Saturday, 15 September 2012

"We drove a lot but went nowhere"

Yesterday (Sept. 13th) we got into the touring/travelling grove and got our laundry done and had a picnic lunch, chatted with some very friendly people from Bellingham, WA and got my blog written, did some homeschooling with the kids on the road, and got some miles in.. we were grooving!

Picnic lunch, pee breaks, and laundry done.. were were grooving!

We crossed into Oregon (the Columbia River is impressive in it's size.. it took a while for us to convince Liam it was a River and not a lake). Astoria is the first town on the other side and it's a lovely historic town - the oldest town west of the Rockies (1811) - Lewis and Clark's expedition ended. We got great views of the Columbia River from the Lewis and Clark Monument and met a very friendly American who went out to his car to get us a stamp when we asked where we can buy one. So nice!

Columbia River (taken from bridge between WA and OR)

Lewis and Clark Monument in Astoria

Liam counted the stairs up.. I believe it was something like  173

But the generosity didn't end there.. wait for this... we were leaving a hotel after checking out the price and decided it was too were were pulling out.. a couple pull up next to us and tell us that they have a hotel room we can have.. they already paid for it.. but decided to stay at the hotel we just inquired with  (the couple from Michigan, said it was a long story ).. and so they handed over the key cards to us for a hotel in Seaside (about 15 miles down the coast)! We offered to pay them something and they insisted we just take the room. They didn't get our names and we didn't get theirs! So last night we had this wonderful hotel room for free.. and it had the best showers! Thank you fine folks from Michigan.

Seaside, Oregon is this cute little beach-side, ocean side vacation town - one of the oldest on the west coast - with a big "prom" that you can stroll with the waves in the distance. Salt Water Taffy stores, pancakes houses, t-shirt shops, kite and sand toys stores, and  the essence of beach vacationing  hanging in the air.   This morning we went to the beach and there was a fog mist rolling over the beach and tide coming in with crashing waves.. the colours were great.. cool grey water, soft beigh sand, and crisp greens from the grasses. The boys who had just  watched several episodes of "animal planet" that morning prowled around the marmon grasses on the sand dunes pretending to be a cheetahs or lions (not sure which). The seagulls weren't too happy!

Seaside, Oregon

But.. for most of today "we drove a lot and went no where" which is what Sean wrote in his travel journal and he is right. We need to get our Van looked at and we spend the morning sourcing out VW mechanics in Portland, sending e-mails, parked outside our hotel (after check out)  to make use of their Wi-Fi signal. Worrying, re-jigging a plan we didn't really have anyways and feeling a bit out of sorts. So, in the end we decided we should head to the State Park to camp for two nights and head to Portland for Monday .. but the camping was full (it's the weekend! duh!) .. and all the motels we passed in these cute little ocean side towns had "no vacancy" and the fog was so thick we didn't even see the coast at all, so we drove back to Seaside and are now in a  crappy motel. (We are just not motel/hotel travellers and I feel completely out of our element when it comes to sourcing and deciding on these things.)  So.. we finish the day feeling really that .. we went nowhere..(even the home schooling was pathetic) and that travelling groove we had just yesterday is now gone. Eric is now worried about van repair costs (head gaskets).. so he isn't in a fine mood either! Lets hope the fog lifts for tomorrow.

Fridge door burst open on the twisty drive along the coast.. to the State Park.. just to find out there is no camping .aghhh compare this to the picnic picture above.... (too funny!)

heading south along coastal highway just south of Cannon Beach area

And here are some more pictures from a few days ago.. in Olympic National Park in Washington (in case I didn't give you enough in the last blog!).. these are from the campground beach area.


Have a great weekend everyone!

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