Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Along The Oregon Coast, 1

We spent much of the next day (October 16th) in Tillamook, at the Goodwill, where we scored a pair of Hard Rock Cafe shot glasses from Queenstown; also a mini-microwave, but that's a different story; and at the Fred Meyer, where we got our annual flu shots and provisioned-up. We had spent an inordinate amount of time shopping the Goodwills of New Zealand earlier this year, hoping to find those shot-glasses. A niece collects them. The Hard Rock Cafe in Queenstown actually closed some years back--too dull for Queenstown, no doubt--and we figured any surviving shot glasses would be pretty rare, maybe even valuable. Imagine our delight in finding them in, of all places, Tillamook. Imagine our disappointment in learning they'll fetch just $5 on eBay. Oh well. But Stacey will be pleased.We proceeded on...doing the Three Capes Drive, Pacifica, more beautiful beaches and scenery, finally landing at our old friend Chinook Winds Casino, in Lincoln, where I won back $29 of the money lost on previous visits.
We also passed through Oceanside, WA, but didn't get any pix

Stacks on the Three Capes Drive

In or near Pacifica, the worst driveway ever...

You have been warned...

Big dunes everywhere

Note flying buttress

Across The Wide Columbia

After Lake Quinault, we got as far as Raymond and spent the night there savage-camping at the local Piggly Wiggly. Next day we mostly drove, taking in some dunes, Oceanside, Cape Disappointment, the mouth of the Columbia, across the river and on into Oregon, staying on US 101 or whatever else was closest to the coast. A good bit of Lewis and Clark country, most of which we had visited during the Bicentennial in 2006-2008. Then on, past increasingly gorgeous coastal scenes to Tillamook ("Eat Cheese Or Die"), where we stayed at the Blue Heron French Cheese Company. We figured we'd seen enough of Tillamook brand cheese, having lived in the inland Northwest and then the west coast for a time. But I digress.
A bit of Cape Disappointment, scene of many shipwrecks

Another broad beautiful sandy beach

Now across the river, past Astoria, on the beach in Seaside for a lunch stop

Seaside has some great Art Deco buildings which we, alas, did not stop to fully
appreciate; or photograph; next time

Moving right along down the coast

Beginning to remember just how impressive the Oregon coast is...

Finally landing in Tillamook, at the Blue Heron French Cheese Company, which
offered over-night parking for RVs; right next to the old farm and logging
equipment; and petting zoo

Monday, October 29, 2018

Olympic National Park: Lake Quinault And World Record Sitka Spruce

It's a big national park, including some isolated units, and, as I've observed, more diverse than any we have seen before. Our tour continued with a visit to Lake Quinault and the historic Lake Quinault Lodge, and then a drive and short hike to see the world's largest Sitka Spruce. We spent the night, October 14th, in Raymond. It was to be our last day in the park and our last in Washington.
View from from Kalalach campsite

Lake Quinault Lodge

They average 12 feet of rain a year here; but not this day, as Aragorn would say

Big room in the Lodge

The whole thing was built in a matter of weeks; by the same builder who later
did the Gallatin Gateway Lodge, site of one of my first meetings with the Montana
Committee for the Humanities, way back in 1996

Construction documentation

Outside, lake and grounds

Totem/rain gauge

Back inside, ceiling decor

More documentation: research on Bigfoot

Sign of the place: in a nearby general store, rain chains...

Or, ce n'est pas un sentier, as Magritte would say

One of the more interesting "tear drops" we have seen; we briefly owned one,
of plastic molded construction, back in the late 90s;  another proto-type that
did not pan out; we sold it after a few trips and soon bought another truck
camper, a Roamin' Chariot, built in Spokane, Washington (previously we had
briefly owned a Palamino; but I digress...)

Not the Big Tree, but an interestingly hollowed out spruce

Fine print; Vicki always reads this stuff while I am off trying
to find the right light, the right angle and frame...had I read
it we might have stayed to see all the Champion Trees of
the Valley, to complete our set; Champion Trees are a big
deal in the UK of GB, as we well know

The Big Sitka Spruce

View of Lake Quinault

Like most of the peninsula we've seen, it's remote and very sparsely populated;
here, a few cabins around the lake, a few farms; 12 feet of rain on average...

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Olympic National Park: Ruby Beach And Kalalach

Our tour of the park continued, with stops at Ruby Beach, a Big Tree, and encampment at Kalalach.
At Ruby Beach, more beautiful coastal seascapes

Apart from the currents, the cold water, there are additional reasons not to swim from
these beaches 

Our camper up on the bluff

Driftwood house

There was a sign off the highway to a Big Tree, then a
gravel road, then a trail to a grove of many unidentified
Big Trees... 

At Kalalach

Pizza mushroom, just as in NZ; poisonous, presumably

Another broad beautiful beach

Oh yes, there was a sunset...