Monday, October 31, 2016

From Seaside, to Oceanside, to Alsea …to Tidewater

The nice folks at Camping World gave me a call to advise that they had an earlier time slot to replace my fridge, so we didn’t have as much time as expected to hang out on the coast.


Waves were crashing over the south jetty at the mouth of the Columbia river, and the Coast Guard had closed the bar to recreational boats as a precaution.IMG_1515IMG_1514

A few minutes in the parking lot was enough to get the truck covered in salt spray, and one had to be careful to keep the camera out of the spray from the waves.IMG_1513IMG_6929IMG_1504IMG_1501IMG_6930

Having bought another small cooler (as if I don’t have at least 3-4 sitting unused at home) to keep the essentials cool, I was debating the cost of the new fridge vs a $2.00 bag of ice every day!  I think I could buy ice every day for a couple of years before the fridge became more economical!  But certainly a fridge is far more convenient, and you can never actually freeze stuff in a cooler.  And everything is wet and soggy!

Got locked in for the night at a lighthouse viewpoint on the coast – who ever thought the gate would close and lock automatically at the time on the sign – without human intervention?  At least I had the whole place to myself, and it was very quiet, save the pounding surf. Winking smile

Hailey seems to like the place and last year when we were there, she went for one of her longest hikes.  This time she must have gone 1/4 mile on the fence rail before someone scared her and she jumped down.


There was a hollow tree that had to be investigated …


And, ready to make a mile.


Back to Camping World for the new fridge.  They changed it out quickly, and the ‘warm beer’ emergency was soon over!  Of course, as soon as I made the next stop to check out how the fridge was doing, it was discovered that the steps had broken – likely from two guys carrying heavy fridges in and out ;-(

We then headed out to the south west to Mcminnville and spent a quiet night in the huge parking area behind the Evergreen Air & Space museum – home of the Spruce Goose. In the morning we got to go grocery shopping as we now had a fridge to store the groceries in – no more ice and cooler!  Just to change things up and find some new roads to explore, the next day took us south on 99W to Corvallis and Philomath, before heading to the coast on winding highway 34, coming out at Waldport.

As we headed further south down the coast, the occasional trailhead or beach parking lot served the purpose of a quiet place to spend the night.  I think one had a sign about being open from ‘dawn till dust’, but it was pretty dark and I couldn’t see it that well.IMG_1541IMG_1538IMG_1535

There was some wildlife on the beach, though some of it you really had to get down and look for.  There was a dead sea lion on the beach back up at Fort Stevens state park, and here we spotted a young buck deer, bleached white and without a hair left on it’s body.


Took my gold pan and tried to get rich for a while in a creek where the plaque said prospectors had searched for gold during the gold rush.  I didn’t find any either, so went back and got my camera.  You had to pay attention to the waves as the tide coming in would occasionally send in an extra big wave that would cover a lot more of the beach than others.  One such wave came along, so I hopped up onto a beach log to avoid it.  But the wave kept coming.  I felt like I was in one of those tsunami films.  In slow motion the water kept rising – till my log started floating.  And rolling Winking smile.  Soon, I was in water over my knees, dodging the log as it headed back for the open sea.  After the water receded, I had to empty out my very full rubber boots and slosh back home for some dry clothes!   Never had that problem – in the desert!  It didn’t look that deep on the gull!


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Yet another Emergency!


After we got the brand new wheel bearing at Les Schwab in Hermiston, Oregon, the priorities shifted! After being on the road for a couple days it was evident that the fridge was just not doing it’s job.  Had a quick peek in from the outside and discovered a nice coating of yellowish powder – which quick research shows – is not a good sign!   With the wheel situation under control, we retraced our route west and set up right beside the water just below the locks at John Day dam.  It’s one of our favourite stop-over spots in the area, with great views of the tugs and barges that slide by within a stones throw.

Here’s a ‘photosphere’ we did a year or so ago at the same spot: John Day dam Fish Platform

It is also a favoured spot for hang gliders and paragliders to ridge soar because of the reliable winds.


There are several huge power lines crossing the river there, so they have to be careful when they come in to land.


Flying conditions were good, so some of the pilots were still coming in to land at dusk.


They weren’t the only ones flying in the area!IMG_1441

IMG_1458It’s a tight fit, getting these barges in and out of the locks on the John Day dam on the Columbia river.



Hailey watched the show for a while, but decided that she wasn’t too impressed.IMG_1486IMG_1482IMG_1477IMG_1476IMG_1474IMG_1472IMG_1471IMG_1469IMG_1468IMG_1467IMG_1466

With another (warm beer) emergency looming, some decisions had to be made.  We took advantage of Sunday traffic to make our way through most of the Portland metro area.  A late Sunday afternoon visit at the service counter at Camping World was not encouraging.  It seemed like the fridge was likely pooched (that’s technical jargon for crapped out), and that it might be about two weeks till they could order and receive the replacement!  With a more in-depth assessment to be made in the morning we opted not to spend the night in the spacious Camping World parking lot, as it is located directly alongside the constant traffic roar from the I-5. Just down the road is the Frys Electonics superstore, so a couple of the evening hours were spent browsing their excellent selection of almost everything!  A couple of quiet parking lots nearby provided all that was needed for the night.

In the morning, it was back to Camping World for another chat.  The bad news was that the fridge needed to be replaced.  The good news was they had the correct model in stock.  The bad news was that they had no time to do it in the next couple of days!  At least that gave me time to become a Good Sam member to take advantage of the discount that would provide.  And with a couple of days to kill – it was off to the coast!  First off – Fort Stevens State Park near Astoria.

In other blog news: Al & Kelly of the Bayfield Bunch were in West Virginia, waiting till Al gets over a flu bug or something so they can get back on the road.  Wishing him a quick recovery and return to the keyboard and road.  Jean & Skip and Wandering Willy won’t be on the road for a while yet, but John and some horses and dogs should soon be on the way from Dogpound north to the south.

Meanwhile we will be hoping to survive the warm beer emergency until we can get the new fridge and continue southward ourselves!