Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Carole and Will visit Nike - June 25, 2009

Long Beach, Washington

Monday 6/29/09 is moving day again. We leave Chinook, WA and Will has a whole 25 miles to drive to our next location, Long Beach, WA. This part of Washington is know as the "Peninsula" a small portion is on hwy 101 and the rest on hwy 103. We arrived pretty early Monday morning and get set up and decide to walk around the park and explore. What I discovered was at the far end of the RV park was a trail, a rather long one, 1/4 mile, that led down to the Pacific Ocean and the beach...BINGO. I was very excited as that meant that tomorrows 3 mile walk would be on the beach.

After lunch, Will decided to fool around at the RV (his idea of fun) washing the windows, cleaning the outside of the RV and what every else he can find to do. So I took the car and headed into the town of Long Beach. It is truly a little coastal town with a boardwalk, a beach that you can drive your car on .... lots & lots of little shops, restaurants and vacationing families. Now the sun is out, that's true, but the wind is blowing fiercely; I guess that's why they have so much kite flying here & a big kite festival in August. I decided to buy Will a kite, a cheap one at that, knowing he would probably get mad at me (which he did) but hopefully he will put it together & we can fly the kite on the beach. So far it's not out of the bag yet. Well I walked around, in and out of shops, bought a few postcards and then went home. After dinner, we went to the grocery store, only one in town - Sid's, did some laundry & wrote on the blog and of course by this time we were both exhausted. It amazes me how tired you can get doing nothing......she says smiling!

Tuesday, 6/30/09 Well a new day and I'm excited to get started on my walk as this morning I have a big and I mean big stretch of sand to walk. As a matter fact it is so difficult to find the path you enter the beach on (I really thought about this) and need to return back to, that I brought a small American flag to put down near my path so I could find it ...pretty smart, huh????

Well off I went, the ocean roaring a continuous loud roar, so loud it is unbelievable. I started walking down the beach & when I had gone about 20 minutes I turned around & headed back. Keeping my pace up, I spotted my flag and started patting myself on the back for being so smart I decided to go further up the other way & then return back to my starting point. The sun is shinning, the ocean is roaring, no people anywhere and I'm giving thanks for this wonderful opportunity of travel that I have been given. I check my watch and decide it is time to turn around & go back to the flag. Do you get where this is all going????? Well I walked & walked & walked and NEVER SAW THE FLAG....again ever. Somewhere after an hour or so I spotted some guy on the beach & told him I was lost & needed help in finding where I belonged. He wasn't much interested in helping other than to tell me I was at about 160th street and I knew I needed to be at 116th. He said my best bet was to head back the other direction. How's that for help??? But of course that is what I did. Then my guardian angel(s) who were driving their SUV on the beach towards me when I put up my hands so they might stop. Well stop they did, Roger and Dorcee (sorry about the spelling dear) and I told them my predicament & they told meto get in the car & said they would take me home. I was so relieved as I knew Will would be worried by now & probably looking for me. I might add that a normal 3 mile walk for me is 6,300 steps on my counter now at this point I had 9,500 steps..some morning walk! Well they drove me right to my front door and Will was standing out front looking very worried & perplexed. (Actually, he was probably worried how he would get back to Fresno!) Roger and Will talked outside & I showed Dorcee our RV. They are locals and have a beach house in Long Beach and spend their winters in Arizona. They are considering getting a small, 21 ft RV and travel into Mexico.....good luck guys and thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me out and I sure appreciate it. God Bless.

Well after I calmed down, had breakfast, we packed a lunch & headed off for some sightseeing of the area. Our first destination was Cape Disappointment State Park where the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center is located. Our first stop at the park was North Head Lighthouse established in 1898. We parked & then walked down the path to the lighthouse, now Will says he has seen enough lighthouses and didn't want to climb the stairs so I went alone. As you can imagine, a glorious view at the top and a wonderful volunteer that gave lots of information. One of my questions, was how come the name....Cape Disappointment. It was named after a fur trader John Mears while unable to locate the mouth of the Columbia River and all his men had scurvy he had to return home before finding it...with that he named the area, Cape Disappointment. I also asked if they see whales & he said, "one March when the gray whales were returning with their calves from Mexico they spotted 178 in a 4 hour period. The gray whales will swim in closer to the shore away from their enemies, the killer whales, which are further out."

Upon arriving at the Center we pulled out our picnic lunch & lawn chairs & ate behind the Saturn, in the sun & out of the wind while most people were just trying to find a parking space. We have got this thing down pat!!! We then headed into the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center which on the wall, after entering the building, you are following a walkway down and it tells the entire story in pictures & words of this amazing expedition. Will & I read every word on that wall and when we got to the bottom we watch a movie of a re-enactment of the journey. They had wonderful exhibits and lots of hands on things for the kids and us too. Of course by this time we (me) are dead tired and decide it's time to head on home. We arrive in the parking lot & are just starting down the road when this couple - OUR AGE - are hitchhiking. I tell Will to stop as they must be having car trouble, well we stop & they do need a ride into the town of Ilwaco, WA right outside Cape Disappointment.

They are Ray and Sheila from Vancouver, Canada and are driving a 1973 VW bus/camper that the transmission has gone out on. The manager at the RV park where they are staying is fixing the camper for them so they took the city bus for 35 cents into Ilwaco , hitchhiked into the Interpretive Center (a mom & her 12 yr old son gave them a ride) and now need a ride back into town to catch the bus back to their RV park. Before I knew it, they were in our back seat and we were talking, laughing & giving them a ride. They told us about a fish place in Ilwaco that sold fishcakes & cold smoked calamari and seaweed salad, yum, yum, I said take us there, so we headed over to Old Bob's Seafood Market & Cafe www.seafood@oldbobs.com Will went along with everything, the ride into Ilwaco, buying the seafood for our dinner & then we bid farewell to Ray & Sheila at the bus stop. This was truly a bizarre day...I never dreamed I would get "to pay it forward" so quickly.....a ride for ME from Roger & Dorcee & then give a ride to Ray & Sheila. Pretty amazing stuff.

