Moving on – to Seaside, OR (Seaside-TT)

5/24/16 (Tuesday) in Seaside, OR (Seaside-TT)

I will miss the lovely birds, their songs and all the flowering rhododendrons of Whaler’s Rest. I won’t miss the lack of cell phone reception and Internet (it was intermittent at the lodge).

We did have one warning as we got jacks up and slides in: the tire monitor showed low pressure on one of the car tires. Then I noticed while in the car for its pretowing routine that the dash showed low pressure on a tire as well. John said he’d seen that warning Sunday, so it’s been holding. He figured we’d be okay until we unhooked at Seaside. We planned to go to Costco for food anyway, so getting the tire filled will be added to our list.

Other than that all went smoothly. I was especially thrilled with how well our new Pharos 360 GPS was working, even when we were surrounded by a tree tunnel. This GPS goes with Microsoft Streets and Trips. We were on our way N on US 101 before 9. Now 101 is just 2 lane with more towns/stoplights thrown in for good measure. Beautiful scenery though.


We did have a small incident. An older Camry pulled in front of us in a town and traveled about 10 mph BELOW the speed limit. Took it literally, I guess. Frustrated John to no end. This lasted for about 10 miles (20 minutes), until we came to a passing lane where we could pass them. I asked John to try a positive attitude for dealing with it.

When we arrived at Seaside at noon and got checked in, it was easy to head to the North side, knowing that is where the 50 amp, big rig sites are. I love the lovely grassy forest, meadow and lake that you pass on the way there. We unhooked by the pickle ball courts, then walked up the row next to the clubhouse sure that we wouldn’t find anything open there because those are wider sites, with close access to all the activities/buildings and WiFi inside your rig. We found one! As we were happily setting up our neighbor said how amazing it was that the body hadn’t even had time to get cold. We gave him questioning looks. He explained that the prior occupant had JUST left this site. That’s when John noted that it was a good thing we got behind that Camry. It timed our arrival perfectly! (There was another rig that was right behind us checking in, then we saw it rolling along the row of sites. Surprisingly, our good friend Jack spotted me soon after that and gave a greeting. How exciting to know good friends are here and best of all, they are just 2 sites down! He was leaving the pickle ball court that he frequents every morning. Maybe John will get going with that sport.

SO we have a spacious gravel site (roads are flat asphalt), grass and small trees around, with FHU (strong 50 amps) and free WiFi in our RV, because we are across street from the lodge. There are lots of great activities happening here (nice Cafe), it’s just a mile (walkable) to the town of Seaside with many fun things to see/do. Our favorite is walking the boardwalk, the beach, people watching. You can even walk the boardwalk to Lewis and Clark’s salt water works! One year we saw a bull elk in the bushes between the boardwalk and the ocean. Then there are incredible parks/hikes and places to visit in the area. That’s why we’re staying here for 3 weeks.

Thus we had all sorts of energy to take off for shopping in Warrenton. That’s another plus since Costco, Fred Meyer, Home Depot and a couple car shops are all there in the same area. I almost forgot to mention; our CRV tire pressure needed attention at Costco too. We had fun spending lots of money on food and dreaming of buying a new Garmin GPS displayed there.

Once back home we took a fun walkabout. If you’re curious about what happened (lots of troubles with the Safari) when we were last at Seaside, just type “Seaside” in the search box at the top right.

5/25/16 (Wednesday) in Seaside, OR (Seaside-TT)

We have friends we haven’t seen for years that we knew in Leavenworth (Karen/Jim) that we wanted to visit in nearby Rockaway Beach. They invited us to stay overnight. Figuring this would give us all more time to visit we asked the Manager if it would be okay. He said that he could only grant that if it were a medical emergency, but that they have made it available if we called in “storage-on-site” and paid $20 per night. Considering the drive was about an hour of curving roads, we decided to go that route. Then John realized that if he bought the Garmin at Costco today it would be within this billing cycle, before Costco changed its credit card. I suggested that he go alone, letting me stay to catch up on my computer projects. He came home with more food (we’re starving, you know), a new Garmin GPS and 4 new tires! Yes, that bad tire was unrepairable. They gave us the 4 new tires under Warranty, so we only had to pay $77, not to mention that in Oregon there is no sales tax. John now has a new techie toy to play with too.

