Saturday, June 02, 2012

Tillicum Beach

Wednesday, May 30

We headed south about 8:30am stopping at all the different scenic viewpoints. The Seal Rock area was especially impressive. There was a nice paved path leading to an overlook area with an unobstructed view of the Seal Rocks and ocean. We looked, but didn't see any seals.

Seal Rocks
As we drove into Waldport, there was a sign about the Wednesday Market. Carol and I took a walk through the market and came away with three wonderful molasses cookies and three almond.

We first came across molasses cookies in Prince Edwards Island in September, 2007. There is a small Acadian area on PEI where French is the primary language.(Abram Village). We were just poking around as we mostly do when we saw a sign indicating there was some sort of festival going on so we pulled in to see what it was all about. There were lots of RV's parked in one area so I headed that way. We came to the entry area where a guy asked, in French, if we had reservations for the "official" camping area; at least I think that's what he asked. As soon as he figured out we were Yanks, he asked in English. Since we didn't, he directed us to an open field for dry camping with probably another 50 RV's. It turns out, we were in the midst of a huge annual Acadian festival that we would call a County Fair at home.

 We were perhaps, the only Anglo's there. Our camping neighbor was from Quebec and spoke a few words of English. I had taken French in high school and lived in French Morocco when I was in the 7th and 8th grades so I could understand a few words. He sort of adopted us and showed us around. We had the most enjoyable weekend. At any rate, there was a bakery selling the very best molasses cookies. Each bag contained the receipt. On the occasion, we still make them and always think of PEI when we do.

This is the note I made for that day:
" On Friday we drove to Abram- Village and came across the L’Exposition Agricole et le Festival Acadien. A “county fair” with a decidedly Acadian/French twist. We stayed the night in a grass field with about 50 other RV’s. $5/night. Talked to several of our neighbors. Mostly from PEI, New Brunswick or Quebec. People with Acadian ties. Most spoke English but it was clear that French was their native tongue. The Florida tags on the motorhome combined with the unique design and paint scheme of a Lazy Daze, always attract attention. Almost everyone we talked to go to Florida in the winter or have some family who do.
The festival runs from Friday through Sunday. This turned out to be among the highlights of the trip. We saw the standard 4-H type projects, animal exhibits, tractor pulls, etc. All announced in French. During the afternoon we saw the Spectacle de Jeannino; a magician. You don’t have to understand the language to enjoy a magic show. Later on there was an amateur talent contest. A wonderful group of young Acadian musicians, dancers, etc. Two of the performers we had seen in the Highland Storm show in Summerside. In the evening there was a “Jam des musiciens”. A group of locals playing fiddles and guitars and doing step dancing. People from the audience would get up and step dance. The dancers were not kids. The age ran from about 50 to well over 70. This was probably the most entertaining event we attended."

We got to the Tillicum Beach USFS campground shortly after noon.44.36700  -124.09216.   Our site, #12, has an unobstructed view of the ocean.  The only comparable ocean view we can think of is from our favorite campground in the Florida Keys. When we toured the Oregon coast in 2008, we first met our Lazy Daze friends Ted and Liz at this campground. Liz took the picture of the three of us that we use for this blog and on our calling cards.

From our campsite

That's us just above the beach

The beach
I wonder what a dog thinks about when they are looking at the ocean??

Sunset obscured by some clouds

Before the day was out, just sitting in our campsite we saw sea lions just past the breakers, assorted sea birds, the resident raven, chipmunks, small rabbits, a shrimp boat, a boat pulling crab traps and a beautiful sunset.   The pink rhododendron are in bloom everywhere you look.
Another amazing campground.

Got up early and went to 8am mass at St. Anthony's Church in Waldport.  When we got back to the campground, I took Gopher walking on the beach.  Perhaps a half mile to the north is a creek that dumps into the ocean. Just across the creek are a string of summer rentals. The caretaker was out playing ball with his Border Collie/Aussie mix. Gopher joined the game and for the next hour they never stopped running. The guy is retired Army and get's free rent for maintaining the cottages.

The tide was coming in strong and colliding with the creek water causing quite an interaction.  The fellow said that at times when the creek is very high, this tidal bore can be very dangerous to swimmers.
We saw this tidal bore in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia Tidal Bore

Friday, June 1st

Looks like the end of the wonderful days for a while. Gopher and I went walking on the beach but other then that, nothing special. The real rain started about 9pm; before that it was mostly a heavy mist. Never did see the sun today.


We took our morning walk early to duck the rain.  It's Saturday and there are still a nice selection of campsites available. The prime ocean view sites are taken, but there are lots of others. This bodes well for our no-reservation form of travel. On the positive side, the dreary weather for the last two days has given me lots of time for trip planning.  Where to go after our AM Solar visit next week? We've been talking about staying on the coast for another few weeks but decided to head back to the mountains.
Gopher made two more dog friends this morning.  She played Frisbee with a very big bull terrier and chase with a small, but testy,  mixed breed.
Around 11am we got a little tired of the weather and decided to go exploring. We headed south to Florence stopping at several of the very nice rest areas. We dumped the tanks and filled up with water at the Washburne State Park. Oregon makes it very easy to travel in an RV.  You can dump tanks and take on water for free at any state park that has such facilities.