Well we fixed the seafood dinner, & Will like only the crab cakes and I love the crab cakes, the calamari salad and oh yes, I bought another fish treat....smoked salmon. Will wants no part of any of it so it's alllllllllll mine. Another glorious retirement day on the road. Signing off with love to family and NEW & old friends.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Astoria, OR / Farewell to Oregon

Sunday, 6/28/2009 Actually, we are staying in a park in Chinook, WA just over the bridge from Astoria, OR and decided to go back one more time for a last sightseeing visit. Astoria is very beautiful and a lot like San Francisco, old craftsman's style houses and very hilly.

As is our usual m.o. we went to the visitors center & found out what to see and where it was and off we went. The first thing we wanted to do was visit the eagle sanctuary, remembering quiet well about the elk sanctuary...NO elk. But we were not deterred and off we went about 10 miles out off town. When we got there we discovered a small viewing platform where there was another couple. Unfortunately, they had not seen any eagles and were ready to leave. We talked a little while and discovered they had seen polar bears in Canada and we promised to exchange pictures...her polar bears for my safari pictures. I can't wait to get them. Just after they left we were getting ready to go and laughing about the eagle & elk sanctuaries when low and behold an eagle flys just off to our right from one tree to another. It appeared to be a mama eagle as there was another small bird with her & they did that several times, from tree to tree. We think the baby was learning to fly, but anyway....we got to see an eagle.

We headed back to Astoria, found a parking space and boarded an old restored trolley that runs along the Columbia river at the edge to town. It is run by volunteers and they give a history of what you are seeing at the wharf and in the town. The track runs 4 miles & we rode up and back for $1.00...what a bargain.

After leaving the trolley we decided to walk the Astoria Sunday Market www.astoriasundaymarket.com that is held each summer 10 am to 3 pm. The merchandise for sale was very beautiful, artistic and expensive and so was the produce. However, we wandered along enjoying the sun and 70 degree weather. It really was a beautiful day but the wind never seems to stop blowing. I don't remember the last time I had the cotton balls out of my ears. We found the outdoor food court, with 50's music playing and I had Chinese food while Will was able to find a hamburger & fries. We shared a table with a very nice young man (34 and single) and of course I engaged him in conversation...after all I am the Mayor, blah, blah, blah.....after some conversation I asked him what kind of work he did and discovered he was a Doctor in family practice......Yikes. Can I tell you, it took everything in my power to NOT ask him to check my swollen glands & sore ears but fortunately, I did the right thing and kept my mouth shut. Anyway, it is much better and I'm feeling fine.

After lunch we headed up to the Astoria Column www.astoriacolumn.org A mural on this tall column that shows the Northwest history. The column sits high on a hill and you can climb the 164 circular steps to the top. Well, we did just that, climbed the steps, pausing at every rest stop and finally made it to the top. What a view!!! And wind, did I think the wind was blowing before you can't imagine what it felt like up here but it was worth it. A beautiful view of the Columbia River, the Washington/Oregon bridge, Astoria city....just a beautiful view.

After leaving we decided to try and squeeze one more thing in as it was late afternoon by now and decided to go and see the restored historic Flaval House. www.cumtux.org The house was built in 1886 by Captain George Flaval for his wife (who he married when he was 30 and she was 14) and three children. The house is approx. 12,000 sq ft and furnished beautifully. Some original furniture and some purchased by the historical society, who now owns it. I hope you are able to access the web site as seeing this home is the only way to do it justice.

With that it was time to cross the bridge again back into Washington and our home and we were exhausted. There is no doubt we will sleep good tonight. There was so much more to see in Astoria such as the Maritime Museum www.crmm.org Lewis & Clark Historical Park www.nps.gov/lewi just not enough time. Will keeps reminding me, "we can't see everything" but I keep trying.

The Oregon coast is truly a beautiful place to visit, I don't think we could live here as it just to cold for us but absolutely gorgeous to see. I really hope someday to get to come back again and revisit this area. Signing off with love to family and friends.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Oceanside & Cape Mears Lighthouse, OR

Friday, 6/26/09 We decided to take a drive to see some more of the beautiful area around Netarts and decided to start with Oceanside, OR. Now this little town was only 2 miles up the road and what a treasure. Miles & miles of ocean view from the small parking area above. We met a delightful couple in that parking lot from Yuma, AZ....Beth & Dave, actually the nicest people we have met in the area. We started talking to them (remember, I AM the Mayor) and they told us of a great RV park in Yuma, AZ that if we get back to that area we must check out. Actually, I want to go back to Yuma now just to visit Beth & Dave and of course our friends, Ann & Al from Washington.

We then walked over to some small cabins, with this fabulous ocean view & saw they rented for $75 a day, all I could think of is how much Kim & Bill would LOVE THIS PLACE. Of course Kim would be bundled up & Bill would be in short sleeves. We then talked with some people staying there that said the tide was so low we could actually walk around this gigantic mountain/cliff that normally would be in the water. They then showed us a tunnel that had been dug through this mountain that we could walk back through. So, off we went for a great adventure. Walking into where ocean would normally be but because of low tide we could walk around it. Then we found the tunnel & returned that way. The sun was out and the wind was really blowing hard and we couldn't wait to get back in the car, but what fun! I believe I read in some literature that in the early 1900s, 2 couples actually dug through this mountain and it is now maintained by the Oregon State Park system. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the info to verify this....so just take my word for it.

