I was following the weather fairly closely online and there were several storms heading my way here on the coast of Oregon. I did want to stay longer and have the mechanic I’d found d0 my brakes for me but, he didn’t return my calls, and the weather was closing in. The morning I left Gold Beach didn’t look all that bad though.
Next morning, got up bright and early, had a light b’fast, jumped on the bike and headed North along the 101. The route to Jerry’s Jet Boats is 1.4 miles along highway 101 and it’s easy travel what with the nice sidewalks and all. It’s right on the edge of town on the south shore of the Rogue River. The last bit is fairly steep so I’m sure I wore down a layer of my bike’s brake pads. Didn’t like the idea of coming back that way and having to push the bike all the way up that hill, so on my way back, I’ll look for an alternate route.
When I made my reservations, and after I got the discount, it came to $45 (in case you’re wondering). Regular price is $50. This is the 2nd to last jet boat tour, and only trip of the 3 trip lengths they offered this time of year, a 64 mile round trip on the river. They planned on shutting down the tour operation the day after tomorrow, but the mail boat travels up the river all year round. The other two tours, 80 miles and 104 miles, had already been shut down due to low water levels.
I arrived at Jerry’s right at 9 AM for the 9:30 trip, signed in, and soon we were loading aboard from the modern and well maintained dockside. The boats all looked in great shape as well. Aluminum hulls, padded bench seats, etc. The pilot would ask people as they boarded if they were with nearby people and most everyone was part of a group or couple. I was the only single and he directed me to the last bench seat in the boat so I had an entire seat to myself. I am not complaining. The way the boat is built, each row is a little higher than the row before so the last row, where I was sitting, was the highest and had the best view. BUT, it also got the most wind and spray. I was OK with that.
Walking down the ramp to board the boat gives a nice view of the Rogue and the 101 bridge. We’ll be traveling under that bridge soon.
As I said last post, I was pretty disappointed that the Turtle Rock RV Park has such screwed up WiFi. Annoyingly frustrating to find such a perfectly positioned park near a bar and a brewery, with great facilities, and be chased off by their lack of equipment maintenance and the staffs insistence that everything was OK.
The day before I left that park, I strolled around to get a few pictures. It really is nice here. Wish I could have stayed. This next shot is of the ocean’s incursion up Hunter Creek. It’s a tidal creek.
This is one of the RV parks rental cottages. They had several of them and they were all very nice, at least from the outside. They also had hot tubs at some of the cottages, AND, at some of the RV sites. That’s pretty unique. I’ve not seen that at many RV parks in my travels.
I stuck around Seaside enjoying the area until Oct. 6th. Watching the weather predictions showed that a big storm was coming this direction and Seaside was going to get the brunt of it. I’ve got a couple minor leaks on the roof of the RV and wanted to avoid having to deal with that again. So I did some investigating and found that down near Brookings, Oregon looked like a fairly dry area for a couple more weeks. That trip south would give me a chance to visit other small towns on the way down. Not in any hurry so I could maybe visit the air museum again. I like it there and haven’t been for 10 years. I was thinking it had the Spruce Goose, but we’ll see when we get there. And the morning I left, you could see that a storm front was moving in. No rain at this stage though.
Seaside is one of my favorite places to stay, so I try to come here at least once a year. The Venice RV park is my favorite place to stay because of several factors. It’s within walking distance of a real sports bar, Creekside Pizzeria, with huge screen TVs, they even get the PAC-12 network for Oregon Ducks games, they have a couple good microbrews on tap, food there is always great including their pizza, they have a salad bar so you can pile on your favs, there’s outside seating right on the estuary, and finally, the bartenders know me now and seem to think I’m funny instead of weird. The RV park itself is a little difficult to park at, spaces are narrow but long, the transient area is all blacktop, the cable TV loaner boxes can be problematic, the Wifi is consistently good though. Not super fast, but good. Then, the park is walking or bike riding distance to the theater, Safeway, and various other shopping areas. And of course, the town is relatively flat so’s I ride my bike all over the place. Good exercise and there are so many routes to take that I’m not bored just riding. And besides that, Seaside has one of the neatest touristy downtowns you’d ever want to see. Look at all these fun things to enjoy if you Visit Seaside!
I can do most of my shopping on the bike but every two weeks or so, I’ll walk over to Safeway and Riteaid shopping center to do my heavy shopping. And here’s another benefit to Seaside. There’s a very reliable taxi service (Seaside Shuttle – 503-440-7777) there that’ll pick me and my groceries up and deliver me home for $5. I do only shop between Tues-Thurs though so they’re not too busy. Seaside has a brew pub too, but I keep forgetting to plan a trip there. When I have stopped by, I liked the place. And the brews are pretty good.
