Thursday, June 14, 2012

Beaverton, Hillsboro and a Special Day

We said our goodbyes to Frank & Gloria yesterday morning and left Warrenton heading east to Beaverton. Our first stop was Fred Meyer’s fuel station to top off our tank with diesel at $3.87. It had been $4.19 when we arrived a week before and we watched it drop to $4.01 then to $3.97. Using our FM member card, we got another 10 cents off. Nice, although not as low as in the midwest, but a lot lower than California.

Frank & Gloria went north to Pacific Beach, WA, where they found lots of sand dollars on the beach and enjoyed more sunshine than we’d seen for awhile. We also relished seeing sunny skies as we traveled inland.

When we got to Beaverton, I was following the directions from the GPS to the Elks Lodge. She told me to turn left but I failed to do so – Why? I’d been watching street signs, and they went from 107th to 106th to 104th – what happened to 105th? In this part of Beaverton, streets are narrow and curbs are everywhere. Many of the side streets were marked “Dead End” or went rapidly uphill. I finally took advantage of a wide spot in the street with no traffic and made a U-turn. This is NOT an easy thing to do with a 40-ft. motorhome pulling a towed car (aka “Toad”). When I got back to the corner of 104th, needing to make a sharp right turn, I found a pickup pulling a trailer loaded with yard maintenance equipment in the way. Remembering George’s discussion of “accommodation” I patiently waited while the pickup carefully pulled out and made his turn, clearing the way for me. Whew! Maybe next time I’ll trust Jazzy the GPS more.

Upon reaching the Elks Lodge, we quickly decided not to stay. Due to the slope of the parking area, large ramps are supplied to help RVers get their rigs level.


Since our coach is 40 ft, long, with the door at the front of the coach, using the ramps would put the door so high it would be hard to reach even with the extra folding step we carry, and it’s doubtful we would have been able to use our leveling jacks. We thought it was better to look elsewhere for a place to spend a couple of nights. We had lunch in the lodge and spoke with some of the friendly members, who told us they plan to rebuild the RV lot. “Come back next year,” they said!

We drove about 8 miles to the Hillsboro Elks Lodge, where nice level sites were available, with new 50 amp electrical hookups and water at each site. Much nicer, and at the same $15/night.


Later, we had a nice dinner with Don’s niece Caren and her hubby Matt Seal. My phone’s camera didn’t do a very good job, but at least you can see their smiles.


We got to know Matt a couple of years ago and were pleased to attend their beautiful wedding in February 2011. This young couple has a wonderful future ahead!

It was also Don’s and my 4th anniversary, and we were happy to celebrate it with Matt & Caren. These beautiful roses helped make the day special, too!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Oregon Coast Visit Comes to an End

We’ve packed a lot into the past two weeks while traveling up the beautiful Oregon Coast with Gloria and Frank King.


After the Escapees Chapter 9 rally in Florence, we stayed in the same Elks campground for the long Memorial Day weekend. It was nice not to be competing with vacationing families for space in commercial campgrounds, and also not to be traveling during the holiday weekend. The only neighbors we had were on four feet and didn’t make any noise.


Our next stop was Newport, where we had several great seafood dinners, explored two lighthouses and took day trips in the area. The weather was pretty nice most of the time, and we loved seeing blue skies and sunshine, especially as a backdrop to the beautiful Yaquina Bay Bridge, lots of boats and ships, the Yaquina Bay and Yaquina Head Lighthouses and the always intriguing coastline. Even when it’s cloudy, these are some of my favorite sights.








The Hatfield Marine Science Center was a fascinating place.


We were lucky to arrive just as two busloads of school children were leaving, and just before Pearl the Octopus was being fed.


Pearl was all curled up until the food came along. Then she really stretched out to take each morsel from the feeder.


Several of Newport’s historic waterfront buildings have beautiful murals painted on their walls.



And the names of places are interesting.


Storefront windows display unusual items for sale. Here’s an artist’s rendition of the Oregon Duck (it’s head is partially hidden behind the “R”).


And some things are just plain cute!


After traveling together for more than a month, it seems that our dogs, both named Shadow, are beginning to think they have 4 ‘parents.’ One afternoon while we were enjoying some sunshine outside, Shadow the female (the Kings’ dog) jumped into Don’s chair when he got up briefly. When he returned, he picked her up and put her in his lap, where she seemed very comfortable.


Shadow the male (ours) decided he’d claim the other family, refusing to get in my lap and instead getting Gloria to pick him up! The look on his face indicated he wasn’t going to let the other Shadow take advantage!


Neskowin Creek RV Resort, just north of Lincoln City, was the next destination, to visit our good friends John and Zoe Macon.


They’re spending the summer here, with John selling resort memberships. They took us to a nearby place on the beach where everyone enjoyed watching surfers out in the water despite the foggy weather. You can see how we’re dressed – getting into the cold ocean is that last thing I’d want to do, but maybe that’s a symptom of my advanced age!


A trip along the Oregon coast isn’t complete without a stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory.


They produce a LOT of cheese!


We managed to fit in two visits, a few days apart, for their great grilled cheese sandwiches and a little ice cream.


The six of us made a day trip inland to McMinnville, home of the Spruce Goose, otherwise known as the Hughes H-4 Hercules built by Howard Hughes in 1947. I saw the plane many years ago when it was in Long Beach, CA. It was moved in 1992 to its home at the Evergreen Aviation Museum. The plane is so huge, I couldn’t get it all in one picture.


Or even two.


The museum contains lots of other planes and exhibits, including the U.S. ventures into space travel. One could easily spend a full day or two studying everything offered here.

Our final RV parking place on the coast is Camp Rilea Military Reservation, where we can watch a small herd of elk roam as we hear gunfire while the Oregon Coast Guard training is conducted.



Both Shadows have enjoyed the grass while it wasn’t raining. Note that our Shadow was recently groomed and now has quite short ears due to the left one being cut short when his gland surgery took place in April, and the other one, left too long, began to mat and tangle.



We’ve enjoyed more outings here, in spite of mostly rainy weather, but I’ll save the descriptions and pictures for another blog since this one is getting very long.

It was coincidence that Valerie and George Mayleben arrived in nearby Astoria yesterday, and we were able to get together with them to celebrate her birthday last night. Happy Birthday, Valerie!


As the title of this blog post indicates, this is the end of our journey northward on the Oregon Coast. Tomorrow, Gloria and Frank will continue their travels north into Washington, while Don and I move inland to visit family in Beaverton and Portland. We’ll return to the coast next week to attend the FMCA rally in Coos Bay/N. Bend with the Maylebens.