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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Nothern Oregon Coast

Well, we made it to the Oregon coast after what seemed like a long and adventurous trip. Most of the trip was on I-84 that runs alongside the Columbia River for many miles until reaching Portland. Traffic was predictably heavy and we were vigilantly watching  for our turnoff when our faithful (and sometimes trusty) GPS told us to take the next exit, which I didn't think was right, but hindsight has taught me the GPS is right more often than I am! Well, guess what, our faithful GPS led us astray on this one and put us on a course headed straight for the middle of Portland and we were right in the middle of midday traffic with no exits in sight.  I looked at Crickett and asked "haven't you always wanted to see downtown Portland? Before she could answer, I told her to tighten her seat belt and hang on! Now bear in mind we're pulling a forty foot RV, that weighs 15,000 pounds and with our truck makes us over sixty foot long! Makes me appreciate how skilled those 18 wheeler drivers are. Thankfully we made it and stopped at the first rest area on I-5 to relieve our bladders and regroup. The rest of the trip was good and we safely arrived at  Cranberry RV Park in Long Beach, Wa. for three nights. The first day there was pretty much a washout which left us only one day for sightseeing. I assume the park was named after the nearby cranberry fields and we spotted an Ocean Spray packing facility nearby. We were close to Astoria, where the Columbia River empties into the Pacific. There's a well known bridge there named the Astoria-Megler Bridge that spans the river.  It's over four miles across and is PDH (pretty dang high) in the middle and we had to cross it many times. Here's a link to a cool You Tube video someone posted of the bridge. Probably the highlight of Astoria, for us, was the BowPicker  Fish n' Chips that serves the best fish in town. It's a most unusual establishment which you will see  when you check out the pictures. We visited several historic forts and lighthouses in the area, before moving on down the coast to Newport where we stayed at the South Beach State Park for four nights. The Newport area is home to an active and scenic  fishing harbor as well as several lighthouses and scenic coast line.  We saw several fish processing facilities there and is the home of the Oregon Coast Aquarium. South of Newport is the  nearby town of Depoe Bay, which is well known as a good area to spot whales moving up the coast. We have since migrated south to the town of North Bend, Or. which is adjacent to Coos Bay where we're staying for three days at the Mill Casino RV Park. We're back on the road tomorrow (09-26) heading for Driftwood RV Park in Brookings, Or. for three days and then into California.....Wahoo!

The BowPicker Fish & Chips. Now, who would think this would be the number one rated restaurant on Trip Advisor in Astoria? Everyone I asked about where to get good seafood raved about this place. Their only menu choice is Albacore Tuna prepared in a light beer batter. It's primarily carry out but there are a couple of tables nearby if you're lucky enough to get one.
They get their fish fresh off the boat every morning and stay open until they sell out sometime in the afternoon. The little boat has been converted into a small kitchen where they do their magic! They don't prepare your food until you order it, so there is a little wait, but oh so tasty!
There's normally a long line, but we lucked out when we were there.
Definitely the best seafood we've had on this trip. In fact, we ate there twice it was so good.

Our site in Cranberry RV Park in Long Beach, Wa. It was rainy and cool while there. The site was rather small but did have full hookups for $34/night.
There is a north and south jetty where the Columbia enters the Pacific. Very strong waves and current there.

These guys were catching fish like crazy. Seems to me to be a dangerous spot to be fishing.

Remains of the Peter Iredell shipwreck that crashed here in 1906. It's located in the Fort Stevens SP in Astoria.

Terry scoping things out at the shipwreck.
I'm afraid I've corrupted Kathy into taking about as many pictures as me!

You don't see many pay phone booths any more. Since Terry is retired from AT&T he wanted to see if he could still operate one.

Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach on northern coast. It was foggy that morning and you can see the remnants of the fog.

Different angle taken from overlook on 101.
We ran across these elk in a small park in Cannon Beach. If you look closely at the far left tree you can see the bull elk keeping an eye on his flock.

North Head Lighthouse in Cape Disappoint SP
Pretty sunset at the lighthouse.

It was kinda chilly!

Kathy took these shots for us. I like this silhouette picture a lot.

First time I've seen a seagull on a nest. This is at Yaquina Head SP
Yaquina Head SP lighthouse. This is one of the more scenic parks on the coast.

There's a cave in this cliff. You can see the surf coming out the back side.

Wider shot

We ran across a coupe from Virginia who are into taking photos through a crystal ball. The image can be seen in the crystal ball and is inverted. Pretty cool.

He told us you can only hold the crystal ball a few minutes as the suns rays pass it through it and generates heat much like a magnifying glass.

Part of the beauty along the coast is the diverse variety of sea birds, however there is a negative to that beauty. The birds poop all over the rocks which you can smell and also attracts flies.

Cormorant. They are deep divers and primarily feed on fish.

Western gull of which there are many. The gulls here are much larger than we see on the east coast. They're about the size of a small chicken!

We spotted a school of Gray Whales near the town of Depoe Bay

They don't come out of the water very far and are difficult to photograph. When you see one with it's tail out of the water, it's on a deep dive.

Cape Foulweather gift shop and observation point.

Devil's Punch Bowl.

Scenic bridge on 101. The town and harbor of Newport is to the left of the bridge. 

I like reflection photos a lot.

Sea Lions congregate every year on one of the piers in Newport. There is also a small jetty near the pier they like.

Sea Lions "bark" at each a lot. Here's a link to a You Tube video that shows them in action!
Terry said this one sounds like Kathy when he rolls into her in the bed!
Jetty near pier with more sea lions. They are actually so loud we could hear them in the campground about two miles away!

Fish market in Newport with famous Dungeness Crabs. Whole crabs are $10.95/lb or you can buy just the meat for $40.95/lb. We haven't got to try any yet, but we hope to.

Red Rock crab a couple caught while crabbing off a pier in Newport.

Heceta Head Lighthouse is said to be the most photographed lighthouse on the west coast.

Heceta Head Lighthouse as seen from an observation point on 101.

This gentleman shows a Dungeness Crab he caught from his boat. He said he sets his crab pots out and then goes fishing for several hours and picks up the crab pots on the way back in. The season is about over for crabbing. There's also a strict size limit on the crabs.

Reflection shot in Harbor at Florence.

Sea Lion statues were all over the town of Florence.

Guess who Terry and Kathy are pulling for in November?
Our Current location in North Bend, Or.

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