We then continued on this same road to Cape Mears State Park & Cape Mears Lighthouse that was a beautiful area with picnic tables, ocean viewing areas, hiking trails with a hike down to the lighthouse that you could actually go in. First off, we headed for the lighthouse, thru the gift store so graciously staffed by volunteers www.capemeareslighthouse.org and then up the stairs to view the prisms. The lighthouse is no longer used and they have some "ugly light thing" behind it that they use today. After learning about the lighthouse we hiked back up to the picnic area and had our lunch that we had brought. That would be lunch for the three of us Will, me and a squirrel. Boy, as soon as we sat down he was over there ready to be fed. So what do squirrels eat? We tried giving him all our healthy stuff, wheat bread, carrot, broccoli, fruit..no he wanted no part of that he only wanted Will's Pringles.....Will decided this would make a perfect commercial for Pringles.....We even wound up giving potato chips to some girls who fed him the Pringles out of their hand so they could take pictures.

Offshore is Three Arch Rocks which is a national wildlife refugee to the largest concentration of tufted puffins along the coast. It seemed like there were thousands of birds out on these rocks. Set up on the viewing platform were several people that had large, and I mean large telescopes trained out on the rocks & birds. They were most generous & let us look through them and explained what we were seeing. First off the eagles had come along & scared the puffins off the rocks & they were all now swimming in the ocean waiting to return to the rocks. They had another telescope trained on 3 falcons. They have been watching these falcons since they were hatched. One lady told us her husband has been filming all the birds & these rocks for 16 years!!!!!! Can you imagine. My comment to Will later was, "who would you show that film to?" But it was wonderful of them to share it with us.

We then started to hike another trail in this area that took you to something called the Octopus Tree it is the largest Sitka spruce in Oregon. I can only describe it as approx 30 feet across, with NO main center trunk, just at least 8 large curved trunks growing up very tall with branches. It is most unusual and very beautiful. With that we continued on our way back into Tillamook to take a stroll in the downtown area. A cute little town but what we discovered that this weekend, 6/27 & 6/28 was rodeo weekend and Saturday they were having a parade. Now we are suppose to leave Saturday and most of the roads in and OUT of Tillamook are closed Saturday morning. So we decided to bite the bullet, one more time, and get up EARLY and leave before the confusion started.

Saturday, 6/27/09 With the clock set for 6 am we got up early and took great satisfaction in making noise as the "early morning clam digging people were sleeping in"and we got to be noisy this morning. I might add that I never heard them and Will heard them every morning. But off we went, beating the parade and headed north on highway 101. We left so early we decided to stop in Cannon Beach, a cute little town that looks exactly like Carmel. Art galleries, coffee shops, restaurants, flower baskets hanging everywhere, lots of gift shops and very classy looking people. We found a nice RV parking spot & wandered thru the town & up to view the beautiful Pacific ocean again. We then continued on highway 101 and across the incredibly beautiful and very long bridge that separates Oregon and Washington. So we are now in WA just a few miles from that bridge in a very small town called Chinook, WA. It is a Coast to Coast park & we are staying here just two days to get our bearings on Washington. After lunch, we then started mapping out Coast to Coast parks in WA & then called to make reservations. As it now stands we are booked at RV parks through July 27, 2009.

Actually, I woke up this morning with a swollen gland & my ears are hurting. I'm hoping it is the wind/allergies and I'm not getting sick. If it's still here tomorrow when we go back into Astoria, OR to go sightseeing I will find a walk-in clinic and hopefully get some antibiotics. I sure hope it's nothing because sickness is NOT on the schedule for the tomorrow. Signing off with love to family and friends.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A day at Nike, Beaverton, OR

Thursday, 6/25/09 Just when you think the trip can't get any better...it does. Today was our day to meet daughter, Nancy at Nike Co in Beaverton, OR for a tour of Nike and lunch & a visit with Nancy.

Beaverton is approximately 2 hours away from Netarts, where we are staying so we set the clock for 6 am to get up early and get going. Well early we did, our meeting with Nancy & Nike was set for 10:45 am and we arrived at 8:45 am. Now we are both "on-time people" but that is ridiculous! We found Nike, checked out where we were suppose go and then decided to take a ride and see the surrounding area, of course not venturing to far. Several blocks away we went into K-Mart and then on to our new favorite, Fred Meyer. Before long we decided to just go to the Nike parking lot, read the newspaper & wait for Nancy. At 10:30 am I looked up and she was parked next to us just smiling....what a treat.

You can't imagine how big and beautiful the Nike Campus (that's what they call it) is; over 150 acres.. The grounds are meticulous groomed and of course everything is GREEN. They have a large berm around the entire property & on that berm is a running track for the employees. There are water features and waterfalls unlike anything you can imagine. It truly is spectacular. With that we went into the reception area and waited for the people Nancy was meeting with.

Enter Christopher, who was meeting with Nancy and Kathy, his assistant who was to be our tour guide for the morning. We started about 11:00 am and finished at 12:30 pm and we only wished it could have been longer, there is just so much to see. The campus is composed of many different buildings and each building is named after an athlete, Christopher & Kathy work in the Michael Jordon building. The lobby has Michael Jordon memorabilia & the building is filled with pictures & so much more. The architect is amazing. We also went into the Tiger Woods Center (my personal favorite) Mia Hamm, Bo Jackson, Lance Armstrong Center (the exercise center) Nolan Ryan, Dan Fouts and there were more we didn't see. Each of the buildings are done the same way, memorabilia after the person it is named for.

We got a wonderful history lesson on how Nike started, about the people who started it, and the swoosh logo. In the hallway were face statues of famous athletes and so much sports history and how it related to Nike. I really can't begin to do this place justice as it was so beautiful and so much to see and try and take in.

