WA/OR - Oct 7 - 25

After spending a few days being toured around Washington like royalty and staying at a private oasis in the woods off Washington thanks to family and new friends, it was time to move on. But the transition was made easy because we were about to take part of the new family with us - Mimi and Granddad are ready to go road-tripping.

Off to Oregon!

First stop, Cannon Beach.  Time for a relaxed movie night in the Cannon Beach RV Resort (yes, we rented Goonies).

The next morning brought sun and a beach walk in the cool air to Haystack Rock.  It feels like you are entering another planet as you approach. 

During the walk, we were all reminded of one of the rules of the ocean - never turn your back on her! Some of us finished the walk in very wet shoes:)

The next day we went into Ecola State park for a view

They were shooting a "movie" at the state park.  Supposedly the movie was an internal effort being made by one of our large US based telecommunications companies to "explain" the coming health care changes to their own employees.  It was a two day shoot....hmmm, something is wrong when it takes a movie....

The rain didn't let up and we wanted to see the tide pools in action, so off to low tide in the rain.  It was sooo worth it!

And we lost a second tooth of the trip.  Katie had her's pulled out on the Columbia Ice Fields so Anna decided she wanted her's pulled out at Haystack Rock.

On the way to Fort Stevens we stopped in Seaside where they were having a kite competition

After Fort Stevens , it was time for a move.  On the way south along 101, we stopped to tour the Tillamook Cheese HQ

Ok, that is a lie, we stopped to eat cheese and ice cream!!

We have been eager to spend time staying in state parks.  They often times do not have all services (electricity, water, sewer, wifi, cell access etc), but they provide more scenic settings and less of the "parking lot" feel compared to RV parks.  The challenge is that they are often booked or are set-up for tent or pop up weekend campers.  Thanks to being off season we were able to get into a great park just off the beach called Cape Look-out State park.  

These pics were from our camp site:

This is the "Yup, I walked to the beach with my coffee. And why did you bring the camera?" (Tom -notice the mug, we use them daily)

We hiked a couple miles on the Cape Trail and were rewarded with a few great vistas

Our host, Brian, in Washington, taught us a new saying - I'll use it in a sentence:  "That is a smokey mess that Granddad and JAK created!"

Because it's off season, the state park program area was not in use…until we arrived and the kids put in a performance:

This little guy needs to re-evaluate his new home

Sadly we had only a couple more days with Mimi and Granddad.  We decided to head inland visit Domain Serene winery on the way to Portland. One of us must have been a bit pre-occupied with the windy road up to the vineyard, because he managed to miss the opportunity to take pictures after we arrived!  

The next morning was an early morning flight for Mimi and Granddad. We were sad to see them go, but so thankful of their visit and the memories.  

Wait, why are they smiling in that picture!  Maybe we worked them a little too much!

To avoid any sense of loneliness, we begged our next guests to fly in the same day!  Before they arrived, we headed east along the Columbia river valley.  A beautiful drive on the new and old highway.

We made an unplanned stopped (as-in spotted the exit sign and swerved make the exit) at one of the fish hatcheries.

15 million fish in this room!

And we clarified some confusion around Salmon species:
King Salmon = Chinook
Coho = Silver

But the highlights were the 80 year old sturgeon, Herman.

And then to Portland to have dinner with our friend Alex and his daughter Avery!

The next day, we visited the part of the historic highway we had skipped yesterday. A nice spot for lunch

And a few of the falls along the way

For the first time on our trip, we revisited a site. Go figure, it involved fish!  This time we got a picture of the salmon coming back to the hatchery as part of their spawning plan.  No one ever said love doesn't take work!

On Thursday, Alex and Jason visited a few breweries and went on the "Forktown food tour" in Portland while Melissa took the kids to the Museum of Science and Industry.  The boys claimed their adventure was "educational" - ha!  The kids trip was however and included a tour of the Submarine US581.

On Friday, Alex's bride Jane arrived and we carpooled down into the Willamette valley to visit the wineries and celebrate birthdays

We were blessed with amazing weather and very low crowds for the weekend. On Saturday, we rented a limo and toured/wrestled together

Along with being scenic and making great Pinots, the Willamette wineries were very pet and kid friendly!

On Sunday we visited the Portland zoo and a couple more wineries

It was Jane's birthday and we'd had enough wine for a while, time for some Mexican!

Well almost, we ended a great day and weekend together by cracking into her prized purchased from Saturday.  It was a white Pinot Noir.  It was such a limited run they wouldn't even let her try it; so her loving husband bought a bottle for her.  It was so limited, we are not even allowed to post a picture of it;)

We said farewell to our Carmel friends and packed up on Monday AM.  We are very lucky to have such great family and friends to enjoy this journey with us.  

Monday was….Melissa's Birthday!!
We drove back to the coast and were able to snag an "unreservable" spot in Beverly Beach state park right next to the playground

The kids and Daddy made up a cheese….and of course wine plate for Mommy's big day as we enjoyed the cool and quiet sunset

We drove into Newport to pickup fresh scallops for a second light dinner.  JAK is becoming our second-in-common with the camera

One of her gifts was a "Himalayan salt block" for cooking…including the cooking services

On your birthday you can enjoy your meal however you want

And a night wouldn't be complete without our friends from Tillamook creamery again!

Before the Trapps arrived we took this screenshot of the forecasted weather because it was the first time we'd seen 10 days of nothing but SUN SUN SUN in a forecast

That forecast looked the same for Newport when we departed on the 21st. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way and the fog has been so think and damp that we have not seen the sun in 3 days.  That's ok, we've been able to catch up on school, exercise, movies, and this blog.  Going to skip pictures because this post is way too long.

On Tuesday/Wednesday we visited the beach and the Oregon Aquarium in Newport.  

We plan to depart Newport tomorrow and head down the coast.

We are so thankful for our visitors, great times had, and everyone's safe travels during these past weeks. My He bless you and your family in the coming weeks!