09-25-2014 North toward Whidbey Island

Current Location: Rocky Point Oregon, gorgeous fall weather clear skies 79 degrees F

Deception Pass SP (1 of 73) After two days of exploring traffic patterns in Puget Sound, we were definitely ready to travel north toward something a bit less crowded.  After thoroughly reading everything Laurel and Nina had written about getting around in the San Juan Islands, I decided that traveling north via the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to the Kitsap Peninsula and taking a ferry from Port Townsend to Coupeville was our best route.

To the left is our original planned route, 114 miles, to the right is the alternate route, 195 miles and 5 extra hours!

rerouting to Whidbey Island original route 114 milesEven with a ferry trip, it seemed better than dealing once again with the traffic on I-5 north to Mount Vernon and accessing Whidbey Island from the north.  I went to the Washington State Ferry website and made a reservation for the MoHo and the Tracker, where the fare was calculated to be something in the vicinity of 67 bucks for both rigs.  Seemed reasonable enough.

The drive north was uneventful, with clouds parting a bit for lighter gray skies and even a bit of sunshine here and there.  I was a bit sad because I knew that Port Townsend was a great destination, and with our ferry reservation, we probably wouldn’t get much of a chance to see it.  Fate stepped in, however, and as we approached the terminal an hour in advance, as recommended, I was surprised to see large red CLOSED sign at the gates.

Seems as though the bridge to land from the ferry on the Coupeville side had somehow broken, and the ferry had been turned around.  I can only imagine how all those folks felt!  The ferry was cancelled until the bridge could be repaired.  We could return via Tacoma and drive north along I-5, or we could drive back to Kingston and catch the Edmonds ferry there.

to Fort Lewis (58 of 97)Rather than worry about it, we decided to take a bit of time and enjoy walking around the downtown picturesque portion of Port Townsend where we had a good parking place for a few hours.

Port Townsend was as magically lovely as I expected, with wonderful shops and a vibrant feeling of both tourism and locals.  We found a sweet little cafe where the cappucino was not only tasty, but pretty, with a little window table to sit and enjoy watching the changing and somewhat chilly weather outside.  With the weather cool enough that Abby could wait in the MoHo, we enjoyed a leisurely walk through town, going in and out of interesting shops filled with color, art and creativity.  I was completely enthralled with a shop that celebrated the fiber arts with quilting, knitting, and beading as a focus.  I do love color, and the displays of fabric, yarn, beads and notions, all creatively jumbled together by color had me oohing and ahhing.  I did manage to keep my wallet intact, but it was a challenge.to Fort Lewis (71 of 97)to Fort Lewis (77 of 97)After deciding that we definitely will come back to spend more time in Port Townsend, we reluctantly traveled back south toward Kingston.  In line for the ferry with time to spare, we coughed up the 86 bucks for the MoHo and Tracker to cross the sound toward Edmonds.  The crossing was uneventful, and I didn’t even bother to try to get up top for the view.  By the time we reached Edmonds, it was mid-afternoon and the drive to Mukilteo wasn’t terribly difficult.  In line once again, and coughing up another 56 bucks for another ferry, we waited as the sunshine came out and illuminated the sound and the islands in the distance.

to Fort Lewis (81 of 97)to Fort Lewis (89 of 97)to Fort Lewis (93 of 97) We again enjoyed the ride, and this time I went top side to get some photos while Mo relaxed with Abby in the MoHo with a glass of wine and a good book.  However,as the day progressed we were getting a bit concerned about our arrival time at Whidbey NAS.  Google was telling me so many minutes, and we had a few less than needed to get to the Porter Gate where RV’s are allowed to enter the base.  We made it with just 3 minutes before closing.  It wouldn’t have been too awful if we had been late, as there is a special phone number to call and security will open the gate for you after a short wait.

to Fort Lewis (95 of 97) Once on base, we tried to follow the written directions from the website, and managed to get a bit lost before a nice guy in a car and a Navy uniform offered to lead us in to the Cliffside RV Park.  Of course, after being on base for a few days, it was so simple, but that first time in was a bit goofy. 