I think of the jobs Will and I have had over the years, and certainly are grateful for what we have today, but to see the job benefits and beautiful place the Nike employees work at is amazing. We all should be so lucky. First off the dress is Friday casual, everyday. They have amazing restaurants, gyms with every imaginable kind of class....spin class, palates, yoga & so much more. They have a wellness center, Doctors, acupuncture's, massages, every kind of sports area, soccer field, tennis & basketball courts, sand volleyball, swimming, a 18th hole replica of Pebble Beach that Tiger hit the ball from, even a sand trap with white sand from Augusta, GA. They have a two child care centers, one for babies/toddlers and one for school age children and there is always a waiting list. Nancy said one of the woman she worked with when she found out she was pregnant put her name on the waiting list & when the child turn one year old, she was finally accepted.

It goes on and on & I forgot more than I can remember but it was truly a wonderful experience. We can't thank our guide, Kathy, a Texas transplant, who has worked for Nike 7 years and says it is truly a family. You really do get the feeling they are a family when you are there. During our tour there were employees working out, playing sports, which they do on their lunch hour or if they have down time in some part of the day, they can go work out. During the summer months they take Friday afternoon off and you rarely seeing anyone working late. Nike is truly a family orientated company.

At the end of the tour Kathy delivered us to a restaurant on campus where we met Nancy for lunch. Of course I headed to the salad bar, after spotting the tofu, and made myself a healthy salad with a delicious lentil, lemon & spinach soup....out of this world. Will meantime was building his own sandwich, picking out what he wanted. When we got to the cashier, we discovered they weight the plates and you pay accordingly. I almost freaked out , now my friends who have been with me to Sweet Tomatoes, at home, know what kind of a salad I can build....YIKES. Fortunately, Nancy generously bought our lunch.

Well this day was truly a highlight of our Oregon & Washington adventure, one Will and I will never forget. Our deep appreciation to Christopher, Kathy and especially Nancy for making it happen. Signing off with love to family and friends.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Cheese Factory in Tillamook, OR

Tuesday, 6/23/09 was moving day from Chinook Bend RV park in Lincoln City, OR. As strange as the place seemed to be they were one of the most friendly and nicest owner/management people we have every met in any RV park we've been in. There was not a time when working on my computer that they didn't invite me to join them & all their workers for dinner, a glass of wine or dessert. By the time we said our good byes I was sad to leave. Of course it would probably be much different there this evening when the Pagen Festival starts.

But head north on hwy 101 we did to a small town 6 miles outside of Tillamook, OR called Netarts which means in "Indian talk" - "near the water." And near the water it is....right across the street, not an ocean view, but a short walk (2 blocks) down to Netart Bay & then on to the beach & ocean. Because we arrived so early we decided to go and tour the number one tourist attraction in the area, Tillamook County Creamery Association plant. www.tillamookcheese.com This is dairy country (you can smell that!) with lots of family dairies and it appears it is a farmer-owned cooperative. Anyway, forgetting all that they offer free cheese samples and you must buy your own Tillamook ice cream. First we took the self guided tour of how the cheese is made, sliced, and packaged. You climbed the stairs & then looked down at the workers, from behind glass, busily doing their job. Lots of information & very interesting to see. It sure took me back to my Fresno City College working days with CACT & Ken Olson. Of course after that we got in the ice cream line, YES Robin, I had an ice cream, DEE LICIOUS..... A hot fudge sundae for Will and a cup of Chocolate Peanut Butter for ME. After wards Will was too full to try the cheese samples but of course I wasn't so into the line I went for my free samples. I can certainly recommend Tillamook Cheese for anyone who like cheese. Bellies full we headed for the grocery store that is everywhere up here, but one we had never heard of - Fred Meyers. It's like a Wal Mart, with food, clothes, TVs, garden shop, etc....just like any Wal Mart but cleaner & more expensive but really nice. We (including Will) are now Fred Meyers converts.

The day was now shot and it was time to go home and there would be NO dinner for me. Of course Will had to eat something, after all it was 5 o'clock and that is dinner time in his book, no matter what. Have I mentioned to you how long it stays light up here at night. It doesn't get dark until about 10 pm, now I don't know if that is all year long but it sure is happening now. It's really weird. I'll be working on the computer, daylight all around me and yikes it's 9:30 pm.

Wednesday, 6/24/09 I awoke this morning able to take my 3 mile walk down by the bay & beach, what a glorious experience that is. I just never get use to being able to power walk & see the ocean all at the same time. Because of the bay there are a lot of people out there digging for razor clams with a limit of 15. Our next door neighbors, from Iowa who are here for 4 months, are up early to go claming and crabing every day. It seems every night is a fish fry with the neighbors. This seems to be a very big vacation destination especially for fisherman

Well off we headed for a day of sightseeing in the sun, a beautiful day. We headed for Tillamook's Air Museum www.tillammokair.com This was a very large blimp hangar that was build & used in World War II. Inside the museum we saw many different kinds of airplanes that were used in the war. Lots of displays with war photos, ration books, uniforms, a movie on the history of the place and so much more. Will was truly in seventh heaven....air museums seem to be his thing. I sure hope you can check out their website as it was so interesting.

