will be moving on tomorrow in search of new adventures. Big wheels keep on rollin'.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Lookout Pointe State Park to Newport

Thursday -Oct. 29th

Pictures of jelly fish, sand dollar, crab shell, clam shell, and molting seal found at Lookout Pointe State Park. To read more about molting seals go to . We left at 11:00 this morning. We back tracked to Tillamook to take US 101 on the advice of a couple camped next to us. They said the coast highway was very bad and narrow on the section ahead of us. Then we headed down to Lincoln City, Depoe Bay and Newport. We had world famous clam chowder at Mo's. It was delicious. We camped at Beverly Beach State Park just a few miles north of Newport in the dense, damp woods and went for a walk in the rain. Pictures taken at our campground of a tree stump that was buried in the sand in the ocean, broke loose and floated up the Spencer River into our campground. Also, a funny root frame around Tarra in front of a yurt (with bunks) that you can rent, and red mushrooms.


No rain today. We left camp at 9:30 and stopped at Depoe Bay (home of the world's smallest harbor) on our way back to Lincoln City. Depoe is where the escapees in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" chartered a boat for deep sea fishing.

One of the world's largest annual surf competitions just took place in Lincoln City about a week ago. Surfers all over the world wait to hear when the big waves will be here, so they can come. They get 48 hours notice of when they will peak to get here. There are several places in the world where they hold the competition each year, but Lincoln City is the only one in the U.S. We stopped for all-you-can-eat seafood buffet at the Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City.

Ben Jones Bay Bridge (father of the Oregon coast Highway system). He was responsible for legislation that got many bridges built in the early 1900s enabling a coast highway to be completed.

Camp Foulweather first founded by Capt. James Cook where 100 mph winds have been registered. Fog so thick, I could hardly find my way to the gift shop. John says it would have been a shame if I missed that.

I don't know what he's worried about. I haven't even stopped in the candy shops to buy fudge or taffy. And that's a challenge for me!

We went to the Vietnam Memorial in Newport for the men from Oregon who were killed there. It's called the Vietnam Commemorative Walk. It's a stone wall and walkway down to the beach with 24 benches along the way for each one of the men. There's also a wall with a picture of the US and Vietnam and a poem and a plaque with all of their names. It's pretty cool. It's on Nye Beach in the historic district.

Yaquina Bay Bridge and Marina in Newport.

It's about midnight and it's pouring rain. It's supposed to rain all day tomorrow, so we'll have to think of some indoor fun for tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Leaving Portland for the Coast

Fri - 23rd

John's cousin, David, and his wife Karen took us to the OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) and to a brew pub for lunch. I had a stout beer with chocolate and coffee flavors. Definitely not a good combination with beer.

Sat - 24th

We went to Willamette National Cemetery to visit Uncle Ernie's collumbarium. What a beautiful and incredibly massive cemetery! There are many thousands of graves here. They are adding about 3,500 a year now and will soon run out of room. We had supper at David and Karen's.

Tuesday - Oct. 27th

We left Aunt Dorothy's about 9:30 this morning. Believe it or not, Dorothy got two kisses and hugs from shy little Johnnie. That's never happened before. With the heavy traffic and rain, it took us about an hour to get out of Portland and a little over two and a half hours total to get down to the coast. There was 18" of snow on Mt. Hood last night, but they were forecasting sunshine at the coast. We went thru Beaverton on Hwy. 26 and turned onto Hwy.6 near Forest Grove, where "Animal House" was filmed. On our way, we went over Wilson River Summit (1586"). We had to wait a couple of times for some road construction. No worries, mate. We have time and all the comforts of home with us. John looked over at me with my feet up on the dash, taking pictures and notes, and laughed at me. I told him maybe I'd write a book someday. He said, "Fine by me, as long as you don't mention we were ever married." I said, "I'll mention anything I want in my book." He said, "I'll sue you for every penny I have!" Hmm. I'll be happy to spend it if he wins.

Our first stop on the coast was the Tillamook Air Museum,
( just to see the building, because John read that it is the biggest free standing wooden building in the world. (We can't miss that big ball of twine, you know.) There were originally two, but one of them burned down. The government stored blymps in them during WWII. They were used for patroling the Pacific coastline. We have been here before and toured the Tillamook Cheese Factory which is very interesting. We were going to skip it this time, but the ice cream was calling to us, so we had to back track and get ice cream. We had a 5 scoop sampler bowl to share. Tarra's was blueberry cheesecake and espresso mocha. John's was udderly chocolate and old-fashioned vanilla. And Tillamook mudslide was community property!

We stopped at Fred Meyer (it's like a Walmart, sorry Steve) for groceries and followed a van for a little while whose whole back end was painted with, "It's only kinky the first time". Hhmmm?

We took the Three Capes Scenic route along the coast from Tillamook . We went past Cape Meares and camped at Lookout Pointe State Park near Netarts. The sun was indeed finally shining when we pulled in here to camp, but was gone by the time we got all set up and went for a walk on the beach. It was chilly walking around 5:00 Pm, about 45 degrees and windy. The waves were pretty high coming in. I found a perfect crab shell, which I am going to try and save for Carter, if it doesn't get broken. There were lots of jelly fish washed up on the beach. Also lots of sand dollars, but they were all broken in half.

