We had an awesome travel season, April through October this year, logging over 10,000 miles! Beginning in Peoria, Az and traveling as far north as Seattle we visited new parks and old friends. First up, our annual camping trip to Collins Lake in Oregon House, CA (north of Sacramento).
We meet up with our Roseville, Ca friends every April at privately owned Collins Lake resort rain or shine to boondock by the lake and fish for trout. We'll it usually pours rain at least once, this time was a bit soggier but that didnt stop the good times of fishing and beer drinking! The party continued at our friend Scott's house for bbq'd brisket, a specialty of his.
From northern California we headed up to Oregon and our first destination there in Florence on the coast. We stayed in our member campground of the Thousand Trails (TT) system at South Jetty just a mile or two from downtown Florence, a pretty tourist town west of Eugene. As the name implies the jetty affords a long beach out to the windy head, great for walks and shell scavenging. The town of Florence has great restaurants and bars and is situated on the Siuslaw River with a quaint harbor.
This last pic is fried oysters over poached eggs and greens, a Sunday morning favorite!
Oyster Farms in Oregon
Speaking of oysters, Brad and I love seafood and especially oysters that we buy and consume by the quart shucked. We will drive an hour or more to our favorite farms on the coast to indulge ourselves, all oyster beds are not the same! We mainly have them fried (Brad is a master fry chef!) also bbq'd and wrapped in bacon and roasted, so delicious! There's an abundance of excellent seafood along the coast, we always ask the locals who are happy to oblige.
Newport Oregon and surrounding areas
Always a pleasure to visit Newport, a large working harbor town and home to Rogue Brewery this is one of the larger coastal cities in Oregon. Our favorite oyster farm is located on the back Bay road and the Mad Dog Tavern on the way is always a place to quench the thirst. Nye Beach district abounds with shops and eateries and beautiful views. Brad was fully recovered from his hip replacement surgery (Oct 2015) and walked miles of beaches finding some great pieces along the way. We also met up with our good buddies and fellow full-timers Jimmy and Glenn and a very old friend Jeff Birchell who was a witness at our wedding and had been living in Newport all these years unbeknownst to us. We also visited the towns of Waldport (festival with car show) and Yachats (groovy pub with ocean views).
The Oregon Country Fair (OCF)
Having been accepted into the Traffic Crew of the Oregon Country Fair Brad and I were happy to be invited to have the rig on the premises instead of having to tent camp. Brad proved himself to be a valuable crew member driving stakes for designated parking areas. I helped my friend Cher handing out crew tee shirts. I have already detailed our OCF adventure in an earlier post and so will refer those that are interested there
Some eerie pics of the booths after the fair...
Long Beach, Washington
After the OCF we headed across the Colombia River to Washington and the town of Long Beach where again, we stayed at a TT park new to us. We found Long Beach a welcoming and bike friendly place with a coastal trail running the length of the town. We explored the North Head light house and Cape Disappointment light house and made a trip to nearby Oysterville for (you guessed it) fresh shucked oysters. We also made friends at Long Beach Tavern and had a fabulous dinner at The Pickled Fish restaurant, with views of the ocean. We were fortunate to be there for the annual SandSations Festival sand sculpting on the beach We definately will be making Long Beach a regular stop on our travels.
[bOcean Shores, Washington [/b]
After Long Beach we traveled to the southern portion of the Olympic Peninsula and a favorite town there Ocean Shores for the annual Bike Rally in late July, a weekend full of music, bikes and bikers! This time we saw some daring biker stunts (wheelies and balancing) and had an awesome time at the Green Lantern, our favorite tavern in the area where we got our groove on to the band's playing.
A friendly bar keep told us about the Kurt Cobain Memorial Park in the neighboring town of Aberdeen (an old logging town) so we decided to make a day trip to check out his hometown. As the lead for the grunge band Nirvana, Kurt lived as a kid in a modest home near the Wishkah River (yellow house pic) where under the Young Street Bridge he would hang out and write poetry which later he used as lyrics for his songs. Known to locals as Cobain Landing, it's a quaint little memorial to Kurt who committed suicide in 1994 at the age of 27. We figured the trip would not be complete without stopping in to a few taverns around his digs.
Port Angeles, Washington
Our travels took us to the north of the Olympic National Park to the town of Port Angeles where we enjoyed exploring the coast and a trip to Sol Duc Hotsprings where we hiked to waterfalls and soaked afterwards. The beauty of the old growth forests and towering mountains with pristine lakes takes your breath away and keeps you coming back.
Teddy Bear Picnic, Veneta, Oregon
We had to cut our travels short as our daughter Loretta's wedding was the first week in September and it was time to head south to San Francisco where the nuptials occurred. On our way back we stopped over in Veneta, Oregon to see some Fair friends and attend the ' Teddy Bear Picnic', an event put on by the OCF to thank the volunteers for their Fair service. It turned out to be a scorcher weekend with temps reaching 103°!!! The only thing to do was plunge in the lake and head to the bar to stay cool!
We sure had fun with all our friends in the Pacific Northwest and look forward to seeing them this summer. Our journeys took us far from the tall trees and misty beaches to the city of San Francisco for the union of Loretta and Jeremy and beyond to the southwest and places I had never been... More of our travels in the following posts, to be continued!