Oregon Coastal “resort”
^Original Geocache site plaque
I didn’t like Garrity RV Park in Idaho since the day we got there. Fortunately I was away for half the sentence. When I returned from my Florida/Indiana trip, I had one full day there. I unpacked faster than I ever had before, then we left and headed to Oregon.
Oregon…I’m in love! Cooler temps, evergreen forests, smiley people, uncrowded beaches, no sales tax - just one thing - where are all the Wal-Marts? We’ve had to shop at (gasp!) grocery stores with no housewares or electronics departments! And they shut down at night!
One of the first things we saw on I-84 from Idaho was an Ore-Ida factory. I guess I had never realized it was for taters at the Ore-Idaho state line! We stopped at the Oregon Visitor’s Center and got a taste of what the Oregon Trail was like back in the 1830-50s. Later that afternoon we visited the OT Interpretive Center. We drove pretty much across the state collecting geocaches in several counties. We parallelled the Columbia River until bumping into Mt. Hood.
^Pristine Mt. Hood
At Mt. Hood National Forest we overnighted at an old WWII airstrip on free BLM land near the intersection of state routes 26 and 35. There were quite a few people there, some of them selfish and rude (music until 1:30am) and we met lots of friendly dogs. As Californians were turned away from the full campground down the road, they filed into the airstrip. We camped right next to a cedar that had been marked by a black bear. The claw marks were at about 6 1/2 feet high.
^clumps of black fur
Nearby was the Barlow Road section of the Oregon Trail and a marker for “Unknown Pioneer Woman’s Grave”. It was so touching - a woman with two young children made the long trek in the 1840s and was just around the corner from her destination when she got sick. Her husband stayed by her side for three days, then buried her in a coffin made of boards from their wagon. In 1924 when the trail/toll road was rebuilt, her grave was found. People have been visiting her and leaving stones and mementos for decades. Awwww…
The next day we drove about 3o miles to the plaque at the original first Geocache site. After I found the last of about ten nearby geocaches, Corny announced that there was a Five Guys restaurant just seven miles west in Oregon City. It wasn’t toward home, but what’s another 14 miles when you’re dieting.
We made the long drive back to the airstrip, hitched up and drove pretty much the same route (almost) to the coast. We got waylayed at the Spirit Mountain Casino/Buffet. They had a free RV parking lot and dump station. They are so huge, they have an indoor shuttle. I silver-mined that evening - I think around $7 or so - until my eyes started burning from the cigarette smoke.
We had a nice brunch buffet in the morning. They had roast beef out at 9:30am, and people were filling up on it! I tried about six different egg concoctions, and all of them were good and tasty. It was as good as one of the better Las Vegas buffets. It was luxurious having fancy desserts after breakfast!
I was awake for most of the drive to Thousand Trails at Pacific City. We signed up for two weeks. About 50 sites out of about 400 have sewer hook-ups and probably over half of them are sold/rented and chained-off. We unhitched the Jeep and drove all over like crazy trying to find an empty site with sewer. There were none to be had.
We settled for a nice shady spot off the main roads (which are narrow and in poor-fair condition) and decided to wait until we NEEDED to dump the tank to worry about finding a sewer site. That was rectified early the next morning.
The RV surge protector started flipping out around 9am. Corny checked things out and said the electricity had been arcing (this is bad…). He disconnected us and hopped in the Jeep to find another spot to move to and durned if a big RV wasn’t just pulling out of a sewer site! He parked the Jeep on the site and walked back to the RV to wake me up. We moved pronto. The sewer site isn’t as nice - smaller, fewer trees and along a narrow, busy road. But I can do laundry to my heart’s content.
Seems everybody who checks in at the “resort” does the same thing we did - drive like crazy looking for a sewer site. We see a lot of traffic whiz by, and saw one crack-up when a 5th-wheel turned wide and his ass swung out and hit a big diesel pick-up truck parked along the road. The sites have a nice swath of pokeweed and huckleberry bushes between them for privacy, but are too tight to park a vehicle next to a rig. That’s why vehicles are parked right alongside the narrow roads.
I have been complaining about the “resort” with no sewer, cable, wi-fi, mail service or cell phone coverage every chance I get. We have to drive to the “Family Center”, which I refer to as the “Wi-fi Center” to use the Internet, and they kick everybody out at 10pm. We don’t get any TV stations here either. This is the first time I have considered just leaving a campground before our sentence is up. I just left Shorty and was out of touch and missing him. I was counting down the days until we could move.
It doesn’t help that there is an argumentative golf cart Nazi zooming around looking for trouble. Her friendly greeting is to hold up a little red sign that says “5 mph”. Corny is one of the few people who actually tries to drive 5 mph, and when she greeted him, he stopped and told her off. Have you ever tried to drive 5 mph up and down hills? He says there is a website where people post campground reviews -
www.rvparkreviews.net - and she is already famous there. He will be posting an honest review once we are safely away.