John only lost patience with my map reading once today. He said he wished Julie was here.
Wishing you all smooth sailing,

Friday, October 23, 2009

Multnomah Falls

Thursday we went hiking at two waterfalls about 20 miles east of Portland right on I-84. We started at Wakeenah Falls (240') and hiked one mile to the top and beyond and then across to above Multnomah Falls (620') where we hiked down along the falls to Multnomah Lodge. Then John had a half mile hike back to get the car while I took some more pictures and checked out the gift shop. All together about a five mile hike that took us about 3 hours. It was mostly an overcast day, as this is starting to be the rainy season in Oregon. We still had great views of the Columbia River Gorge. Uphill was a little tough on two old timers, but we pushed and pulled each other, taking turns being the engineer or the caboose until we made it to the top.

Most of the pictures are views along our hike. The falls is Multnomah Falls when we got back to the bottom. Then we went to Bonneville Dam Fish Hatchery and Ladders, locks, and power plant which is just a couple miles away. They count the fish thru the windows as they go up the ladders to keep track of the changing fish populations. There are a lot of damns on the Columbia River which are creating a problem for the salmon to swim upriver to spawn. Their population is decreasing and they are studying ways to correct this. The fish in this picture is a sturgeon.

Friday we went to the OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science & Industry) with John's cousin, David and his wife, Karen. We were supposed to go hiking, but it was raining. Lucky for John. An old man needs his rest.

Keep on pedaling.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Co-Pilots Views

We had a few really cold days in Helena. It got down to 7 degrees and John was worried about the plumbing, but we kept the heater running and everything was fine. It got up in the 60s the last few days we were there. We left 8:30 Monday morning and went over McDonald Pass elevation 6300) in the rain and 40s. At 1:00 PM we passed our first vehicles of the day (WooHoo!), 3 semis going up to Lookout Pass (3200') on the Idaho Border. John was really excited, because he never passes anyone, and he was worried if we would have enough power going thru the mountains.

The pine trees in Montana are dying from a pine beetle infestation, but it makes the mountains look like beautiful fall colors. The pines are turning varying shades of lighter greens until they eventually turn yellow and then a rusty brown as they die. It's very sad to see all the trees that are dying, but also a magnificent show of colors. I'm not sure if you will be able to tell in the photos I took from the co-pilots seat. John says co-pilot implies that I sometimes take over driving and that's never going to happen! So I suggested navigator, which he said implies I can read a map. He suggested luggage handler, so I guess I am luggage handler and stewburner (navy term for cook). I think John is wishing my mother had come along, since she is a better cook and navigator and he would probably even let her drive!

Just west of Lookout Pass we stopped at a scenic view where a 1910 fire burned over 3 million acres and 85 fire fighters died. The smoke over Montreal and London interfered with North Atlantic ocean traffic.

At 1:30 PM we stopped at the Sunshine Disaster Monument between Ozborn and Kellogg, Idaho. On May 2, 1972 it was the worst mining disaster since 1917. 91 miners were killed when carbon monoxide and smoke impeded rescue efforts. The last two survivors were found a week later. John says it's a really good book, "The Big Deep". It's like traveling with a walking encyclopedia. A few minutes later we went over the 4th of July Pass (3,069'), so named because Lewis & Clark spent the 4th camped at a nearby stream.

At 2:30 we drove thru Coeur d' Alene which is quite beautiful, my brother says it's the most beautiful place he has ever seen. By 3:00 we were in Spokane (home of Bing Crosby) where we stopped at the Flying J for gas. That blows the budget for the day. Bread and water for supper, I guess. The country side around Spokane is brown, dry and sagebrush.

At Ritzville(sounds nice, huh?), we turned south on US395 toward the Oregon border. We stopped at a rest area just past Umatilla, Oregon where we had a little supper of rice & beans and a glass of wine. We were just settling into bed when a big, noisy reefer truck pulled in and parked right next to us. Damn truckers, anyway! Thankfully, I packed a box of 3M ear plugs and luckily, I was able to find them amongst all the other unnecessary crappola John says I drug along. I slept like a baby!

Tuesday 8:30 AM - On the road again heading thru the Columbia River Gorge and then Hood River where wind surfing started, because there is such a constant wind. There are lots of wind turbines along the ridge. We had a great view of Mt. Hood with lots of snow on it right ahead of us. It's the only place in the U.S. that has year round skiing. We saw lots of fishing boats in the river and many irrigated vineyards on the north side where I suppose they get lots of sun. The fall colors were gorgeous as we drove by several state parks. Arrived in Portland around noon and missed our turn and ended up on a scenic little river drive and a narrow little bridge where traffic had to wait for us to get across. We finally found a place where we could turn around and circled around a little more till we finally found our way back to Aunt Dorothy's street.
On a side note, I just finished a book written by a friend of ours who John used to work with at Coast to Coast and I liked it very much. It is about his years in the Navy in the late 60s. A Lover, a Fighter and a Tug Boat Rider by Steven Carl Stanga. I understand he has had several book signing events in Brookings recently and I'm sure there must be a copy at the Brookings Public Library and book stores in Brookings.
We will be relaxing with Aunt Dorothy for the next few days.
Happy Trails,

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Crazy Deer

The deer in Helena are just crazy. Our kids live in town, but only about 6 blocks from Mt. Helena. The deer just come in to town and wander all over from yard to yard, even though most yards have high fences. They just jump from one yard to the next and make themselves at home. Our granddaughter loves to watch them. These pictures are in their back yard.

Rocking Snail

This is my granddaughter Tierney.

I had a great day, and here is a picture to prove it!

This is Tierney on her rocking snail.