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Pacific Northwest Surfing Museum, Jeanette Glass Studio, North Lincoln County Historical Museum and Oregon Coast Views

5/20/16 (Friday) in South Beach, OR (Whaler’s Rest-TT)

This was a beautiful day, perfect to get out and about. We went to Lincoln City to see the Northwest Surfing Museum. We’d read that it was inside the “Surf Shop”. Was that ever correct. The artifacts were displayed all over the store, especially at the ceiling and top of the walls. I took photos of some old surf boards I thought were cool and representative.

These are: a 1955-61 Velsey “Pig”, a 1966 “Noserider”, an early ’70’s style, an early ’60’s style, then a late ’80’s to mid ’90’s style.

surf 1

These two are a 1963 Greg Noll Slotbottom Gun (black) and a rare 2001 Gerry Lopez Lighting Bolt (yellow).

surf 2

Then we walked half a block to the Jeanette Glass Studio. We hadn’t planned to visit here, but the Museum wouldn’t open until noon, so this looked like a fun in between stop. It sure was. People walking in can elect to blow their own glass creation!  I could watch this all day.


We learned about glass floats.


The Museum was well worth the wait. Yes, it was small, but well displayed with interesting items we hadn’t seen before. Below is a whale’s rib (top left), a mammoth’s tooth (bottom left) and petrified Sequoia (left) and Hickory (right) wood. Those are 25 million years old!


Washing machine below

museum 4

Fiddle at top of display and Lap guitar (played on your lap) below

museum 5

Sea glass, now that we’ve learned why the majority are green. Most were made out of recycled sake bottles which are green.


Log branding irons.


The roads in March, 1918! Hard to believe there were more cars per person in the west than in the east. I wonder why.


This is a story worth reading!


We drove a little ways south of town to eat our picnic lunch and enjoy the view at Siletz estuary.

views 1

The ocean greeted us with stormy waves, even though the storm/rain was yesterday.  I loved how that seagull was looking at me as I looked at him-through a telephoto lens!  Most birds fly at the sight of that lens.


We learned at Cape Foulweather that Captain Cook discovered this location on a stormy day in 1778. This was the first location named on his voyage to the north Pacific Coast. “Once accounts of this voyage were published, world interest was aroused and the fur trade followed.”

Inside and outside the gift shop there:


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Newport, Cape Perpetua, Devil’s Churn, St. Perpetua Trail, CCC Rock Shelter, Cook’s Chasm Bridge

5/17/16 (Tuesday) in South Beach, OR (Whaler’s Rest-TT)

I left you in suspense about our slides last week. John got busy checking out the motors and manual. He found the reset button (behind the slide IN/OUT panel), reset it, then there was no fault reading. Next he called Winnebago. They said it was probably a minor wiring issue due to our travels, to go ahead and put the slide out. It came out fine. He’d told John that if it happened infrequently, then it was nothing to worry about, only if it became a frequent thing. Whew!!

Lots of cloudy, rainy days, so we largely took it easy. I spent time with my watercolors, we both read, walked the beach (best place for cell phone reception) and visited with other campers. A sweet Towhee landed near Miss Journey, singing his heart out and giving us a chance to take his picture.

towhee 2

Monday we strolled along Newport’s Bay Front, enjoying the soap opera of the seals’ musical chairs play, with at least 4 in the water, trying to get on a dock. The big concrete block is a piece of the Japanese dock that floated to this shore in June, 2012, sent by the tsunami of 2011.  We even saw it on the beach, when they were trying to decided what to do with it.  They cleaned 100 invasive species from it before cutting it into pieces.  I don’t know how to make a link, so you’d need to go to June 18, 2012 for my blog that day. 


After exploring  we scarfed down the most delicious pizza at the Rogue Pub House. We even got free beer samples!

Tuesday was such a sunny day we headed for Cape Perpetua, crossing a lovely bridge on our way.


We came upon a little building soon after the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center sign and turned into the parking lot. That wasn’t the Visitor Center but it was where you could walk a short trail to Devil’s Churn, where the water thumps into a channel and on stormy, windy days it whooshes up. Not so today. This is what we got in sunshine:


Further south on US 101 we came upon the actual Visitor Center, where we were encouraged to try St. Perpetua Trail. It’s 3 miles round trip and rather steep with 16 switchbacks. The reward was a fun trail with the best view of the Oregon Coast, so perfect for a sunny day. You could also drive there, but we needed the exercise and it sounded like fun. By bringing our lunch we provided ourselves a lovely break at the CCC built Rock Shelter, just beyond the top level view. Sights along the trail:


Remember our time at the Churn? We are looking down on that place here.  Included in these photos is the CCC Rock Shelter, where we had lunch.