Next it was on to Munson Creek Falls which is billed as "a waterfall that is 319 feet down a forested slope." We thought we would have our picnic lunch and enjoy the waterfall. Of course when we came out of the air museum the weather had changed, very windy & no sun (welcome to Oregon.) As we ran for jackets & sweatshirts & the car off we went, we would not be deterred. We found the road a short distance and headed down this most beautiful, what appeared to be, a single lane forested road. Just as we were giving up hope we would find it a sign appeared & we were there. Of course now the weather has changed again, wet drizzle, from light to heavy. There is the small parking lot with a beautiful stream & small natural water fall so we drug out the lawn chairs, ice chest, blankets (for our legs) to have our picnic. It really was beautiful and so unreal, it was one of the first time I really wished I had a camera to capture it. After lunch we headed up the 1/4 mile trail to see the falls. I must tell you they were beautiful and so worth the trip. (I have looked all over for a website to share with you but was unable to locate one.) A canopy forest covering the trail, with ferns and greenery unlike anything I could imagine and then there it was... a beautiful water fall in front of us. Just Will & I out there, in the rain/drizzle, it seemed magical. Of course in a short time more people came but it was a fabulous outing. Then back down the trail to the car to dry out & warm up.

Still not finished with sightseeing we headed for Tillamook's Pioneer History Museum www.tcpm.org I know you must get tired of hearing this from me....but it was fabulous. I think I just love everything I see and am easily pleased. Wonderful history of Oregon and the surrounding area, photos, old rooms set up with furniture & clothing of the era. There are three floors to this museum and we never got off the first so we will go back on Friday to finish up the tour. As we left it was now raining and very black & cloudy. However it is now 7:30 pm and the sun is shinning. Very weird weather in deed. I do check the Fresno weather each day in the newspaper and must say I feel homesick when I see 95 degrees and sun and I know the sun will be out ALL DAY, no matter what!! It's really OK, the trip is going great & we are having a good time. Signing off with love to family and friends.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Our Last day at Chinook RV Park

Sunday 6/21/09 was a day of lots of rain and not doing much of anything. That morning I went into Lincoln City to do more laundry, fill up the water jugs, buy a Sunday paper and return to the RV park. The rest of the day was spent on the couch reading the paper and at one point it was raining so hard & with so many dark clouds above we couldn't even get any television. I'm starting to feel like a "frontier woman" up here....no cell phone, no computer, no TV and no laundry facilities and living in a large pasture with goats outside chomping on the grass. Are you getting the picture???? Actually, it's a good thing we are leaving Tuesday morning as they are having a 3 day festival at Chinook RV park starting Wednesday, 6/24...that's a Pagan Festival. The owner was telling me about it the other day as I was up working on the computer. This is the third year they have had this festival with up to 200 people (witches?) showing up. They have a bonfire going the whole time with drumming & dancing and lots of celebrating. He said they spend $1,000 on firewood alone. OK, those of you who know Will can just imagine the scene if we were here for THAT FESTIVAL.....Thank you Jesus we are leaving.

Monday, 6/22/09 No rain and the sun is shinning and I was able to take my walk this morning. Life is good! We took a ride back into Newport to go to Wal Mart and find an optometrist to get my broken eye glasses fixed. With that done we headed home to Chinook to clean house and Will get the RV ready to move out tomorrow. Will has another big driving day ahead of him...45 miles, we are headed for Tillamook, OR...the home of Tillamook cheese. You can bet we will take the tour of the Tillmook cheese and ice cream factory. Then of course the big day will be Thursday, 6/25 when we meet daughter Nancy at Nike in Beaverton, OR. Can't wait to see both of them...Nancy & Nike. Signing off with love to family and friends.

Friday, June 19, 2009

We saw a whale!!!

Thursday 6/18,09 After a very lazy morning, with the sun shining brightly, we headed out for a ride and a little more sightseeing. We went south on 101 to a small town, Depot Bay www.depoebaychamber.org , the "Whale Watching Capital of the Oregon Coast." It has a long seawall where you can park, sit & watch the ocean. They are also have a Whale Watching Center that has a movie on whales & lots of pictures & information. A wall of glass with binoculars to use & search the ocean for whales. When you come in the center you are greeted by a blackboard that tells how many whale sightings for that day (1) the week & the year...the year was over 600. So of course we assumed our position at the wall of glass & started looking. They say they have a pod of resident gray whales that make their home there from March thru December. Then I hear someone say, "there's one" & Will says, "I see it" of course I can't find it . They continued to watch him spout water & then he would dive & come back & spout more water. They tried to help me find him but I never did....I felt very dejected and sad.

We then head out in search of postcards as I don't take pictures (sorry Rog) I usually buy several postcards from each town we visit & keep them together as my "pictures." Of course it's noon time & Will's lunch so we head for a small cafe - chowder for me & a hot dog for him. Both were NOT good and cost $12, so one more time we make a vow to bring our own lunch when we go out. We then head for Newport, a town we have already seen but there was still more to see. On our way there (22 miles) we stopped at a place called Devils Punch Bowl which was a beautiful view with this gigantic whole just below the seawall & the water comes in & out. At low tide people actually climb down there & hang out on the rocks...I just can't imagine that one. I started a conversation with a nice couple vacationing from Washington (I'm the mayor, you know) and they started telling us about the area & about the whales which at that exact moment we ALL saw it, including ME and this "guy" actually dived where we saw his tail out of the water heading down...it was terrific. I started applauding, what a show...now I felt better, I saw a whale.

We continued on into Newport & parked down by the boat harbor walking up and down the docks, reading the names of the boats and actually talking to some of the guys who work on the boats. It was interesting, the sun was shinning, it was a great day....I saw a whale dive!! Then back to our home, fix a fish dinner, watch a movie & go to bed...life is good.

