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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Seaside, Oregon


From Newport, Oregon we continued up Highway 101 to Seaside, Oregon.  The road is typical of the coast: drifting inland slightly and traversing steep and windy roads through the coast mountains and then back down to the ocean for a run along the beach or through the marsh grasses that edge most of the beaches in Oregon.  It is another beautiful drive but make sure you take it slowly and use the appropriate lower gears for all of the ups and downs.
            Arriving in Seaside, it is an easy drive to the Thousand Trails, Seaside RV Park.  A quick turn to the east in the middle of town on Twelfth Street will take you to the park.  Seaside TT Park is divided into two sections (North and South of 12th St.).  Check-in is on the south side of the road, but there is an easy turn around to access the north sites.  All 50 amp. Service is on the north side so that was where we headed.  We found a nice site on the second street (#148) that had great space, satellite TV reception, WiFi reception, and 50 amp.  We were in campers’ heaven.  We really enjoyed our site, so did a lot of outdoor cooking on the grill and lounging on the rug that we were able to put out.  We give this park a “9” on the Moore 1-10 scale (with 10 being perfect and 1 being unspeakable).  Why only a nine … well if you follow our blog, you know it is a pet peeve that as TT VIP members we have to go fetch the paper at the ranger station.  Parks that require that get a point deducted.  Parks that deliver receive the point.  Please don’t bother to comment on this particularly highbrowed conceit … it’s our scale and we can deduct for what we want … and I really enjoy getting up to a paper without having to get dressed, hop in the car, and go fetch it.
            Seaside is a nice little town with a few interesting shops and restaurants down Broadway Street.  We ate breakfast and lunch at Dundee’s Bar and Grill and we definitely recommend this little joint.  It has a family side and an adult only side (where the bar is located).  While we enjoy seeing all the kids have a good time most of the time, a nice quiet meal once in a while is a blessing and we opted for the adult side.  We had great food and watched a few Olympic events on the many TVs.  We did eat at the kid friendly Foltana’s Pizza and we recommend it too.  It is a wide-open room with an arcade next door with plenty of action and noise.  It also serves one of the best pizzas this side of the Mississippi (great crisp thin crust with plenty of toppings … served hot and gooey).  Avoid the sushi place  (Tora’s) … we found something crawling on Lynda’s plate and walked out.
            Oregonians flock to Seaside in the summer for the cool beach air and to enjoy the ocean.  There are plenty of opportunities to fly kites, play volleyball, boogey board or swim (in designated areas only as the currents tend to be strong and unpredictable).  Therefore, the areas around the beach are crowded and Highway 101 can become a bit congested.  We took our Segways down by the most popular beach areas by riding on the Promenade, but if you just want to walk on a nice stretch of nearly deserted beach, just go a bit further down and you will find it too.

Not So Crowded Beach

Away from the Crowds

Crowded Beach in Oregon (In California this would be an empty beach)


            This was a lazy couple of weeks for us, really.  We went to Costco in Warrington, Oregon (just 13 miles up the coast) and also visited Fred Meyer to stock up on food.  We did find a nice store just outside of Warrenton on the way back to Seaside that specializes in selling meat: Reed and Hertig – Purveyors of fine meat products.  We stopped in a bought a package deal for $79.00.  If you like meat (and we do!) it was a great buy and the product is very tasty.
            There is plenty to see and do in the area.  We opted to follow some of the trails of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery and also visited Fort Clatsop (named after the local indigenous tribe the expedition befriended).  The expedition wintered here after making their way to the Pacific.  They also took the opportunity to set up a small camp at the ocean where they made salt.  A replica of the salt-making operation is on display in Seaside.  If one ventures all the way up the coast of Oregon the Astoria area is replete with interesting things to see (since we will be next in Long Beach, however, we saved Astoria for that stop).

