Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lincoln City to Newport

We drove by the Woods County Campground which is located on the south side of Pacific City. It's  not much so we continued on. We did come across one nice overnight site for future use, but it was too early in the day to stop.
 We wound up at this Ocean Shore State Recreation Area  just north of Lincoln City.

 Gopher was in charge of feeling the ground shake. :-) Plus there is a Tsunami warning siren about 20' away. Even without my hearing aides I'm sure I'd hear the siren.

 We were there early enough so we got a nice parking spot on the ocean. (45.00884 -124.00818) Carol has a great view. Gopher and I enjoyed several nice walks on the beach. This is a very popular kiteboarding site. At one time there were at least a dozen zipping through the waves.  It's so nice, we decided to stay the night.

Our campsite

Our view

The beach along here is beautiful, squeaky white sand like we have in the Florida Panhandle area.

This is a very popular spot. All day long, and well into the evening, people stopped by to swim, look for stuff among the rocks, go kiteboarding, or to simply walk the beach.

I was up about 6am, looked out the window to see a deer munching on the grass right next to us.

   We went exploring some of the other nearby beach access areas but none were nearly this nice so we're back for another day.
Our early morning walk

The beer drinking, cigarette smoking crowd had a beach party last night. Suppose they are waiting on their Mom to clean up their mess?

The wind is just incessant. Per the weather station, a steady 20mph with gusts in excess of 30. It's not much fun walking the beach with the stinging sands so late in the afternoon, we went to the Chinook Winds Casino RV parking area. There must be 30 RV's here. From the looks of it, a few are here for the season.
We ate a late lunch/early dinner at the casino. It was OK but we wouldn't go back.

Tonights campsite. We even have an ocean view!!


We drove to the D River State Recreation Area. It's right where the D River dumps into the ocean. Gopher and I waded all the way across the river.  Then we went to noon time mass at St. Augustine Church, then got caught up on the laundry. Tonight we're back at the casino. In the morning we continue our trek south along the coast.

We drove to Newport stopping at most of the scenic areas. After grocery shopping, we went to the South Beach Fish Market. Carol just had to have another bowl of the worlds best clam chowder. I had a wonderful dungeness crab burger. We had thought about going back to the South Beach State Park campground but on a weekend that place is a madhouse. Instead we went to the Port of Newport RV Park. There are four camping choices. Deluxe at $43.49/night. One notch down at $41.28.  The Annex at $32.44 and dry camping at $17.68.
Deluxe, one-notch-down and Annex gets you electricity (we have electricity), water (we have water) ans a sewer connection (we have empty tanks and access to the free dump station). It also gets you a real close view of your neighbors RV.

The Annex

The cheap seats
For the next two days we have an unobstructed view of the marina and bridge.
Turns out this is a good location for Carol. There is a fairly new paved walking path that winds throughout the port property and under the bridge. Tomorrow when it's warmer, we'll go walking.

We started the day at the Farmers Market. We were well stocked with fruit and veggies so mostly we just poked around. Then we went to the South Jetty then back to the Marina. Took a nice walk around the Marina area. There is a long pier that is used for some fishing, but mostly for crabbing.
Tomorrow we continued south. I checked the weather for the mountains in Idaho and Montana but it's still in the 90's. We like the coast, but like the mountains more but we don't care to deal with the hot weather.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Tillamook and Pacific City

On our way to Tillamook, we drove the scenic part of "old" Hwy 30 that goes by Multnomah Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, etc. The road is *very* narrow in places and the parking areas are best for cars, not RV's.  We stopped when we could, but not as often as we would have liked.  Once we got through the madhouse in Portland, the drive to the coast on SR 6 was very nice.
Not having any specific plans in mind for today, we went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and Overpriced Tourist Trap. It was about 3:00 and the place was a zoo. Carol wanted an ice cream cone.  I walked in, saw the ice cream cone line, turned around and left.  They have good ice cream, but not *that* good.
We're really hoping the mobs are because of the 4th, and not typical of all of July. Time will tell. 
The Chamber of Commerce is nearby and they had a wealth of good information.

We were looking for a place to have dinner. I have the Yelp* app. on my iPhone. According to Yelp*, La Providensia Taqueria is a 4.5 star restaurant. The only other 4.5 star restaurant in Tillamook was the Fat Dog Pizza Joint.  We didn't feel like a pizza so off we went looking forward to some great Mexican food.
Our dinners, $17 for both of us, were as good as any Mexican food we've had anywhere. A very good choice.

 This is no ordinary dive. They have a formal dining area!!

After dinner we went in search of a place to camp for the night. The Tillamook Airport has an RV park of sorts.  (45.41830  -123.81963) For $10/night, you get a  nice patch of grass, a fire ring, a bathroom and trash cans.  It's us and eight other RV's. We have an unobstructed view of the runway. So far, I watched a helicopter land and a seaplane take off.
 The airport campground
Our view
The Air Museum building was built during WW-II to house blimps that were used to search for submarines.  The building is one of the largest wooden structures in the world.