Friday, 6/19/09 it rained all Thursday night and I mean alllllllll Thursday night. At one point it woke me up when I felt water as I had left my bedroom window open & it actually was splashing & hitting me in the face. What a shock that was. When we got up this morning the RV park was starting to look like a small lake. They had to bring pallets to one RV so they could get out their door. Fortunately, it wasn't us! We spent the morning marking Washington state booklets that we have with different places we want to go & things we want to see which gets exciting with the thought of moving on. Of course Will didn't want to leave the house, his heater & fireplace so I took the car & headed into town, Lincoln City, OR as I was starting to feel stir crazy with NO walk this morning. I drove down by the beach, watched the rain & very angry ocean, found some little shops to walk through, bought my 2 newspapers, a bag of pretzels & headed home....I was now set for more rain but fortunately the rain has stopped (for now) but it is very gray & the weather prediction for the weekend is more rain. Have I mentioned how much I miss the Fresno weather.....hot and hotter!! We both love this trip but very grateful we don't have to live here.

Signing off for now; much love to our family and friends and to Nancy, who is sick with the flu in New York City, sweetie, I hope you feel better soon and I can't wait to see you next week.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Newport, OR

Monday, 6/15/09 well another glorious way to start the day....the sun is out and I'm taking my 3 mile walk on a deserted Oregon beach. It is absolutely amazing to be out here all by yourself with the surf pounding and the sun shinning down. Honestly, if the sun was out more often in this state you couldn't keep the people away....including me.

After returning to the RV Will and I packed a picnic lunch & were off for a day of sightseeing in Newport, OR. Newport seems to have more people than anywhere else we have been along the coast, maybe it's the sun or just lots to do here. www.newportchamber.org They have a world class Oregon Coast Aquarium www.aquarium.org here but it seemed a little pricey so we passed on it choosing to go to the Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center, a donation only and it was the right choice. A huge octopus greets you when you come inside and the place is filled with exhibits you can touch, such as my friend's - the stingrays. We had a wonderful time there reading & viewing all the exhibits and the place was so interesting.

Newport has two lighthouse, the first one built unfortunately in the wrong area as ships could not see the light coming in from the north. This lighthouse was built in 1871 and was only used till 1873. It has been restored and you can tour the lightkeepers house, that has been furnished by the historical society and is truly beautiful. We had our picnic lunch right out front over looking the bay and the beautiful bridge that brings you into Newport. After lunch we headed out to the other light house, Yaquina Head Lighthouse www.lighthousefriends.com which is managed by the federal government so we got in free with out Golden Age Passport (did I tell you how much I love being over 60 and retired!) This was an amazing place also, we climbed to the top of the lighthouse (114 steps) with a spectacular view. There are also approx 30,000 birds on the rocks around the lighthouse, also sea lions sunning themselves, and then down to the beach to explore the tide pools. Now this was a real treat, honestly you could sit there for hours watching the "action" in the tide pools but the ranger came up and told us the tide was coming in and we would have to leave shortly.

We then headed to Newport's historic downtown area to go in and out of the tourist shops which there are plenty. Same drill as always, I go in the store & Will waits with the other guys on the benches provided outside. They also have many different murals painted on the outside buildings which we just found so intriguing. As it was now late afternoon and we were both dead tired (all those steps we climbed) We bought a small bowl of clam chowder from the famous Mo's restaurant which we took home and shared at dinner. It was a great day but there is still more to see in Newport, hopefully this week in Lincoln City we will go back the 20 some miles south of here. It was a great night sleep for both of us.

Tuesday, 6/16/09 well it's moving day and we are not sorry to leave this RV park which is extremely hilly and our site had a very large tree sitting in front of our RV door. Fortunately, we were small enough we could get in & out but it wasn't easy. So we are off for another long drive for Will, 25 miles north on highway 101 to Lincoln City, OR www.oregoncoast.org well actually Kernville, OR. Now I should have been suspicious of a town called Kernville, think Kernville, CA near Bakersfield but on we forged on. We found the turnoff and then drove another 4 miles off highway 101 and there it was.....Chinook RV park. Just think of a cow pasture surrounded by mountains covered with trees and a large river running through it. We checked in at the "red barn" /grocery store, clubhouse & who knows what else. But it's a Coast to Coast park & we "paid with our points" so upfront cash was only $7.00 for 7 days (bed tax?? but it's MY bed) So down the gravel road we went, maybe a half mile or so to our assigned RV spot. We backed the RV in and Will set us up and after discovering that we had no cell phone service and of course no computer, Will said do you want to leave but we both decided this is really part of "on the road" experience and anyway only 6 more days until we move on. Now I must tell you it is the quietest place we have ever been, we both slept in until 8 am this morning and NO frigging overhead lights. Pure heaven.

Wednesday, 6/17/09 Because this place has NO laundromat I decided to go into town and spend sometime alone & let Will putter around the RV by himself. I did the laundry, walked around town for a little while then indulged in a pedicure. What a treat!! After having lunch out I then wandered down to the outlet stores they have here and managed to spend the rest of the day going in and out of shops. Of course my purchases are safety tucked away in the back of the trunk ready to be smuggled in shortly (don't tell Will) honestly, it wasn't much...a new BLACK hoodie and blue shirt. Tomorrow Will and I will go back into Lincoln City and check out the beach and other sights in the area....hopefully the sun will be out again. Much love to our family and friends and reminder...NO CELL PHONE SERVICE.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Howard & The Blackeye Peas

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.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lakeside & Coos Bay, OR

Tuesday, 6/9/09, our last day in paradise with an ocean view Gold Beach, OR www.goldbeach.net I asked Will about moving up here and he said "sure, just find someone to put wheels on your mobile home in Fresno and have them move it up here for you" so I guess that meant NO. It truly was wonderful taking my daily 3 mile walk on the beautiful, deserted beach each morning. So Wednesday, 6/10/09 morning found us back on the road again, heading north up highway 101.

