Friday, August 31, 2012

Down the Oregon Coast

We left Seaside, OR, on Friday, August 24, and headed down the Oregon coast...staying as close to the water as possible.

When we originally planned this trip we were going to head due west from Seaside and hit towns like Salt Lake City, Boise, St. Louis.  Our stay in Seaside just made us hungry to see more of the West Coast, though.  We have, on another trip, been down the coast from Point Reyes, CA, to near Mexico.  If we were to follow the coast down to Point Reyes on this trip...we would have all the West Coast covered except for that part on the western shores of the Olympic Peninsula.  AND...if we then hopped on down to Barstow, CA, we could catch the beginning of I-40 and follow it all the way home, completing the feat of traveling I-40 (at one time or another) from one end to the other.  Dubious a goal as it sounds, it has appeal to us.

Things we observed that day on our way down to Bandon Beach, OR, from Seaside:

  • The scenery is so pretty, you almost can't get "there" from "here."  We must have stopped 10 times before we realized we'd better get on with the day.  (Our rental is due back Sunday, Sept. 2.)  

Another stop...

The raw, Oregon coast

Beautiful and rugged looking.  We didn't see any cruising boats along this coast....
Can you see the road snaking around the hillside...with not a lot of guardrail?

And another stop....

Loving this ride!

  • Back to what else we observed.  You can't pump your own gas in Oregon.  Didn't know that.  Looked it up on the Net and found this in a Wikipedia article on filling stations: 

  •   "...the 1951 Oregon statute banning self-service gasoline lists 17 different justifications, including the flammability of gas, the risk of crime from customers leaving their car, the toxic fumes emitted by gasoline, and the jobs created by requiring mini service.[20] In addition, the ban on self-service gasoline is seen as part of Oregonian culture. One commentator noted, "The joke is when babies are born in Oregon, the doctor slaps their bottom, ‘No self-serve and no sales tax’ [. . .] It's as much a cultural issue as an economic issue. It's a way of life."[21] In 1982 Oregon voters rejected a ballot measure sponsored by the service station owners, which would have legalized self-service gas.[22]" (  

BUT...they don't offer to wash the windshield or check the oil.

Not self serve...but not FULL serve.  ;-)

  • And there really is no sales tax.  
  • On the same pathway you will see people wearing shorts, flip flops, and tank tops...and others wearing boots, jacket, and wool cap.  Cold is relative.
  • Evergreens growing on rock outcrops in the bays.
  • Greenery everywhere...and it's not Kudzu!
  • "High winds on bridge when lights flashing"
  • Trees sculpted by the wind to an almost horizontal shape.
  • Waysides, state parks, viewpoints...everywhere!  Lots of opportunities to enjoy the coast.
  • Spray from the ocean making a haze along the coast.  In some cases, sand whipping over the road off the beach.
  • Florence, OR:  Sand dunes!!  And signs for dune board rentals on the road.
  • Historic bridges!  Way too many.  Most are seeing renovations in progress...and that made it even more "iffy" when crossing.

We stopped at Nye Beach, near Newport, OR, for lunch at The Chowder Bowl.  Good fish, chips, and clam chowder.  While at Nye Beach I also visited the Nye Cottage Beads to look around and pick up some essentials.  Great shop!  Very informative lady working there and an excellent selection of buttons, beads, findings, etc.

Nye Beach was WINDY!! We saw this wind for the rest of the day on the coast.

Finally made it to our room for the night at the Bandon Beach Motel.  What a view!! 

Stairs lead down to the beach

Gorgeous view from the top

View near sunset
Bandon Beach Motel was great.  Friendly hosts, nice room with view of the beach.  

Saturday, August 25, we continued down the West Coast, eventually moving from Oregon to California.  We stopped for breakfast at the Paradise Cafe in Port Orford, OR.  We were trying to save time for scenic views along the way, so we both ordered a breakfast sandwich to go.  We sidled up to the counter and sat down next to a line of men, all with, as Wayne says, "facial hair."  I overhead part of the conversation with the two men next to me.  It involved one of them being harassed by The Court over child care payments.  "Are they staying off your back now?"  "Yes...long as I keep payments up."  

The whole place was being run by one cook and one waitress...and they had over 20 customers, easily.  The waitress never stopped moving.  When she wasn't dishing up food she was refilling the Splenda containers or plumping up the napkin holders. Anyway, when she brought our sandwiches over, bagged up, she asked if we wanted forks and knives.  No, we thought, these are breakfast sandwiches, right?  These were the biggest breakfast sandwiches we've ever seen.  They were $6 each and we noted the price on ordering...but chalked it up to this being the "only game in town."  The biscuit on which this was served was 6" in diameter if it was an inch.  And I'd swear it had been "baked on the grill," since it looked much like an English muffin, flat on both sides.  Oh, it was good...but there is no way either of us could eat the whole sandwich.  ;-)

There was some road work in Oregon on the way down.  Interesting procedure for handling the traffic. A pilot car, labeled "Pilot Car: Follow Me" guided a string of cars around orange cones...stopping for the occasional "Mad-Max-like" truck to pass.

Speaking of the road in Oregon...they have this Coastal Bike Route all along these roads we were taking.  Trouble is, there's often no bike lane AND there are curves, hills...  I talked with one biker as we were shopping the grocery deli area for supper one night.  I asked about the "route."  He admitted it was iffy...and asked that we watch out for him.  Note to my biking friends:  think twice!!

We crossed the Rogue River (on yet another historic bridge!) and saw the small fishing boats lined up on either side of the bridge right down the middle of the river.  When we were in Seaside we talked to a commercial fisherman who said these boats are usually fishing for salmon or sturgeon.

  • "Animal Hospice Rummage Sale."  Hmmmm?  Wayne speculated it was a rummage sale for the local animal shelter.  "We'll take care of this pet until it dies...and we'll say when it dies."
  • Signs indicating "slides."  We were looking to the upper hill for rock slides.  Nope.  It was road slides like the kind they have on Jellico Mtn.
Right before we left Oregon roads we saw a sign designating an "Elk Meadow" and elk viewing.  Well!  We'd spent all this time roaming around this region of the country and while we'd seen lots of "Elk Crossing" signs, we'd seen no elk.  We quickly made a turn and were rewarded with the sight of a small herd of elk!

I was wondering whether this was some sort of domesticated herd when I saw this sign:

Imagine:  an elk meadow sign on the road....and wild elk there for the viewing.  Who knew elk could read????

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