Enlisted Quarters at Fort Clatsop

Lewis and Clark's Office and Quarters

Officer's quarters

Fort Clatsop Replica

Salt Making Oven

Salt Making Oven is now in someone's backyard



Until next time Keep Doing What You Love!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Newport, Oregon


From Thousand Trails, South Jetty, in Florence, Oregon, we hopped in the coach for a quick trip (50 miles) up the coast to Newport, Oregon.  The g.p.s., which has a mind on its own, tried to take us all the way back to Interstate 5 and then back to the coast (around a hundred miles out of our way).  We checked around to see if there would be a problem driving up the coast on Highway 101 and couldn’t find anyone who had a problem.  So off we went, up the 101, with the gps nagging at us to turn around and go by its selected route.  A few miles out of town we rounded a corner and there it was … one of the beautiful historic tunnels on the Oregon 101.  This tunnel is 14 feet at the top but is a lovely arch that ends at 11.5 feet at the shoulder.  I am 12.5 feet at the top of the king-dome!  While Lynda held her breath I edged as close to the center-line as possible and slid through without incident.  A few cars coming the other way honked their horns (must have been a tunnel thing … they couldn’t possibly have been honking because I was edging into their lane …) making it a festive event.  The coast does have a few nice ups and downs punctuated by some sharp curves, but if you slow down and have a contest to see how many cars you can collect behind you … you can make it … eventually, as we did.           
Our home in Newport was the Thousand Trails Whaler’s Rest Campground.  This is a large campground spreading to both sides of 123rd street.  At five miles an hour it takes, according to the campground’s ranger, six minutes to drive the one-way road from the gate through the south-side of the campground to 123rd street.  Our check-in was prophetic of our entire stay … wonderful!  The employees at the park are well trained and well managed.  The park is friendly, clean, and a fun place to stay.  We were very fortunate to get a great spot – Site 21 – complete with a wood deck, picnic table, and 50-amp service (for free).  This is a park we would definitely frequent again.  We give it a solid “9” on the Moore-scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best.  Why only a “9”?  As VIP members we would have liked to have had our paper delivered each morning as they do at Rancho Oso and the parks in Texas, and we were unable to receive satellite (too many trees) so we had to purchase cable ($25.00 for two weeks).  Nevertheless, I highly recommend this park … We had a great time!
There is a lot to do … or not to do … in Newport.  There are a lot of great restaurants to choose from.   A couple of our favorites are The Chowder Bowl and Nana’s Irish Pub both in the Nye Beach area.  The Chowder Bowl features great clam chowder and fish and chips, huge salads, and great burgers.  One of my favorites there is the bread pudding dessert (the whiskey sauce is magnificent!).  In addition to Guinness on tap, Nana’s has a great Guinness and steak pie.  It was one of our favorite places just to sit and chat.  A nice place for a simple breakfast is Fish Tale Café in South Beach … decent prices and good portions.

 

You can walk from Whaler’s Rest to the beach.  It is a short walk, but be careful crossing Highway 101.  On the beach you can hunt for shells, rocks, feathers, or marine life.  Or you can just come and sit …We spent a few days at the beach:  one of them with our son, his wife and their two children (cute pictures included below!).






We drove a few miles inland to Toledo, Oregon.  They do quite a bit of logging in the area and have a lumber mill in Toledo.  We ate at the Main Street Café … sorry … can’t recommend it.




From Newport, we moved a few miles up the road to a Coast to Coast Park in Neskowin, Oregon: Neskowin Creek RV Park.  This is a small park sitting in a large field.  It is close to Pacific City (north) and Lincoln City (south).  We only stayed here for three nights, and it was a nice “on the way” park.  We had both 50-amp and satellite.  We ate lunch at Los Caporales in Pacific City.  They will add some spice for you Texans, otherwise things are pretty mild … but tasty.  On our trip to Lincoln City we stopped in at Winddriven, a shop specializing in kites and wind toys.  We purchased a dragon and an owl.  From now on you can find us in a park by looking for the sign of the dragon and the owl (see pictures below).  We ate in Lincoln City at Dory Cove Café.  I had excellent chowder and shared Lynda’s burger and fries.  It looks like a bit of a dive, but the food is very tasty!





Until Next Time … Keep Doing What You Love!