Anyways, I do like being at the misty coast and I love hearing the ocean waves across the street. We were taking Poco (because he’s chubby) or Poco and Bubbles (because she’s silly) over to chase seagulls, until ~somebody~ pee’d on the bed twice because she was jealous. It is one of the rare times I’ve had my little deaf dog off-leash and didn’t worry about losing him. I like “our” beach best (McPhillips), but we go down a mile or so to Pacific City beach to see the big Kiwanda Rock and giant sand dune too…
^Poco and Bubbles, Cape Kiwanda in background to the south
Our first day trip was to the Tillamook cheese factory about 15 miles north of the “resort”. We went through the free sample line three times. Corny perfected a two-toothpick-technique of picking up 3-4 cheese chunks at a time. I liked the curds because there was very little, if any salt added. There was an addictive garlic cheese we both liked. I was hoping to sample the expensive cheddar sold in the black wrap, but they didn’t put any of that out for us freeloaders. It was crazy busy there on a Tuesday.
We continued up the gorgeous coast, all the way to Astoria and the Columbia River. We stopped at one of very few chain restaurants for lunch - a Pizza Hut buffet in Seaside. We went to Fort Clatsop National Historic Park to watch the Indians’ view of Lewis and Clark video and to see where they spent the winter. There were costumed people on duty, even on a Tuesday. I don’t think we took any pictures there. We were kinda planning on returning. By the time we got up to Astoria, we were getting a little nervous about leaving the dogs for so long so we didn’t stop to see anything. We’ll have to get back up there from our future base camp at Portland.
Corny, who is still dieting, found a casino to our south in Lincoln City - the Chinook Winds - and we went numerous times for their very nice $12 buffet. The only weird thing is that they put the pizza behind glass next to the roast beef and serve it to you. Tuesday is senior day so there is a huge crowd getting half-price buffets. It is near a Safeway, so that’s where and when we got our turkey burgers, bananas, donuts, and PowerBall tickets.
Sunday August 24th we took another day trip to Tillamook. There were hoards of people outside the cheese factory, so we deferred going inside and possibly risk being crushed to death by the mob. Instead, we went to the county Pioneer Museum. This place blew me away! It is three floors of antiques, genealogy, ornithology, forestry, military, nautical, shells, cheese-making, old radios, musical instruments, typewriters, washing machines, wagons - just a carazy amount of old crap. For some reason the huge chunks of beeswax intrigued me. The pollen was carbon dated to 1500-1620s and was brought to the west coast on ships. Outside the museum there is a huge old logging machine called a Steam Donkey:
While arriving in Tillamook, I turned on my GPS and the entire screen was covered in Tillamook Quilt Trail ( tillamookquilttrail.org ) multi-stage geocaches. I said something like “We’re gonna be here for a week”. Eventually, we decided to do just that - and made another recon trip to Tillamook to make reservations at a nice campground. We found a plain little friendly one next to a river just a couple miles away from town. I pictured myself leisurely riding my bike, poking around town, eating free cheese and geocaching myassoff every day.
That day we stopped at the cheese factory and tried their ice cream. I had tried the rocky road while in Utah. Corny got some sort of toffee cone, and said it was nothing special. I got a mountain huckleberry cone and it tasted more like cheesecake than ice cream! I said “Wow - now I know why it’s so crowded here all the time”. I’ll be getting a quart of it as soon as all the damm diet microwave dinners are outta the freezer. I had been wanting ice cream bars for weeks but there was no room in the freezer. I keep telling Corny if we postpone getting ice cream for too long, it will result in a he-uge binge.
Later that week we attended a little Geo-Event at Willamette Mission State Park just NW of Salem. Willamette Mission SP is where the first Christian Mission in the west was established in 1854. There is also a 270 year old cottonwood tree that we went to see after the event. I had geocached hard (lol) to get six types of geocaches during August, to earn special “souvenir” icons for my profile - and an event was one of them.
It was about an hour drive each way to the event. Corny didn’t mind because the nearest Lowe’s and Home Depot were in Salem (low water pressure issues, so we needed a few this n’ thats). Anyways, it was a little weird - we were like a novelty item since we are from Florida and besides the event hosts, several other people approached us to chat! We had gotten used to being ignored at Florida Finder’s Fest (although the Pinellas County Team loves us). We didn’t take any pictures at the event but you can see what is posted at geocaching.com. In the “Search for Nearby Geocaches” bar on the right enter GC5960P. If you find Dolly’s picture and click on “tallglenn” you will see my lengthy public profile.
Also since returning from my trip to see Shorty, I have been streaking. I had a streak of four consecutive days of finding caches when we arrived at the “resort” - and was surrounded by fresh caches to find. On my 8th day of streaking, we were sitting around in the evening and suddenly Corny said “OHH! We’ve got to get you your cache!” I would’ve completely forgotten otherwise. My previous longest streak was 10 days, and I had kinda cheated on the dates once or twice, so I’m glad that has been wiped out. At the event we met two people who were in their 1000+ days of streaking, although one of them kinda slipped and said something about “all but a couple days”. As of 9/1 I have been honestly streaking for 19 days.
On to Tillamook, then prolly to Portland…
Life is Godd!!!