Saturday, July 28, 2018

Newport, OR


Needing to escape the mid to upper 90s that were predicted inland, last Saturday we left the mall in Eugene and made our way to the Oregon coast. We’ve been on the coast twice before but neither time did we stop in Newport. Traveling without reservations in the summer can be challenging, but I found that the Port of Newport has a full hookup RV park, which of course was completely booked, and two dry camping overflow lots. I called to see if we needed a reservation for overflow and was told it would not be a problem even arriving on Saturday.

The paved lot was full but we got a site in the huge gravel lot next to the boat trailer parking area. It is not the most appealing place, but for $24.49 per night with tax, included is use of the very nice restroom, shower, laundry, drinking water fill, and dump station.


This lot is not very close to any of those things, though, so on Sunday when the majority of RVs pulled out, we asked to move over the the paved lot, which happens to be located in between the Rogue Brewery buildings.

Our little slice of pavement with a view of the Yaquina Bay Bridge.


We definitely escaped the heat, with the temperatures barely reaching 60 degrees and accompanied by strong winds and frequent fog, but we’re staying busy exploring the area and taking walks from our site.

It’s about a two mile walk across the bridge over to Newport’s historic bayfront.


We’ve taken way too many shots of the bridge but it’s interesting to see it from different angles and with varying degrees of fog. The Yaquina Bay Bridge was opened in 1936, one of 11 along Oregon Hwy 101 designed by engineer Conde McCullough.

These were all taken on the same walk. It was incredibly windy crossing the bridge, which caused the fog to move in and out in a matter of minutes.





Views looking down from the bridge. Our RV is partially hidden but that is our “campground” and the big buildings are part of Rogue Brewery.



Walking along colorful, bustling Bay Boulevard, the heart of Newport’s working bayfront. The seafood processing industry is alive and well here, mixed in with touristy saltwater taffy shops and restaurants.

Newport, Oregon

As our paint gets more faded and oxidized, we could always do something like this. The new-age drumming music emanating from it seemed appropriate.


Even though we don’t eat seafood, which is the specialty at most of the places there, we found a very good restaurant for lunch, M&P Authentic Thai Cuisine. We wandered the docks, saw a few harbor seals playing in the water, and checked out a couple shops.


On one of the very cold, cloudy and windy days we drove 25 miles north to Lincoln City and hung out at the outlet mall for a couple hours. Neither of us bought anything but on the drive back we stopped at several overlooks and got to see some gray whales playing around Depot Bay.




The coast is gorgeous even on a not-so-nice day.



Being surrounded by Rogue, we had to take the tour one day and have a beer at the bar another day. Their beer is okay but too expensive, which is actually not a bad thing, because we would be there every day otherwise, and they don’t have any happy hour specials.

They charge $5 for the tour, which includes two beers and one spirit tasting, plus a glass. We didn’t even get to ride the train from building to building since there were so many people in our group.



We’ve been on many brewery tours but Rogue also distills their own spirits (gin, whiskey and rum), farms their own ingredients and coopers their own barrels. The coopering building where they make the barrels was really fascinating.





Next to the Barrel Works is the “Roguesonian” museum and distillery.



The distillery.


We took another day trip 25 miles south to Cape Perpetua, a Siuslaw National Forest headland that projects into the Pacific Ocean. We visited there in 2009 but it was a foggy day, so we waited for a clear day to go back again. Seeing a sign for day use, we turned left off of 101 and drove several miles up to the end of the road and a parking area for a viewpoint. The St. Perpetua trail to the visitor center starts (or ends) there, so we decided to check it out. 1.5 miles down switchbacks and descending almost 800’.




Once we got to the visitor center we continued on a paved trail to the tidepools and the Spouting Horn.





The Spouting Horn wasn’t spouting since the tide was going out, but the water was splashing up pretty good. Just after I took this the guy with the camera got drenched.



We’ve also walked to South Beach and taken a tour of Yaquina Head lighthouse, but that’s for another post. There’s been plenty to keep us busy around here, and we’re finally getting used to the damp cool air. Yesterday it was in the low 60s with no wind and it actually felt warm!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

A Few Days in Eugene

Since it was over 400 miles to Eugene,OR from Lake Almanor, CA, we split up the drive, stopping for the night in Klamath Falls at the not-so-lovely Klamath County Fairgrounds. With highs in the mid 90s we had to have power and for $25/night with full hookups it was fine for one night, with only 2 other rigs there.


It was nice that we didn’t have to unhook the car. We went for a walk later when it started cooling down and found a Harbor Freight just a couple blocks away. First time we ever camped within walking distance of one.


The next day we drove on another 175 miles to Armitage Park, a very pretty county park in Eugene, also with full hookups. We had great shade, which helped the AC keep us nice and cool.



I was able to get a cancelation for two nights that coincided with our appointment at AM Solar in nearby Springfield on Wednesday. Since it was in the 90s again, after we arrived on Tuesday we decided to go over to Anytime Fitness to work out and shower, stopping at Home Depot first for a new circuit breaker for the air conditioner, which has been tripping when it’s really hot. Since traffic was backed up on the road to Anytime Fitness we scrapped that idea. Jim was tired of driving around and suggested we just find someplace to have a beer when I saw a sign for Steel Pail Growler Station and taproom. He had a Cascade Lakes Salted Carmel Porter and after sampling some other IPAs I opted for one of my all time favorites, Half Hitch IPA from Crux in Bend. At least our arms got a little workout lifting the glass.

The next morning we headed for AM Solar at 9. Our solar controller has had some intermittent strange readings and given that it’s 12 years old we decided to go ahead and replace it before it went out at a less convenient time.

Old HPV-22B, which was actually made by AM Solar.


The new one is a Blue Sky 3000I. Had they still made the HPV he would have replaced it himself, but this one is not the same size, and required a plate to cover the opening. They also had to install a separate on/off switch to turn off power to the solar panels if need be, since this does not have one built in like the other. Given the time it took to install Jim was happy he didn’t attempt it. We also had them replace the circuit breaker since Jim was a little unsure of how to get the old one out. Again he was glad he didn’t try it himself as the installer had some trouble getting the new one in.


While the work was being done we ran some errands and did laundry. It was 3:30 before we left to go back to the RV park and since it was a little cooler we set out for a walk around the park, which is along the McKenzie River.


We found a way to extend our walk and discovered an osprey nest on a nearby bridge.



The parent was really squawking at us. You can barely see the two babies in the nest.


We would have stayed longer at Armitage but there were no other sites available, so on Thursday, with cooler temperatures predicted for a few days, we just drove 5 miles to the Valley River Center, Eugene’s mall that allows overnight RV parking for two nights. We stayed here before back in 2014 and enjoyed being parked right on the Ruth Bascomb River Trail and the Willamette River.

Can’t beat this scenic free parking spot.


We stayed our two nights, which is the maximum allowed, and biked and walked the trail several times. Even stopped at McMenamin’s for happy hour while we were biking since it was right off the trail. Eugene has quite a number of breweries but our time was too limited. Friday we didn’t even move the car, a nice change from all the driving we’ve been doing since we left Jojoba on July 7th. We don’t get how anyone takes their RV to Alaska and back. Too many hours of driving and sitting makes us crazy.

Scenes from the trail.







That night we walked over to the mall and BJs Brewhouse for happy hour. Yesterday we visited the very impressive Saturday farmer’s market before heading off to the coast. The heat is returning inland so we’ve joined the masses looking for some cool ocean breezes.