After two months in Oregon we are leaving this week and I haven’t written a word about our time here. What can I say? This blog is more about having a record for me to refer back to and it has been so valuable for that. Often times Steve and I will try to remember where we were at a certain time and this website answers our question. I have some catching up to do here.
After not posting for a while there sometimes comes a day when I have an abnormally large amount of traffic to the site and my motivation returns for a bit. Over the years I have followed blogs that suddenly leave me hanging and it makes me kind of angry. Did they have an accident? Did they get divorced? Or worse, are they dead? Why don’t they say SOMETHING, ANYTHING?! Okay okay.
We are fine. No accidents other than another cracked windshield due to taking a nosedive into the only pothole in what must be the best maintained roads in all of the United States. Well, that did almost cause a divorce.
Our vow to not stay in anymore RV resorts or private RV parks has been kept and has been so very pleasant. So without yakking too much more, following are some pictures of where we have been:
The Astoria-Kegler Bridge stretches over four miles crossing the mouth of the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon. This bridge has the longest continuous truss in the US. The mighty Columbia is mighty impressive!
The end of July was blackberry season in the Pacific Northwest and they were everywhere, free for the picking. We had them at the historic Dismal Nitch rest area that is immediately before crossing the Columbia River into Oregon and we found more in Girabaldi, Oregon.
This was our first time traveling the Oregon coastal highway north of Lincoln City and it did not disappoint; particularly on this stretch between Cannon Beach and Manzanita.
Looking down on Manzanita and Nehalem
One of the free overnight RV parking websites lists the Myrtlewood Factory in the port town of Girabaldi as a place to stay. It is a nondescript little parking lot on the highway. Not ideal. Noisy and very busy throughout the night with people pulling in and out as a turn around.
While Steve leveled the motorhome I walked Molly and noticed a wooden ramp over the railroad tracks in the parking lot. At first I thought maybe it was for track maintenance workers as the rail bed was built up pretty high next to the factory. But Molly and I crossed the tracks and there was an asphalt trail bordered by high bushes full of ripe blackberries. We walked a little further and there was a snow white rabbit sitting on the path calmly looking at us. I stopped dead in my tracks and stared at him too. I didn’t want to scare him so turned around and went back to the motorhome.
I showed Steve the trail and this time just a bit further on the bushes gave way to the bay and the rabbit who was now down on the beach surrounded by onlookers who also didn’t know what to make of him. This turned out to be a wonderful walk as it led us past an RV park on the water, the scenic harbor and pier.
This view is featured in many publications related to Oregon which can also be seen on this walk. It was late afternoon, the sun was in front of me, but I took the picture to remind myself to go back in the morning and try again. I didn’t unfortunately. One of those missed photography regrets that I won’t forget.
We had arrived at the Myrtlewood Factory after closing hours and from what I read online the owner of the factory required permission before parking there. We tried calling but no answer. So in order not to have him irked at us we got up very early and pulled out, but before departing Girabaldi I wanted to see the harbor one more time. There is a municipal park with easy parking for our motorhome and car and nearby are a couple more RV parks in this tiny town.
Next up was an RV park at the Tillamook Airport. 50+ sites with no hookups (a couple of water spigots) and very few RV’s made for a nice quiet respite. While there the rate went up from $12 to $15 and the maintenance worker said there is talk of putting in a dump station.
The views were pretty good too and with only one or two small planes landing or leaving each day there wasn’t much going on at the small airport.
We had only intended to stay 3 or 4 days until Steve noticed a black growth on Molly’s leg. Right away I knew it was melanoma and we got her into the Tillamook Veterinary Hospital. Molly had surgery a few days later and we learned that melanoma on a dog is not necessarily malignant. If it is on a hairy area the chances of non-malignancy are 80% and so it was with Molly. However, the doctor did a thorough checkup and several other issues came up. A urinary tract infection, collarette (a skin staph infection), Cushings Disease, and a spot on her head that also had to be surgically removed. She was put on antibiotics and we were told to come back in two weeks to get the stitches removed and have further blood work done to confirm Cushings Disease.
While staying in Tillamook we drove the Three Capes Scenic Loop
The Cape Meares Lighthouse is only one of two lighthouses in the country with an eight sided Fresnel lens. The other one is in Hawaii. This was our favorite of the three capes as it is located in a state park with trails along the ocean and in a forest where you can see the historic Octopus Tree. No fees.
We didn’t want to stay in Tillamook for two more weeks as there was no place to dump the tanks. We did drive to a county campground in the hills one time but that turned out to be too long a drive on a narrow and winding road to do that task more than once. So we drove a little further south to Lincoln City and parked at the Chinook Winds Casino. They now have a special lot for RVs and also a requirement to register and get a players card in the casino. 40 points are needed to park for 3 days or 100 points for a week. One point = one dollar but if the machine is not a total loser some money will be spit back out. All in all it cost us $6 to earn a one week stay. But we ended up staying 19 nights and my lips are sealed! Great buffet took most of our money but we still spent less than at an RV park so no regrets. Listening to the ocean waves every night was priceless!
Two weeks after Molly’s surgery we took her to the Animal Hospital in Lincoln City which I highly recommend for their reasonable and knowledgable service. Actually the Veterinary Hospital in Tillamook was very, very good too. The veterinarian in Lincoln City took out the stitches and reviewed the medical records from the surgery and checkup. She was impressed how thoroughly everything was documented. At the same time she explained that Cushings Disease is not life or death and is not causing Molly discomfort. The series of blood tests to prove Cushings is uncomfortable and subsequent treatment is more for the convenience of the owners as one of the symptoms is that the dogs drink a lot of water and thus need to go outside often. We are used to that and it doesn’t bother us. Molly is 12 and at this point we are not going to put her through painful tests and procedures if we don’t absolutely have to. She has never minded going to the vet but the minute we got out of the car at the clinic in Lincoln City she locked her legs and wouldn’t budge. She knew where she was although she hadn’t been there previously. Enough.
Stayed tuned for the rest of the Oregon segment