Deception Pass SP (13 of 73)  It was approaching early evening as we checked into the south loop of the park, where the manager had told us by telephone to go if we arrived after six.  He came down to meet us as we settled in, saying it was no problem for us to come to his office the following morning to settle up our camp fees.  I must say that the view from the campground was incredible.  After being in a deep dark forest at Lewis McChord, it was a delight to be camped on a high bluff directly above the sea with a 180 degree view of sky and water and islands in the distance.

Deception Pass SP (6 of 73) The sites were level and the lack of shade completely irrelevant in the cool, cloudy skies of this part of the northwest.  Full hookups and a spotless laundry right across from our site were added benefits.  Just below us was a fitness trail, paved for bikes and used by runners and walkers of all sorts. The beach was just below the path a few hundred feet and was littered with beautiful weathered driftwood and covered with tiny pea gravels rather than sand.  I think it was the nicest Family Camp we have ever experienced. 

Deception Pass SP (16 of 73)One of the sweetest benefits are the flowers!  A camp host is a dahlia fan, and he plants more than 1,000 dahlias in the campground.  Dahlias love that moist air and mild sunshine and they were in full bloom.  At the campground office, on a table outside the door, are a large selection of vases filled with dahlias for each camper to take to their rig.  Just return the vase when you leave. Without a doubt we will return for an extended stay to this camp. In a great location for exploring the area, at $30 per night it was a good deal for this part of the west where decent campgrounds are hard to find.

Deception Pass SP (30 of 73) We originally planned to visit Lopez Island on Friday, but with the rainy weather predicted for that day, and the sunshine predicted for the next day, it seemed smarter to deal with Saturday ferry traffic and stay close to Whidbey  and our home on Friday.  Waking to misty rain, I read about visiting Deception Pass State Park and after our leisurely morning, we jumped in the Tracker to explore.

Deception Pass SP (70 of 73) Deception Pass State Park covers more than 4,000 acres on two islands.  The islands are connected by  the Deception Pass Bridge, spanning the salt waters of Deception Pass 177 feet below.  There are annual kayak races through the pass, but watching that swirling current and the incoming tide, you couldn’t pay me to drop a kayak into that water.  In fact, much of the San Juan Islands and surrounding area require a more seaworthy kayak than our sweet flat water boats. 

Deception Pass SP (35 of 73)Deception Pass SP (43 of 73) Deception Pass SP (47 of 73) Deception Pass SP (48 of 73) Deception Pass SP (54 of 73) Deception Pass SP (57 of 73) With the pass just minutes from the campground, we had the entire day to wander out to Rosario Beach and walk the trails on Rosario Head and then back toward Bowman Bay.  At Bowman Bay there was a beautiful CCC interpretation center, but it was closed for the season.  There was also a perfect kayak launch site and with better weather, it would have been a lovely paddle.  We would have loved to have a bit more time to hike out to Lighthouse Point, but decided to save that hike for another visit.  One could spend many days hiking around this beautiful park.

deception pass map As I have often mentioned, I live in a forest.  I do know that forests are often shaded and quite dark.  However shaded and dark is a mild description of the depths of darkness in the thick forests of Deception Pass State Park.  The firs and hemlocks are huge and the understory is impenetrable. The shades of green are beyond counting, but most of them are in the darker range of shades, and the deep blues of the water and gray skies added much to the gloom.  It was a beautiful gloom, just not one where I would want to spend any great length of time.  Beautiful to visit, but I wouldn’t live there.  I need more light!