Around lunch time we came to a cute, quaint village town Bandon www.bandon.com which seemed perfect to pull off and fix our lunch and take a walk around town. They have a wonderful boat harbor, lots of bakeries, sweet shops, restaurants and tourist shops. A REAL tourist town. It was a great stroll, Will sitting on the benches in front of the shops as I went in and looked only.

We passed through Coos Bay that early afternoon on our way to our park, Osprey Point RV Resort www.ospreypoint.net This park was recommended by our friends, Roby & Ron of Lakeside, OR who we will visit with and it was closest to their home AND double bonus, it was in our "cheap" stay book. Three nights for $36.00, a real deal!!

Thursday, 6/11/09 we awoke to no sun and drizzle (welcome to Oregon folks) and waited for our friends to pick us up and give us the grand tour.....which they certainly did. A drive through many of the small towns around the Coos Bay area, and then a wonderful fish lunch at their favorite restaurant, Fisherman's Grotto in Charleston, OR www.charlestonmarina.com They have been going to this restaurant for years and our waitress, also the owner, Davine took very good care of us. Three of us had abalone and Will (of course) fish & chips...very, very yummy. If you are ever pasting thru Charleston, make this a definite stop. Then it was on to Shore Acres State Park www.oregonstateparks.org or www.shoreacres.net A truly beautiful park where at one of the look out points we were able to see many, many sea lions and beautiful large rock formations in the ocean. Because the ocean was calm this day, the waves were not crashing against the rocks clear up the side of the hills. But the most unbelievable sight was a fisherman, fishing off one of the rock points, 50 to 75 feet right above the ocean. When we had the telescope on him, not believing what we were seeing, he actually caught a fish and reeled it in and Will guessed it about 20 inches. Fabulous!!!

We then went into a beautiful garden, at this park, that at one time was the private estate of an early lumberman. We wandered around the gardens and ponds and viewed the gorgeous plants and flowers (think Pacific Grove, CA) Our friends said that two of their kids were married in this garden. I'm sure if you check out their website you will see what I mean.

Then it was back to their home site, which is two acres on a hillside, surrounded by lush greenery and trees. They have a family of deer that visited them each day. Ron & Roby have done an incredible amount of work, with a gazebo, a garden, a place for their boat (hey Rog, they both fish on the bay several times EACH WEEK, eat your heart out!) and live in their motor home. They love it here and it's easy to see why, leaving only in the winter time. Well tomorrow is another fun filled day with our friends and then sadly we will say good by with many memories and much thanks. Signing off with much love to our family and friends.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Gold Beach, OR - An ocean view

On Monday, 6/8/09 as we were preparing to leave Klamath River RV park for Oregon we ran into some people, Joan & Lennie of Florida, we had met briefly in Scotia, CA and in our small talk & good byes we discovered that Joanie has had the same back surgery that Will is facing in the near future. Because we have NEVER met anyone who has actually had this surgery we asked if we could talk to them about it. What wonderful people, they must have spent at least an hour or more with us in their RV, Joanie showing us her actual surgery pictures on her computer, her scar and even how she can bend & twist with NO pain. She told us all about the place it was done, Florida Spine Institute, hospital, city, an RV park near the place, the absolute Doctor we should use....just a wealth of information. Much thanks, gratitude, & love to you both for taking the time to share your information, it makes it so much easier when the time actually comes.

We finally hit Oregon Monday afternoon and the first thing we noticed after the gorgeous scenery was the big drop in gas prices. YIKES... We had just filled up in CA at $3.09, that's the RV of course and when we hit OR the price was $2.69. After calming Will down we saw the landscape changing in front of our eyes. No longer redwoods but pines, cypress and lots of blue Pacific ocean off to our left. Of course as my job is navigation and housing I'm trying to find an ATT signal so I can call our next destination, Port Orford and get reservations in a Camp America park, the cheap RV parks. Only an answering machine but surely they will call us back soon, well they didn't. As we reached Gold Beach and we had not heard from the other guy I consulted the expensive RV book to see what was there. While calling around, Will says, "look up the street there's an RV sign right there." I call, they had room, they say, just go in, find any space you want & then come to the office, 2 blocks away and pay...your kidding, right? Well we do that and low and hold this park is on a slop & we take the top spot with a fabulous ocean view. We can see the ocean from all the rooms, dining room, living room & MY side of the bed in the bedroom. The sun was shining in Gold Beach and we knew we had hit the Mother Lode of deals....which we did. www.GoldBeach.org

Gold Beach is just a small tourist town almost all on Highway 101. The big tourist attraction is a ride up the Rogue River www.info@mailboat.com on a jet boat that takes mail to an even smaller town, Agness. We had signed up to take the ride today, Tuesday, 6/9 however, Will is not feeling well and seems to be trying to come down with a cold. It's ok, I have walked all over the town, up and down the beach and feel like I could stay here for a much longer time. But alas, tomorrow is moving day as we are heading up towards Coos Bay, OR where our friends, Roby & Ron live. We met them in Camp Verde, AZ on our last trip and had so much fun together and look forward to seeing them again.

Thank you for the nice comments & emails regarding the blog, I am having a lot of fun writing it. And I must say Rog I am MOST IMPRESSED that you were actually able to leave a comment. Is Doctor Bob around the house? Much love to all our family and friends.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Day 6 & finally on the internet...

Well we did in fact leave Fresno on June 1st and I have NOT been able to get on the Internet with my fabulous & expensive ATT card. When we arrived in Klamath, on Sat 6/6, we took the computer into Crescent City to see what the matter was, only to be told the att card doesn't work in these parts. I am now using the wi fi at the RV park, (of course, I didn't even know I had wireless) so after the owner showed me how to get on....here goes the new Northwest blog.......

