Header Caption

Tumbleweed at Mount Shasta, CA
Photo by Jim Walter, post processing by Rick Walter (facebook.com/RickWalterPhotography)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Goodbye Oregon

(Seaside, OR) Hi 71 Lo 55 -- We have loved Oregon. The weather has been cooler here and the scenery is wonderful. Our park, Circle Creek RV Park, is very nice, with plenty of room between the sites. People come and go every day here, but it's full every night. Today we’ll tell you about the park and show you some photos. (Click on the pictures to enlarge them.)

Our site. The large shade tree is close, but it doesn't touch the RV.
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We’ve had a new neighbor behind us just about every day. The site behind us sits sideways, giving us some good entertainment as we watched the departures and arrivals (also their outdoor picnics) out our back window.
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Other views around the park.
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Office and bath house with laundry
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There’s a helicopter sightseeing business just down the highway from the park. We hear the helicopters take off and land during the day, but that's the only noise we hear. People have campfires and get togethers more then we’ve seen in most parks.

We’re moving to the Seattle area tomorrow and have a lot of things planned. We’re also going to meet a couple RV’ers that we’ve chatted with or met through our blog. When we get to Seattle that will be our farthest point from our Florida home. After that we'll start our return trip back east.

See you in two days.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lewis and Clark – Astoria

(Seaside, OR) Hi 67 Lo 50 – It was another beautiful, sunny day, just warm enough to be pleasant. A perfect day for sightseeing.

This area is historically very significant, as it’s the end point of the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition. They set out from St. Louis, MO in April 1804 and arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River in November 1805. Just south of the Columbia River, near what is now the town of Astoria, they constructed Fort Clatsop. They spent one winter there before heading back to Missouri in the Spring of 1806.
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A reproduction of Fort Clatsop sits at the original location and is part of the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. We started out at the Visitors Center where we watched a half-hour video about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, then wandered the exhibits of clothing, equipment and weapons used on the expedition. (Remember to click on the photos to enlarge them.)
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A hundred yards or so from the Visitors Center is a reproduction of Fort Clatsop.
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It was a small fort, very rustic but adequate for the 30 or so members of the expedition. This is one of the bunk rooms.
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There were rangers in period costumes who gave talks about life in the fort during the winter of 1805-06.
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It was a very interesting visit, and has inspired me to read more about Lewis and Clark. The courage it took for that group to head out into unexplored territory is almost hard to believe. And it’s important to know that it wasn’t just a voyage of discovery, but it was also a scientific expedition. They created the original maps of the western territory, and cataloged many new species of plants and animals.

After our visit to the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park we went to nearby Astoria, which sits at the mouth of the mighty Columbia River. We drove along the riverfront. This paddle wheeler was very impressive looking.
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There’s a trolley that operates along the riverfront. A nostalgic form of transportation from a bygone era.
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The best place to get a great overall view of the surrounding area is the Astoria Column, a 125-foot tower that sits high on a bluff overlooking Astoria. Here’s the Column from down at river level.
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A winding road took us up several hundred feet to the small park at the base of the tower. On the way we were startled by these two deer that came bounding out of the trees and across someone’s yard.
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Up close, the tower is very beautiful, with an intricate mural painted on it.
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It’s a 165-step climb up a spiral staircase to the observation deck on top. Dee wasn’t up to it, so I headed up myself. It was a slow climb in tight quarters, made more difficult by having to squeeze by everyone who was headed down. My legs were getting a little rubbery by the time I got near the top, but I made it. And the view was pretty cool!

This is downtown Astoria looking west, with the Astoria Bridge that crosses into Washington.
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Young's Bay is to the south. Pretty nice!
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Looking east is mainly forests and mountains.
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The parking lot below.
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Can you see Dee looking up at me?
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And here’s me, looking down and waving at her. I’m the one on the left.
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We’ve been enjoying our visit to the Oregon coast. It’s very beautiful around here, and we’re lucky we got to visit during the dry season. We understand they get around 70 inches of rain here in the fall and winter. Yikes!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Oregon Coast - Tillamook Cheese Factory

(Seaside, OR) Hi 66 Lo 54 -- The weather was beautiful today, a nice change from the last two days of rain. We set out on a nice 40-mile drive down the coast on U.S. 101 to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Several of our friends said it was worth seeing. Along the way there’s lots to see, and we stopped at several pullouts to marvel at the beautiful coastal views.  (Click on the pictures to enlarge them.)

About seven miles from our RV park is Cannon Beach, which is known for one of the major sights on the Oregon coast, Haystack Rock.

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There were huge rocks all along the coast.
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This light house was quite a ways off shore on a small rock of its own.
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The ocean was calm and the water deep blue.
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I got to pick some blackberries. I haven’t seen this is a very long time.
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We saw a sign for the Nehalem Winery, so of course we had to stop. I did some tasting, and then bought a plum flavored wine.
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Our next stop was the Tillamook Cheese Factory. It's quite well known in these parts and a very popular tourist attraction.
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 It was very crowded today, especially for a week day.
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The 'tour' was self-guided and consisted of looking through large observation windows down onto the production line. This is where they cut the big blocks of cheese into smaller blocks and package it. Everything really did look this yellow. I think the glass in the windows was yellow.
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This is the area where the cheese is aged in big tanks.
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We stopped at a seaside grill for lunch on the way back. I had a halibut sandwich (again) and Jim had a burger (again). The food was good, but boy is food expensive around here! Our two sandwiches (no drinks, just water) cost $26.00. With tip, that's a $30 lunch. That's about what we like to spend for dinner. The only good point is, there's no sales tax in Oregon.

It was a good day of travel and checking out the coast. Hwy 101 is a very scenic road, and well traveled.

See you tomorrow.