Whidbey Sunset SP (1 of 30)Whidbey Sunset SP (8 of 30)Whidbey Sunset SP (18 of 30) Light arrived in full force just as we returned in early evening to our camp.  The sun burst below the cloud cover over the water to the west just a bit before sunset, turning the grass green gold and lighting up the skies.  With Abby on her leash, we walked south on the trail, waiting for the sunset. High over the water, we found a perfect viewing bench.  No green flash, but the light and the color was a perfect end to a wonderful day.Whidbey Sunset SP (23 of 30)



08-09-2014 Last Days of the Reunion

Current Location: Home in Rocky Point with clear skies and 79F and low humidity day ahead

On the Friday when I was wandering around my old haunts in Northern Idaho, a large contingent of the rest of the family met at some unearthly hour for a tee time at a Post Falls golf course.  A good number of the Oukrops are avid golfers and most of the rest of them do it for fun.  I heard the stories later, but not being a golfer, I was much happier hanging out with old friends.

walking Riverside SP (2 of 12)Mo opted out of this activity as well, choosing instead to hang around the park with Abby, let her play and swim and relax for a bit.  I have a sneaky suspicion that Abby wasn’t the only one of this pair that needed some down time.

dinner at Don and Wynns (19 of 25) By the time I got back from my part of Idaho, the golf group was returning as well, and it was time to head to the west side of the South Hill for a wonderful hosted dinner of lasagna, salad, and bread.  Can you imagine making dinner for 33 people and not having a single potluck contribution? 

Wynn said that she spent an entire day cooking up these gorgeous pans of tasty lasagna. 

dinner at Don and Wynns (1 of 25) It was fun seeing how many people could fit on Don and Wynn’s deck without it collapsing.  Well built deck, I would say.  Before and after dinner we were entertained by the little ones playing around on the grass and listening to all the conversations on the deck as we watched the almost full super moon rise over Hangman Creek to the east.  The view from the deck was gorgeous.  dinner at Don and Wynns (13 of 25)We even managed the “complete” family photo with everyone attending the reunion gathering on Don’s lawn.  I have a sequence of about 12 different shots, all with varying degrees of success at getting everyone to look forward and smile at the same time.  The joys of photographing a group are not to be understated.dinner at Don and Wynns (15 of 25)

Saturday morning dawned sunny and warm, and was a perfect day for the family float on the Little Spokane River.  Don is an avid kayaker, and knows the area paddles well.  He picked this one the last time we were in his area, and it was a great choice.  Everyone opted for the 3 hour float rather than the shorter paddle.Family Float (3 of 12)We had a large number of rubber boats to compliment the few kayaks, and the best part of the morning was the gathering of people as we stood around while Don tried to explain the logistics of the car shuttles, organizing the designated drivers, and trying to figure out who would be where when.  I won’t post a bunch more photos of this day because in the first reunion post I chose to share my favorite shots of everyone participating.Family Float (7 of 12)

The Little Spokane is a meandering river, with just enough current to make it fun, and enough that I was glad we were only paddling downstream.  Much of the shoreline is in a natural wildlife area, and we didn’t discover until the end of the trip at the takeout that no dogs are allowed on the river!  UhOh.  Glad we didn’t read the sign because Abby had a great time.

Oukrop Reunion Float (20 of 41) Golf and Silverwood required a weekday, so the float got the weekend day by default, and Saturday wasn’t the best day to be on this lovely river.  It is an extremely popular place, especially on a hot sunny weekend, and we were accompanied by a large number of fellow rafters.  I think our group might have been the biggest, however, and maybe all those other rafters were wishing they had picked a different day as well.  Something a bit disconcerting to be on a gorgeous river and come around a curve to the smell of cigarette/marijuana (legal in Washington) smoke and the sound of loud rock and roll on someone’s radio.

Oukrop Reunion Float (39 of 41) We all had a great time, and the kayakers in the group thought the trip length was perfect.  A few of the floaters thought it was just over the limit of comfortable, especially the ones who had to keep blowing up their boats.  I wish I could remember Susan’s youngest son David’s exact words, something to the effect  of “If we don’t stop right now I am going to die”  Susan, if you read this, please post that comment in the comments.  I would love to get it word for word!

