Friday, 6/12/09 Just as I was preparing to take my morning walk, daughter Nancy calls from New York telling me that Howard (the boyfriend) and his 2 daughters were going to be at the NBC Today show Friday morning concert and I must watch. She had given them her VIP passes that entitled them to a personal tour through the studio, sitting on "THE couch" and at Matt Lauer desk and then right up in front of the stage for the performance of The Blackeye Peas (not real sure on the spelling of that). We were unable to get the local NBC station on our TV so I ran down to the club house (I only had 5 minutes till the performance started) and turn on their TV. Now of course there are only several thousand people out there but as luck would have it I caught several glimpses of Howard, rocking out, but never saw the girls. While watching the concert I was so glad we could NOT get the concert on our TV because Will would have died at seeing & hearing them. Hopefully Howard will post a video on Facebook soon and I can really get to see your fun morning. Good going guys and another GREAT Nancy Willis connection!!!!
Then our friends, Roby & Ron picked us up for more sightseeing that afternoon, we drove through several small communities, Winchester Bay and saw the Umpqua River Lighthouse. We didn't go through the lighthouse only the gift shop which had everything lighthouses. www.lighthousefriends.com Then on to The MyrtlewoodGallerywww.MyrtlewoodGallery.com Myrtlewood is found only in Southern Oregon and they have these shops in every town with so many beautiful carvings.
Of course the big event for the afternoon was to go to Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area. I have been telling Roby & Ron that we keep seeing road signs in Oregon, that say ELK but we have never even spotted one. Ron said, "not to worry, we have an elk reserve here and you can always see elk." I said that's what I want to do so off we went. Well the reserve is a beautiful 3-mile section of Oregon Highway with two designated viewing areas and benches all along the way for viewing. They have mowed hay out there for the elk to eat, everything an elk would want but still NO ELK. We drove slowly up the highway, with NO elk in sight; made a u-turn to come back & still no elk. Roby & Ron were in disbelief, they said they have NEVER been out here without seeing some elk. As we were driving away I shouted, "there's two" but I was the only one who saw them so maybe it was just wishful thinking. Will and I will continue to keep looking. www.blm.gov/or/districts/coosbay
We then headed back to Winchester Bay to have a fish dinner at the wharf. Unfortunately, the three of them had fish & chips and it was not nearly as good as what they had the day before (a correction is in order, Ron brought to my attention that I wrote we had abalone but it was calamari.) I had FRESH grilled halibut that was fabulous. I said, "I'm sorry your dinner isn't good, but my is delicious, sorry guys." It was another wonderful day with our friends and we were sad to leave them but look forward to our next visit, where ever that may be. Thanks friends!!
Saturday, 6/13/09 We headed out early as Will had a big driving day.....25 miles. We decided to "dry camp" for free at Three Rivers Casino in Florence, OR. For those not familiar with dry camping, that's parking in the casino parking lot with NO electricity, water or sewer, just a free space. www.threeriverscasino.com We only wanted to see a couple of things in Florence & decided this would be a good test for dry camping. Our first stop was to see the Sea Lion Caves, this features the world's largest sea cave right on highway 101 www.sealioncaves.com We took the elevator 200 feet down to the cave which is truly amazing. It was approx. 2 acres and in the winter, a big time for sea lions, there will be 700 in this cave, unfortunately this is summer & there were only about 25 sea lions in the cave, but amazing to see. After returning to the top I hiked down to another point where there were hundreds more sea lions laying out on the rocks. It was fun seeing them but nothing like the place Ed & Connie Patterson took us to see over by Cambria, CA and that one was FREE. On our way back to town we stopped at Darlington State Natural Site that has a boardwalk that you can view a very rare carnivorous plant, the Cobra Lily. It was interesting but we never saw it "swallow anything" so we didn't stay long. www.oregonstateparks.org/park_115.php
We headed into the old town of Florence that is another cute and quaint Oregon town, lots of tourist shops, eating places, a farmers market in progress and a wharf to walk out on. The weather has been chilly and not much sun. We are bundled up and can't believe people are walking around in short sleeve shirts and shorts....what am I missing here. Cute town but one day was enough. www.oldtownflorence.com Oh and by the way, the dry camping was OK and surprisingly quiet but we decided we would much rather have the amenities and stay in an RV park.
Sunday, 6/14/09 Another long day of driving for Will, 35 miles to South Beach, OR. We are slowly working our way up the Oregon coast as we are meeting daughter Nancy at Nike in Beaverton, OR on 6/25 (more on that when it happens.) We will be at our current park for 2 days and then on to Lincoln City, OR for 7 days, all Coast to Coast RV parks, which Will is a member. Today was strictly relaxation, a walk across highway 101 to take a stroll on the beach and an ice cream social at 2 pm. Will was able to make a "great cowboy book score" 5 books from the RV trade library and he met a guy Larry in the clubhouse that has lots by his favorite author, Louis Lamour, and got 11 more books. Boy was he happy, he's reading right now! Signing off with much love to family and friends.