On our way down the trail.


We stopped at the Visitor Center to enjoy some movies, then on to our last hike, The Captain Cook Trail. The wind had really whipped up by now, but we were near low tide. Thus no real sightings of the Sprouting Horn water plume. We did enjoy the lovely Cook’s Chasm Bridge, built there in 1931. Note the RV on it!


Well, that wind just whipped the last vestiges of energy for us, so we headed for home and the hot tub!

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Moving on – to South Beach, OR

5/10/16 (Tuesday) in South Beach, OR (Whaler’s Rest-TT)

On our way before 9. Thank heavens it’s a simple path up US 101 since my GPS isn’t working. I’m also grateful that the new GPS cable that I ordered from Amazon will be at Whaler’s Rest when we arrive. US 101 continued as a 2 lane unless passing or congested traffic warranted 4 lanes, with small towns (stoplights) sprinkled along the way. Less twisty and steep areas than south of Port Orford. Lots of tall tree corridors in the miles up some miles beyond Florence.

We saw a couple of fun items. The first was a hotrod that really got John’s heart beating fast. The next was a man riding a unicycle. It looked like he’d made it himself, with small packs at the front and back.

hot rod

There was construction on the bridge at Florence, then several miles after Florence we were right up against the ocean, on a cliff! Then the road was narrow, twisty and somewhat steep. Even a little tunnel (14′ 6” at it highest) just before Heceta Head Lighthouse. Before the tunnel is the Sea Lions attraction and parking spaces, so we stopped for a restroom break.


After that, more miles along the ocean, on a cliff, with construction along the way to spice up our trip. Grand views of the ocean for the passenger. The driver gets to watch the curves and cliffs. I don’t have photos of this area because by now the very gutsy bugs had pretty well covered our windshield, thus I couldn’t focus beyond them. Fewer passing lanes at this point. THIS is the US 101 I remember! (Before retiring we only had the time to go as far as Washington and Oregon). Everything calmed down north of Waldport (twists and cliffs).

Whaler’s Rest negatives: The roads are dust/gravel, so you’re covered with dust when you drive. Some roads are full of deep pot holes. They’ve put gravel in the holes but it doesn’t seem to stay. There is very spotty Verizon cell phone service. Positives: sites have FHU (strong 50 amp power that’s free, strong water and sewer). We have satellite TV. They give you a sheet noting which sites have access to rooftop or moveable satellite dishes. They have cable. Most sites are a decent size, some large, many with concrete pads, some with decks. They have fire pits/stands and picnic tables at many sites. Many are surrounded by lush greenery and/or trees, so are private. Well kept up. Wonderful rhododendron bushes everywhere, lots of birdsong. Beach access (must cross Hwy 101), fun trails in the campground, indoor swimming pool and hot tub, a large cafe/galley. There is very good Internet (even 2 ethernet connections) at the south clubhouse. Many activities scheduled. Lots to see/do in the area as well.

We got here around noon and were settled by 1, so that was nice. You may remember how we used to have an adventure almost every travel day but that lately I don’t mention any. That’s because we haven’t until today. Yup, this time our dining room slide wouldn’t go out. That’s at least better than it not going in when we are getting ready to leave, because we can’t travel with a slide hanging out. So we have a fault reading for a major issue.

We love our site! Lots of sunshine (no drippy trees & good TV reception), FHU, close to pool, hot tub, south clubhouse (Internet), and beach access. We’re surrounded by rhododendrons and Oregon grape (private). I have lovely views of green and critters from every window. No wind. Few people drive by (creating dust). You know that saying, “you don’t miss the water ’till the well runs dry”? Well we enjoyed just great cell phone and Internet (free) service from inside our RV at Camp Blanco that we are currently going through withdrawals. No cell phone at our site, thus no hot spot for Internet. Especially with trying to get help regarding our slide issue. Ah, it’s always something.

After lunch we drove to Newport, getting groceries, then picked up our Amazon packages at the campground gate when we returned. Christmas! New GPS cable, Kindle Paperwhite eReader and watercolor paints (to prepare for classes I’ll teach here in June). Then straight to the hot tub!!! Clearly we just relaxed the rest of the evening.