I was there a couple days before I got around to carrying my camera with me. Here’s some shots to show you how nice the weather was. Instead of 85°F, here is was 72°F. Nice.
Here’s where lots of local folks either fish, or crab. Looking east. Nice little quiet spot on a side street that’s heading towards the Venice RV park. There’s a bench and a little deck extending out over the cliffside where I’ll stop and enjoy the peace.
My friend Jackie, her SO Jeff and daughter Madeline were heading off to visit family in Philadelphia where Jeff grew up, and they invited me to watch their house for them while they’re gone. I’d have to watch and feed the dog and cat, but I’d have access to a 60″ TV with satellite. Oh, and the fish, I’d have to feed the fish. I’d house sat for them a couple years ago and since the dog and cat survived the experience, they probably figured it would be ok to let me do it again. Worked out for them too as their other plan of either having someone come once or twice a day to let the dog out and feed them, or take the animals to friends houses wasn’t very good for the animals. Turned out it was perfect timing what with me turning up in town at just the right time without any other obligations which made it easy for me to say, “Sure, I’ll watch your house for you guys, go, have fun, don’t worry bout a thing”.
Anyway, I left the RV park on Aug. 20th, went and did my shopping, wandered around town for a few hours and headed over to Jackies. Note the yard, all brown like. They’re having a drought here like in California so the weather is really beautiful and great for everyone, but there’s not the usual rains up in the foothills of the Cascades, and so, a drought. Means they don’t water their lawn.
I park almost directly across the street. In the next picture, I’m standing right where I took the above picture, turned to the left of course. And I string 75′ or so of electrical cord over to their garage to plug in so my batteries stay charged and the refer runs. It’s only a 15 amp extension cord so when I’m there hanging out in the RV (during the times they’re home…so I don’t disturb their routine) I can use the computer on their WiFi and my TV but I have to switch the refer to gas. It’s fine living like that as long as the weather isn’t cold. Can’t use my electric heaters if it’s too cool, not enough amps available.
I had my yearly exam appointment scheduled at the VA Clinic in Portland for August 19th and a reservation at Rolling Hills RV Park so left Walla Walla on the 17th. Took the same route I came in on and this time stopped a time or two for pictures since it’s only a 4 hour drive and I had plenty of time. This time I didn’t take the Bend turnoff of course but continued straight west on I-84. Stopped at Multnomah Falls for a short visit too.
And here I am on highway 12 just outside of Walla Walla…wanted to show how brown it is here most of the year. With a splash of green presented by the grape fields off in the distance. Which reminds me…Walla Walla now has something over 200 vintners in the area. The weather and soil is much like the wine area of France. They’re all over the place.
And than I pass the mighty Columbia. This is where it makes a sharp turn and flows through the Wallula Gap. Look at all that water though. This is why California tried for decades to get water rights to this river. Ain’t gonna happen.
Opps, meant to get this published sooner than this, but things happen.
After spending a week with my sister and BIL, the other members of the family started arriving. Son came over first, then Teri’s son Bruce and his girlfriend along with the father (Teri’s ex), Bob, who all rode over together from Seattle in a rental car. And Dan came with them too.
Absent were my daughter and her boyfriend, than Dan’s son Paul, his wife Jenn and son. None of them could make it over from Seattle and daughter couldn’t make it over from Michigan. Too bad. The trip was also to take in a rock concert. One of those ‘Gentlemen of the Road‘ concerts. Foo fighters, Mumford and Sons, etc. Now my family was all hot to go see the concert and all but I’m more of a classical music kind of guy these days. AND, I twisted my back that Friday so I was hobbled anyway and would not look forward to standing or lying on lumpy ground while the concert rocked around my hobbled self. So I stayed home while they all went to the concert. I had fun without them.
Here’s Teri’s house. Note how nice the yard is.
(Backtracking a little here…)
The first two hours of travel from Crooked River Ranch to Walla Walla, is through country that looks like the below picture. There are huge areas that are closer to the Columbia River that are used for wheat. Most of the land looks like this though.
Here’s some strange little town that grew up right at a 90° corner of the road for some reason. Lots of nearby farmland, many closed businesses here because these huge corporate farms have trucking companies bring in their supplies and they don’t buy locally these days so lots of small farming towns are dying all over the US.