Day 1 - 6/1 we left Fresno and had a very pleasant trip up Interstate 5 passing through the nightmare of Sacramento traffic and looking for a place to park overnight. As RV parks were very scare we finally found one in the city Woodland at the local fairgrounds. OK, here's the picture....we are parked in the fairgrounds parking lot, (lots of dirt) with electric & water only for $25. There was one other RV there who was staying for 2 WEEKS, visiting his daughter & this was the second year they had done this (unbelievable, 2 weeks in a parking lot .) Our nightly entertainment was to walk over to the baseball field & watch the 5 & 6 year old play tee ball. Needless to say, we were up early & left. Oh and did I mention the light above us made our RV look like daylight all night long.

Day 2 - 6/2 & 3 were much better. We arrived in the beautiful coastal redwood area staying in a great park, Richardson Grove RV, in Garberville, CA. After we arrived, we walked across the street, to view the Grandfather redwood tree and a log cabin www.one-loghouse.com that is made out of 1 large piece of redwood, that contains a bedroom, kitchen & living room. That afternoon we drove up to Richardson Grove State Park & walked along the Eel River and walk the trails through the redwoods. Day 3 was devoted to taking the 31 mile drive through Avenue of the Giants. This is a drive, through several small towns that have this beautiful stretch of redwoods, such as The Chimmey Tree, a 78' redwood gutted by fire, The Shrine Drive-Thru Tree (which we drove thru) Founders Grove, dedicated to the founder of the Save-the-Redwood League, the founders tree is 346 feet tall. The most spectacular thing about these trees, that even when they fall, they continue to serve as a host to other trees & vegetation that will continue to grow. The quiet and serenity of these redwood groves are unmatched by any other place I have ever been. This would be on "my to do list" for everyone. www.ancientredwoods.net

Day 4 - 6/4 & 5 We continued up highway 101 staying in a passport america campground in Scotia, CA. Another park surrounded by redwoods everywhere you look. The park was a dump, but the scenery was glorious. We did drive into Scotia which was a company town for the local lumber mill. The mill is only partial open today, with no more tours and the town is composed of retired mill workers. We did walk through the beautiful lobby of Scotia Inn, which was built with redwood. www.townofscotia.com

On Thursday, 6/4 we left for Ferndale, CA a small tourist town consisting of old Victorian houses. We parked & headed for the Ferndale Museum and then walked many, many streets looking at the beautiful restored buildings of businesses and homes. We also drove through the Ferndale Cemetery, which is quite a tourist attraction. It winds its way up a very high & twisty road with all of these very old plots to see & read. We then took a drive out in the country of Ferndale where there was suppose to be an old Victorian house you could tour, but the tours don't start for 2 weeks. However, the Master Gardener's were having a pot luck & invited us to join them & see the gardens & tour the old barn. We even had our picture taken with the group & will be ever known as the Fresno couple that crashed their party. They were so nice and very happy to have us. Real country hospitality. www.victorianferndale.org/chamber

The next day, Friday, 6/5 we took a drive into Eureka to see the historic downtown area, of course we arrived to early (is there such a thing?) as few places were open. We stopped at the local visitors center & got our information so we (or is the me) could plan our day and activities. Of course, the first thing Will noticed was that everyone was a "hippie with long hair" and that was enough of Eureka for him. Actually, just think Santa Cruz and you have Eureka. We did go in and out of store's and walked on their 4 block long boardwalk along the water. We then drove over the Somoa Bridge to have lunch at the Samoa Cookhouse, www.samoacookhouse.net a lumber-camp restaurant that still serves meals family style and has a fabulous logging museum. Lunch was terrific (Will had pot roast) and we BOTH had carrot cake for dessert, which was "off the charts" good. We then drove the couple miles to Woodley Island Marina www.humboldtbay.org and walked around the marina viewing the fishing boats. At one point, a commercial fishing boat captain called us over so we could see the huge halibut one of his customers had caught that morning. It was 98 lbs, the largest his vessel had ever caught. The guy that landed it (it took him 30 minutes to get it in the boat, was sooooooo excited he was calling all his friends & trying to get them to come down and see it before they cleaned it. (Rog, you would have been beside yourself!) After this walk we drove back into Eureka to view Carson Mansion. This is a beautiful old 3 story Victorian home that was owned by a lumber magnate and is now a private men's club with no admittance by the common folk, but anyway, it was beautiful to see from the outside. www.eurekachamber.com

Saturday, 6/6 we arrived at Klamath River RV Park, a beautiful Coast to Coast park that is located right on the Klamath River off highway 101. We face the river and have a great pull thru spot. Saturday afternoon we drove over to Crescent Cityto check on the computer, get information at the visitors center, saw a wonderful museum and learned all about the Tsunami that happened here in 1964. On highway 101 along the coast are Tsunami signs saying you are entering or leaving Tsunami area. We thought this was a bunch of crap and a hugh waste of money making these signs until we learned in Crescent City about their Tsunami that wiped out 6 blocks along the coast line of this city. Actually, the first Tuesday of each month they sound the Tsunami siren so the local folks will know what it sounds like. YIKES

Today, Sunday, 6/7 we visited Mystery of the Trees, a place a few short miles from where we are staying that was an amazing place that you walked a trail viewing more spectacular redwoods with a sky ride that took you to the top when there was an observation deck. A beautiful morning and well worth the $11.00 senior price to see it.

Well friends, that brings you up to date on our trip so far. Tomorrow will be one week and if they are all like this it will be a great trip. We leave here tomorrow and head for Oregon. Hopefully, I will be able to continue the blog and keep you posted of our were abouts and activities. I hope you will continue to post comments on blog or send me an email at sportsgirl107@sbcglobal.net but PLEASE folks -NO JOKES -as I just have to delete them. Thanks. Much love to all family & friends.