IMG_0616Oukrops on the Deschutes River 2010

I think the float trip is my favorite part of these Oukrop reunions, and remember fondly our float trip on the Deschutes when Roger and Nancy’s family was in charge of the festivities.

dinner at Ginny and Gabes (2 of 34) After a long day we arrived back in camp just in time to change and clean up a bit to drive in a different direction to the home of Ginny and Gabe for their fabulous fully hosted dinner.  Once again, no potluck allowed, and Ginny and Gabe put on the best pulled pork BBQ ever!

dinner at Ginny and Gabes (18 of 34) Ginny is a professional portrait photographer, and incredibly artistic.  She had the yard all decorated with Martha Stewartesque jars of baby’s breath and wooden table runners, all coordinated.  There was even a lovely basket with an assortment of beautiful quilts for spreading on the grass. Her appetizers and casserole accompaniments to the dinner were fabulous. Not to mention the infused waters and banana split dessert!

dinner at Ginny and Gabes (21 of 34) Gabe had a regulation volley ball court all set up with a 20 foot high barrier to keep the ball from ending up in the neighbors yard.  Did I mention this is a very athletic family?  The barrier wasn’t high enough, and Gabe spent a good amount of time going over the fence after the ball. 

dinner at Ginny and Gabes (34 of 34) It was so much fun watching Ginny and Gabe’s dog wandering around trying to play volleyball, and watching all the little ones running around underfoot. 

08-09-2014 Oukrop Dinner at Ginny and Gabes We went home to the campground by the light of the almost super moon, one more night before it would be full.  The next morning, folks began dispersing, some to the airport, rigs loaded up and ready to roll toward home, and Mo and I spent some quiet hours all alone at the park enjoying the river and the trails.

walking Riverside SP (1 of 12) Our evening destination was only a few short miles north toward Bonners Ferry where we planned to overnight before our border crossing early Monday morning into Canada. No need to rush.  A wonderful end to a wonderful reunion with plenty of time to decompress and relax before the next leg of our journey.walking Riverside SP (6 of 12)

Next: Fabulous Kootenay Lake in British Columbia


August 5 Heading North for Mo’s Family Reunion

Current Location: Rocky Point, OR Breezy and Pleasant at 69F

trip north It was just over two weeks ago when we headed north toward Spokane for Mo’s reunion.  Her family manages to get together every two years and with five siblings, Mo’s turn hasn’t rolled around for almost a decade.  Our last reunion in 2012 was north of Denver in Colorado and we added on a great extended trip that time to visit South Dakota and Wyoming.  Loved that trip that we shared with Mo’s brother Roger and his wife Nancy! If you want to check out our travels through the Black Hills and the Big Horn Mountains, the posts start here.

This time we decided to take advantage of the Inland Northwest location and travel north into British Columbia and do the beautiful circle route along Kootenay Lake.  I was really looking forward to the trip.  When I lived in Coeur D Alene, I would make the trip north every once in awhile and have a special place in my heart for Kaslo.

When we were packing up to leave, conditions around the compound here were hot and smoky from so many fires that were burning.  Some are still smoking, but at least the worst of the fires are out.  It was a bit disconcerting to drive off early in the morning accompanied by the strong smell of smoke and a red sun. We looked at each other and said, “Well, fire could come whether we are here or not, so I guess we will just have to trust that it will be OK”.

There is such a mixture of delight and frustration when I know we are heading out for an extended trip.  Although two weeks isn’t anything like the three month sojourn last winter, I still hate to leave the gardens, the sewing machine, all the myriad life things that keep things interesting around here.  Blooming at home (14 of 28)Everything was looking fresh and the tomatoes were just beginning to ripen. Still, the road calls, and I was excited that we were actually getting on the road again, with some great plans waiting.

