(Seaside, OR) Hi 71 Lo 55 -- It was a relaxed, low key morning preparing to leave Vancouver, WA. It was projected to be only a two-hour trip so we took our time leaving.
The 89- mile trip didn’t go as smoothly as planned. About a half hour out of Portland the low tire warning light came on and my car started handling funny, the front end kind of squirrely. I radioed Jim that the light was on. We were in very heavy traffic, so we slowed down and stayed in the right lane until we had a safe place to pull over. The front tire was flat.
We could have changed the tire ourselves, but paid good money to Coach-Net so so we called them and they had someone out to change it for us in 30 minutes. It took him only minutes, and we were on our way. We got to Seaside around 2:00 and got set up at Circle Creek RV Park. Jim checked online and found a Les Schwab Tire dealer about a mile away. They could take us right away. When they checked the flat tire the determined it couldn't be fixed. The short time I drove on it ruined the inside so they couldn't patch it. The the bad news: a new tire would cost $300. The good news: they checked with their sister dealer in Warrenton, about 14 miles up Hwy 101, and they have several used tires in our size that would be much less expensive. We drove up there and ended up buying a slightly used Toyo tire just like the ones on our car. It looked in perfect shape and it cost us only $63 for the tire plus balancing and mounting. What a deal! Les Schwab is the biggest name in tire dealers in this part of the country, so we felt confident they wouldn't sell us something that was unsafe. So we came out of that scrape in good shape.
Since it was late we stopped for dinner at El Mariachi Loco, a local Mexican restaurant that was highly recommended by Nick Russell, a blogger friend of ours. He’s never let us down on good places to eat. We’re glad we stopped, the food was excellent!
Today the weather was gorgeous, perfect for checking out the coastal tourist town of Seaside. Broadway St. runs from Hwy 101 about a mile west, where it ends at a circle right on the beach. We got a parking spot about a block from the beach and spent an hour or so walking up and down Broadway, browsing the many touristy shops. In the middle of the circle at the end is this statue of Lewis and Clark. Their great expedition from St. Louis to the Pacific ended here in the Seaside area. (Click on the pictures to enlarge them.)
Jim is checking Google Maps, to see what's around us.
We walked through an indoor mall that had this carousel.
Jim had to stop at this one. It's the Man Store. They had all kinds of man-related stuff, like knives, sports gear, military stuff, and hats.
We had lunch at Norma’s Steaks and Seafood. Halibut is to this area like lobster is to New England. I’ve never had Halibut, so I tried a halibut sandwich. Jim had fried oysters. Everything was very good.
We stopped at the car to change into beach shoes, and headed to the beach. It was just about the widest beach we've ever seen. It must have been a quarter of a mile across.
We dipped our toes in the water, and it was VERY cold!
Some seagulls were chowing down on a watermelon.
There were almost no shells on the beach, just a few broken sand dollars. We were puzzled by this brown bubbly stuff on the surface near the shore. At first it looked like an oil slick.
It's something called diatoms. Here's a sign that describes it. Be sure to click on the photo so you can read it.
After we walked the beach awhile we went back to the car for the short four mile trip back to the park. We stopped at a seafood market and bought some fresh halibut to take home.
We haven't been here long, but we already love this place. After over three months of deserts and mountains, it's great to be back on a coast. It reminds us a little of home.
See you tomorrow.