The beauty of coast  really can't be expressed  in a picture.
Rhododendron is everywhere.

In Florence we filled up with gas at $4.13/gallon at Fred Meyers, then topped off the propane tank in anticipation of several cold nights in the mountains. The Wave 3 heater will get a good workout according to the Weather Guessers.

After poking around the downtown area of Florence, we headed to the Three Rivers Casino for the night. It's us and about twenty other RV's.
Casino camping

I went into the casino to register for a players club card because they usually come with some sort of freebee.  Sure enough, I got $10 in free slot play. I found a machine that played in either quarters or dollars. My money counter got down to zero, as I expected it would, but I pushed the "Cash Out" button just for the heck of it. Out came a ticket that said I had won $55.25!!. Don't have a clue how I did it; nor do I care. I used to understand the slots when you fed the machine a quarter then pulled the lever.  When you won, lights flashed, bells rang and some quarters came tingling out. Simple enough. These newer machines are too complicated for me.  I took the money and left while I was ahead.
Tonight Carol and I had the buffet courtesy of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Sislauw Indians. Thanks, Indians!!

Tomorrow we move on but I'm not sure to where. There are a few USFS campgrounds nearby that we'll check out. I'll put the special sand tires on the camper and we'll explore the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area; the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Newport, OR area


First thing, we went to Corvallis to do laundry, stop by Trader Joe's to pick up two bottles of Carols favorite salad dressing then grocery shopping at Fred Meyers. After that it was off to the South Beach State Park near Newport. When we got there we all took a walk on the really nice paved trails. Then we realized we had been here before. We picked up this Lazy Daze, in April, 2008 then headed north to Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Parks to see the giant sequoias  then over to the California coast to see the redwoods then headed slowly north to Seattle (we just had to visit the Pikes Market). We must have stayed here on that trip. Surprisingly enough, when we pulled in the “vacancy” sign was up; we had really expected a full house. At any rate, this is the perfect campground for Carol. There is a very long, paved trail leading to a Pacific Ocean overlook and then continuing north to the Jetty plus all the interior streets, and sites, are paved.
When the registration lady noticed we were from Florida, she said that FL and AZ residents were responsible for bringing sunshine with them. :-) No sun today but the forecast for the next two days looks promising.

The campground, itself, is nice but  nothing remarkable. Mostly 287 campsites each separated from the next by a patch of grass and some type of pine trees. Our site is a little nicer because it backs to a large common area.  Ron ??? from Portland is camping here in his Lazy Daze. Two years ago, he and his wife completed a three year odyssey covering every state and most Canadian Provinces. 

The day started out gloomy but by 1pm, checkout time for the campground wouldn't you know, the sun came out and it stayed that way all day. I took Gopher for an early walk on the beach. Oregon state parks are really unique with their dog policy. I've never stayed in a SP anywhere, that allowed dogs on the beach. In OR, the dog doesn't even have to be on a leash, just under the owners control. Gopher quickly joined two Labs in a good game of ball. 

By noon time, the campground was about emptied out from the long holiday weekend.
After the sun came out, the three of us took another walk to the beach.
It was cool this evening so we had a small campfire from wood I scrounged here and there.

Yet another perfectly bright and sunny day. That's two in a row!!
Today was exploring day. Our first stop was the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, a National Parks project located just north of the Newport bridge. The tide was fairly low so there were all sorts of creatures to be found in the tide pools. Sea Lions were basking on some of the rocks.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

 After that, we continued north to the DePoe Bay area stopping at all the scenic overlook areas. DePoe Bay's claim to fame is that it is the worlds smallest natural harbor. Then it was back to Newport for some grocery shopping then a stop at the Historic Bayfront area. 

The Sea Lions
The Newport bridge from the Bayfront

Newport is home to Oregons largest commercial fishing fleet. We had lunch at the well regarded Local Oceans restaurant. I had a dungeness crab Po-Boy and Carol had two crab cakes. A very good lunch. We walked along the boardwalk and saw the California Sea Lions. Generally you can hear sea lions before you see them. For some reason, they do an awful lot of barking. After that we parked along the south jetty. I walked Gopher out the jetty while Carol watched the fishing boats come and go. Today was the cooks day off, that's me, so we also had dinner out, this time at the South Beach Fish Market. It's only about a five minute drive from the campground. The clam chowder was as good as any we've had. The fish and chips I had was good, but nothing remarkable. Carol had a bowl of steamers that were small, but tasty.

In the morning, we head south to the USFS Tillicum Beach campground.