Blooming at home (11 of 28)Once again we traveled north on Highway 97, though Bend, to the COE campground at the mouth of the John Day River at LePage adjacent to I-84.  We could make the 529 miles to Spokane in a long day, but there is no reason to do that.  LePage waits, with half price using our senior pass, and hookups to manage the hot temperatures that always seem to accompany our trips in that direction.  I think the last time we camped here was on our way to Alaska in 2011, and it was something like 105F.

 Oregon day 1-9 Of course the heat gave us the excuse to stop at the ice cream shop in Shaniko (Where the West Still Lives) for a cool tasty treat.  I think that is some of the best home made ice cream I have ever tasted.  I’ll have to be sure and remind Sherry and David to try it out if they ever get to Oregon. 

Oregon day 1-8 When we arrived at LePage in late afternoon, it was only 104.  Sure do like having hookups for the air conditioner!  Dinner was simple, and indoors, since the hot wind that was whirling around outside made putting out the BBQ too much trouble.  Time for quesadillas, my go-to meal when I want something quick and good.  The hot wind was a great white noise and with the cool air blowing over us I slept very well.

Blooming at home (5 of 9) The next morning we took Abby for an early swim, walked around the park after breakfast, and readied the rig to meet Mo’s brother Dan and wife Chere at the entrance to the campground.  They were right on time and we caravanned north toward Spokane without incident except for a minor miss in Dan’s engine.  Dan’s Class A is 30 some feet and being a great mechanic he takes care of it himself.  He figured out the problem eventually, but in the mean time we stopped a couple of times to check it out.

Blooming at home (2 of 9) Traveling north on 84 to 82, and then 395, crossing the river in Kennewick, and then continuing north towards Spokane is a bit of a puzzle if you aren’t used to the route.  Having done the road a bazillion times, I still have to watch the GPS to remember which lane to be in to make the proper turns.  Mo was sure there had to be a more direct way north, but there isn’t.  Gotta get across the river and across a few interstates before 395 continues toward Spokane.

tricitiesWe never seem to spend much time in Tri Cities, just passing through.  Pasco, Kennewick, and Richland are all clustered along the Columbia and Snake Rivers and are famous for the big jet boat races every year.  The area has grown exponentially, with huge housing developments, lots of big shopping, and lots of traffic.  Good wineries abound, and it can be hot in the summer.  I know there is a lot to see and do in the area, but I have never had the inclination to do so.  Deanna and Keith (trucker daughter and her husband) stay there when they are on home time, with Keith’s brother who has a beautiful house in Kennewick along the river.

Riverside SP (3 of 5) We arrived at Riverside State Park in Spokane around 3, and it was 99 degrees F.  There always is a bit of confusion about exactly how to get to the campground area of the state park, and if you use a GPS, don’t count on it.  If you put in Bowl and Pitcher, you might have better luck, but either way the GPS will try to take you down through the golf course parking lot, down a very narrow street, around a very sharp right turn onto another narrow street to get to the campground.  After being there a few days we discovered it was a LOT easier to go north to Rifle Range road and out Francis Blvd no matter where we wanted to go in town.Riverside State Park

Brother Don and his wife Wynn were in charge of the festivities this year, and they came down to the park as folks began to arrive to make sure we were all settled in comfortably before bringing in something like 20 pizzas for everyone to share.  It was great fun seeing more than 30 Oukrops all together in one place. First night at Riverside Oukrop Reunion (3 of 15) First night at Riverside Oukrop Reunion (4 of 15)

Next:  The Oukrops descend on Silverwood and Boulder Beach Theme Park in Northern Idaho

Long Beach and Cape Disappointment

Thursday February 23rd

north coast_272trail to the beach from our parkExcept for the 3 mile move from Fort Stevens to Camp Rilea, I think today may have been one of the shortest drives from one site to another that we have experienced.  In just 21.7 very short miles from Warrenton, north on 101, crossing the beautiful green bridge at Astoria, and winding along the north shore of the Columbia River, we entered the little town of Long Beach, Washington.  Oh.  Sales taxes again!  We are so very spoiled in Oregon since there is no sales tax.