Identified a Sitka Spruce today.

A wonderfully, warm, sunny day.

Today went driving along parts of the Three Capes Scenic Way. We explored the same area in 2008.  Stopped at the Cape Meares Lighthouse and the Whiskey Creek Fish Hatchery then headed back to Tillamook.

Tillamook has a very nice Green Market on Saturday morning. We bought raspberries, blueberries, two types of cherries and some really fresh green beans.  Of course there is always a bakery. This was a first for us. We bought two oblong shaped donuts with chocolate icing in top. On top of the icing, was a piece of very crispy bacon. Wow, was that ever tasty. We tried to remember the last time we have eaten bacon but it's been so many years, we couldn't.

Tillamook Green Market

After the Green Market, we decided to continue south along the coast. We figured our chance of finding a decent campsite on Saturday afternoon, of the 4th of July week, was close to zero.  There are three county owned campgrounds between Tillamook and Pacific City so the plan was to stop at them in order.

Our first stop was the Whalen Island Tillamook County Campground. The "campground full" sign was up but I asked anyway. Turns out someone had reserved a site for two days but left a day early. We got a nice level grassy site with a little view of the water. (45.272960  -123.948846). $20/night.
The campground is on a peninsula that is surrounded by Sand Lake. At low tide there is an expanse of sand that is probably  a mile across. On the other side of Sand Lake are three USFS campgrounds designed  for the the ORV crowd.  Gopher and I took some nice walks. The campground is very popular with families. It's always fun just watching the children have a great time camping with their parents and grandparents.
Identified a new tree today: Port-Orford-cedar.

Our campsite

Sand Lake. At low tide you can walk to the tall dune on the far side.

Sand Lake

Sand Lake. The tides coming in.


About noon time we drove to the  Webb County Campground in Pacific City, all of a ten minute drive from where we were. As expected, the weekend and 4th of July campers were packing up to leave so we had our choice of spots. This campground isn't much. Basically a patch of dirt. We chose it because there are paved paths that lead down to the ocean and to some restaurants, and such, so Carol can go walking around.  (45.21737  -123.96831) $20/night.  There are some RV sites with water/electric hookups for $25/night if a person needed such things.

Webb County Campground.

First time I've seen one of these. Every camping rig has some sort of advantage over others but this one escapes me. It seems all the jeep does is provide a raised platform for a tent. Before he can go anywhere, it's necessary to disassemble the entire thing.  I looked on line out of curiosity, and something like this can run close to $2,000. Why not just spend $200 on a decent tent, then leave it pitched as you go jeeping?

 And then I saw this rig parked in the beach parking lot.  Hand built by a real craftsman.

Pacific City

 Pacific City, or PC as locally known, is the only place in OR where fisherman launch their Dory boats from the beach into the surf. I watched them retrieve a boat from the surf and load it onto the trailer. You are allowed to drive on the beach in PC. I've done that with the camper both in Texas and Florida so I took a look but just didn't like what I saw. The beach was too soft and not wide enough to make an easy turnaround.

The sun came out about 2pm so the three of us went walking.  The Pelican Pub is a locally famous microbrewery and restaurant. We found a nice spot on the patio where Carol could see the ocean, dunes and Haystack Rock.  As expected, the beach area is packed today. It reminds us of hundreds of other summer resort towns in Cape Cod, Maine, California, etc.  Jammed on the weekend.  

Sunday on the beach
The kids were climbing up the very tall sand dune in the background, then coming down on their sand boards.


Gopher and I took our early morning walk to the beach. I saw the perfect parking spot so went back and got Carol conscious. By 8am, we were parked in the beach parking lot. Carol has an unobstructed view of the ocean, Haystack Rock, Cape Kiwanda, and the beach where the dory boats launch. A perfect place to spend the day. By noon time, the sun came out for a couple of hours.
 Monday on the beach.

Gopher and I climbed to the top of the sand dune.  The trucks on the beach are for the dory's. We're parked right on the edge of the beach.

A very old tow truck, driven by an even older guy, pulled onto the beach today. He was waiting for business. In the space of about 30 minutes,  he had three tows. One was the same car twice (The VW Jetta in the picture). The poor guy got stuck driving onto the beach and again driving off. I don't know what the guy gets for pulling someone out of the sand, but a $100 wouldn't surprise me.

I just read the blog of Ann and Jerry Marcus; the two of the most adventuresome Lazy Daze travelers we know. It's fascinating. Tessa Hill is another one. We met Tessa at the BF in 2008 just as she and her three children were getting ready for their amazing RV trips through Europe, Central America and the Canadian Maritime Provinces.

 Ann and Jerry

In the morning we continue the trek south. No particular destination in mind, but not further south then the Chinook Winds Casino parking lot north of Lincoln City.