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.
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.
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.
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.
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 . 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!