Along the way there are several sites that are part of the Lewis and Clark National and State Historic Parks, but we wanted to first find a home and settle in before we took our time exploring the peninsula.  The sun was a weak, watery orb as we stopped again at the local Visitor Information Center. 

Long Beach Mapnorth coast_274The night before we had looked up all the Passport America and CampClub USA parks in the vicinity, and with more than 70 advertised RV parks in the area, we found just three that were club members.  Of course, some parks understand the switch between CampClub and Passport, but others do not.  We decided on a park called “Driftwood”, but I followed Laurie’s advice and checked out the reviews first.  Hmmmm.  Maybe not. 

We then decided it would be better to be a little bit north of town rather than in a crowded park filled with old trailers, dogs, and junk.  Our choice was perfect.  Pacific Holiday Sunrise Resorts was just north of town a couple of miles, but on the ocean side of the highway, very quiet and clean, spacious, and almost empty. We paid the $15. half price fee, the $1.70 state sales tax, and a $3.00 resort fee for full hookups with great cable TV. 

After a quick setup and lunch, we decided to drive north on the peninsula to explore what is touted as the World’s Longest Beach. A quick check later on the internet confirmed it is the longest US beach, and the longest drivable beach, but the hundred mile long beach in Bangladesh far outdoes the 28 miles of sand stretching north from Cape Disappointment. 

scary dogs with no owner in sightWe drove the back road closest to the water, but most of it was blocked from access by beachfront homes and no access signs.  Finally we found a small path, and parked the car to brave the winds for some beach walking with Abby.  It was really windy, and chilly, but we were determined to enjoy this beach! It was a bit disconcerting to have to move out of the way of the occasional car or truck driving along the frothy surf, but that was nothing compared to the dog scare.

Mo kept them at bay with the plastic stickSuddenly from nowhere, over a big sand dune, came two large aggressive dogs, barking and growling, hackles raised, circling Mo and Abby and threatening them.  I am terrified of these kinds of dogs when they aren’t under control, but Mo kept her head and kept telling them, “Go Home!!”.  They would listen for a minute then come back in and growl at Abby.  Mo just kept being aggressive back, her only weapon was the plastic throwing stick for Abby’s ball.  Abby seemed to be oblivious, and kept wanting to check them out.  My knees were shaking, and I stayed behind Mo the whole time, but neither of us could turn our backs on them because they would come rushing back at us.  Eventually they gave up, scared off by Mo’s alpha dog attitude and big green plastic stick. For me, however, the walk was ruined and I was ready to get back in the car for the rest of the explorations.

North Head LighthouseWe continued driving north along the peninsula, where there were many beachfront houses, most of them empty, and the whole place seemed very uninviting.  Driving to the bay side, we wandered as far north as the road allowed to Leadbetter State Park and the tiny historic town of Oysterville.  A long drive back down the bayside of the peninsula was not particularly interesting and we decided to continue south to Cape Disappointment State Park.

For me, this was the goal of the journey.  I wanted to look out over the Pacific the same way those two great explorers did back in 1805.  I wanted to see what they saw and read more about their travels at what promised to be a beautiful visitor center high above the ocean with a view of the Cape Disappointment lighthouse.  At the southern end of the peninsula, the road climbs steeply into the park, and the first side road leads to a view of the North Head lighthouse.  Both of these lights are beautiful and historic, with North Head established in 1898 and the Cape Disappointment lighthouse in 1856.

sweet coast guard guy training for cliff rescuesthere he goesThe trail to North Head was just a short one but the view was spectacular.  There were some cars out on the entry road and a flurry of activity that had us wondering what was happening.  The coast guard was doing some rescue training and we were at the right place at the right time to watch their amazing maneuvers on the cliffs below us.  The young man in the photo was a 6 year veteran of the coast guard and was a delight to talk to about his career.  Watching him rappel down from the copter was more fun since we had talked to him beforehand.  I know there are a couple of my blog readers who are coast guard retirees, so I thought you might like these photos.  The winds were blowing hard and I was amazed at how steady the helicopter pilot kept that bird hanging in the air during the rescue practice.