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Crazy Norwegians (Fish and Chips)

5/7/16 (Saturday) in Port Orford, OR (Camp Blanco-GS)

If you are near Port Orford and you like seafood, especially fish and chips, we highly recommend that you stop at Crazy Norwegians (right on US 101) for lunch or dinner. We’re not the only ones. I’ve included a photo of an article showing the top ten places for seafood on the coast. This one is listed at #2! Their fish (fresh cod from Alaska) is very lightly battered with a tempura. Cooked to perfection, flaking off as you bite or put a fork to it. John had suggested that I take my Mother’s Day dinner out on Saturday, before the crowds, so that’s why this special treat. We even had to wait anyway, at lunch time, because it was full when we arrived, so I got a shot of the ocean from walking distance. Only 11 tables. Outside could use some paint, but food is very good, with excellent service.

Still really windy. Crossing my fingers is lets up by Tuesday.


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Port Orford Heads State Park, Lifeboat Station Museum and Port Orford Dolly Dock

5/6/16 (Friday) in Port Orford, OR (Camp Blanco-GS)

Once again we wanted to explore, despite that despicable wind! More storms apparently come this way because Port Orford is the western-most city in the continental US. Thus the Coast Guard built a Lifeboat Station here. It’s now a well laid out museum. These wooden lifeboats were mid-engined, self-righting and self-bailing. The large green jugs were “jerry cans” that held fuel (5 gallons each and weighed 42 pounds) that the seamen had to carry from the top of the cliff (where there was room to build the station) down many steps (the last were wooded and icy in winter) to the lifeboat. These were called “Jerry cans” because “during World War II British troops…..noted that the German military fuel cans did not split open when they fell from vehicles, while the British cans did. The British adopted the German design and called them “Jerry cans.” “Jerry” was the nickname used by British troops to refer to German soldiers.” – from a museum sign.


Views from the trail we took to see the foundation for the watch tower as well as some views of the ocean. The first shows remaining footings for the dock below. Imagine carrying those “jerry cans” all the way down to there (532 stair steps). The photo is blurry because I was fighting with the wind!


A couple flower shots from that walk that I couldn’t resist sharing.


Our very helpful campground host had suggested that we could get fresh crab from the fishermen down on their little dock. He also had explained that it was special, only 2 exist in the US. Because the town’s open-water harbor isn’t protected from sea swells, boats in the commercial fishing fleet are hoisted in and out of the harbor by a huge crane each day. None of that happened today. We found out that on really windy days (many occur during May-August), the sailors can’t safely go out. Thus, no hoisting nor fresh crabs. C’est La Vie.


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Patrick Hughes House and Cape Blanco Lighthouse at Cape Blanco State Park

5/5/16 (Thursday) in Port Orford, OR (Camp Blanco-GS)

Even though it was still pretty windy we decided to check out a couple places, both at Cape Blanco State Park. Just a tip: because of it’s location (sticking out into the Pacific), this state park bears the brunt of winter storms. Did we ever fight the wind here.

First up, the Patrick (and Mary) Hughes House. He was a dairy farmer with extensive acreage while she fed the workers and cared for their 9 children. He had this house built in1898 by Lindberg, the local architect who built most of the buildings in this area. Patrick was 68 years old at the time. Three of the children lived in this house, helping run the farm. Their house was designed much like ours are today, although they had doors to allow discreet passage from the more formal areas to the kitchen area, which was seen as not worthy of visitors’ views. These images include highlights I enjoyed. The dining table looked a lot like the one in John’s brother James’ house. They were an Irish family, with one son who became a priest. One room was their own little chapel.


Mary had hot as well as cold running water because of the set up to the left of her wood stove in the kitchen. The heated water ran into a small tank under the kitchen floor. It isn’t there now, nor are the been warming/cooling racks that were on the back of that stove. The pail was for making bread! Can you tell how it worked? The large metal basin was the latest in washing machines. Lastly, you see their food pantry. So small there was just the one space to walk, so it was worn to the bottom of the wood. That’s why there is another plank of wood on that spot.


Further down the road is the Camp Blanco Lighthouse, the oldest working lighthouse on the Oregon Coast, built in 1870. It was so cool to walk all the way up into the lens room and watch it turn! The last image is what we saw near that lighthouse.


We’d managed to get there just before closing time, so we were ever so grateful for the kindness of the staff to give us a tour anyway! Then we were glad to get out of the wind, heading home to Miss Journey.

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