there is a trail down there along the beach if you look closelyWe continued through the park to the beautiful interpretive center where there are beautiful trails leading to viewpoints and to the lovely black and white Cape Disappointment lighthouse overlooking the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean.  In addition to our $10. state park entry fee (inside a National Park where our Golden Age Pass didn’t work), there is an additional $5. fee to go into the center.  Mo chose to look at the views while I went in and learned even more about the expedition.  This time, there were even a few stories of the journey home, another two years.  Lewis’s first comment on arriving in St. Louis was to ask if his mother was still living. Clark probably said something like “Hi Honey, I’m Home” to his long suffering wife who hadn’t seen him in four years!

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse c.1856New exhibits at the center provide interpretation of the entire route, but focused on the Corp’s of Discovery’s pioneering exploration of the Columbia River in 1805 and 1806.  The romance of this wonderful place seeped in deep enough that Mo and I bought a beautiful poster of the park highlights depicted in old fashioned post card style art to frame for our office at home.

walking to the beach on a winter afternoonWe went home to our cozy rig for a bbq salmon supper, with a nice picnic table to hold the bbq and no rain to spoil it.  We did, however, eat inside while watching the sunset. We were both pretty worn out from all the moving and traveling and dogs and cold winds so it was with great pleasure we settled in for an early evening of reading and some good television.

Friday morning we planned to travel south, moving quickly to get back to Brookings by Saturday afternoon, ahead of the predicted bad weather to come.  But first we wanted to make an attempt to find some of the murals that were touted in a brochure we had received from the visitor center.  On our first drive though Ocean Park we didn’t see a thing, but there was time to look again before we headed back south.  We drove back and forth through town, to no avail.  The places listed in the brochure were nowhere to be found, and stops in a couple of local shops were no help, with folks saying they had never heard of the murals.

04 Oregon Coast Long Beach-001I finally found a local guy raking some gravel and he told me that the Ole’s Nook Tavern had been sold several years ago and the mural painted over.  The Sentry Market was now Thriftway, and that mural had also been painted over.  Looking closer, we discovered the brochure was printed in 1995!  We later found this website that would have been more helpful when we were looking, the Walking Tour of Ocean Park. On the way back through Long Beach, Seaside, and Ilwaco, we did find a few of the listed murals, however, some in great shape and some seriously faded.  We even found one on the back side of Highway 103 that wasn’t listed in the brochure.

04 Oregon Coast Long BeachThe other cool thing to look for in Ocean Beach are houses made from old shipwrecks washed ashore.  Our newly found local friend Bob Bodine, 55 year resident of the area, told us where to go to find them.  The craziest was called the “Door House”, and it was exactly that, a house made from doors from an old shipwreck.  Bob mourned the loss of many of these historic places, saying that the new folks coming in didn’t care any more about the history of the place and many of these houses were being torn down.  I’m glad we got to see them before that happened.

We knew that more than 200 miles were between us and our Eugene destination, but were glad to take the time to ferret out a bit of local history before we left Long Beach and headed south.

NOTE: All my photos are now stored on Google/Picasa, but I think the Picasa link on the left side of this blog page gets you there.  If you are a Google Plus user you have probably seen then roll by.  Now when I upload photos from Picasa, they go directly to Google Photos and are shared via Google Plus.  I still have no idea how to share photos with folks that read the blog but aren’t necessarily on a shared list. I would have to make the album fully public to do that I think, and can only do that from Picasa.  Google Plus requires “sharing”.  Ack!!  The whole thing makes me crazy.  I also have photos from the past on SmugMug but because of bandwidth, I don’t upload everything there.

Tomorrow: The mall at Eugene, breakfast with Russ and Donna, and back to Brookings where we finally had our campfire!