Oregon - Oct 25 - Nov 3

This one hit home:

One of our 'goals' for the trip was to spend a week at a time in various communities. Well...after almost 3 months, we finally sat still for 7 nights in the Newport, OR area.   Then we left Newport...and ended up driving back and forth the next two days!  But more on that later.

While in Beverly Beach state park, we did not have "full hookups" so we had to make our 65 gallon grey water tank last a week.  When you consider we cook 3 meals a day for 5 people, the dish water alone adds up. We used the camp showers, which are quite nice in OR.  One night upon returning, we witnessed a new phenomenon - the girls had a "clean buzz".  They were dancing in the street and singing to the campground. The picture isn't great, but the memory of them trying to moonwalk while pointing at each other is.

We visited Seal Rock...and saw...seals.

And in the small town of Waldport, we visited an antique/general store that was owned by a man named Bob.  Bob's father was a jeweler and Bob had been buying and selling "scrap" gold on a fairly large scale.  He was very knowledgeable on gems and precision metals because of his trade.  JAK and Bob talked like best friends about gems and Bob showed his various stones to JAK who was able to ID many of them accurately.  Bob taught him how he tests gold for karat information with an acid test.  Some days we feel like there is a teacher at every corner and the best thing we can do to educate our children is to get out their way.  JAK hopes to send Bob a picture of his next unique find.

Rogue brewery is located in Newport and was having a 25 year anniversary celebration over the weekend so we stopped by Saturday to see the crab races and do some pumpkin bowling. Unfortunately someone left the poor crabs buried in the ice for a bit too long and they were past their racing prime...

But the kind folks at Rogue gave the kids the dungeness crabs to take home for dinner!

We stuffed ourselves on crab that night, and still had enough to make a huge crab-mac-and-cheese the next night.  Our Oregon dinner was complete - thanks Rogue!

On Sunday we drove the RV with jeep in tow to church...generally not advisable, but we had scoped out a parking spot the day before.  Then it was onward to Florence, OR and the 40 mile Oregon sand dunes. Three-story sharks in the surf.

We stopped at Honeyman state park.  Much of the park was closed because the season had ended, but on Oct 1st, they opened up a gate that allowed campers in loop H to directly access the dunes.  Loop H was PACKED with quads and ATVs. Riders of all ages. We hiked up to the top of one of the dunes and the kids tried boogie boarding down..

On our last day in Newport, we were having lunch at a famous chowder house called "Mo's" when a charter boat came in.  Watching the offload of lingcod and rock fish gave JAK and Jason the "itch" that wouldn't go away despite the fact we were now 1+ hours south on 101.  On Tuesday, they awoke at 5:30am and drove back to Newport to try their hand.

Fish on!!

The final tally had the Kolb bucket with 4 Lingcod and 7 rock fish! Lingcod won't win a beauty contest, but they were sure fun to catch and will cook up with the best.

JAK also spent a good amount of time learning about navigation and depth finders from the Captain

The deck hand on the boat (Jeff) overheard a conversation about our desire to catch a Salmon here in the northwest.  He grew up in the area and knew the Yaquina river like it was his back yard.  When we were wrapping up the day he asked if we'd like to go out salmon fishing the next day if he had it off?  Would we????   Yes!!!

We drove back to Florence hoping Jeff would call once he knew his work schedule.  And he did!  So for a second day we drove back to Newport and spent a wonderful afternoon/evening learning about salmon fishing and trading fishing stories.

We didn't get any "take downs" but could not have been more excited to learn the craft of the salmon fisherman from such an experienced angler.  We have an outstanding salmon fishing memory to take with us.

The next day was halloween.  We had heard the best way to get a scare in Florence is to have a professional dune buggy driver take you for a ride in the dune! (in the rain)

Then we headed into Florence to trick-or-treat.  JAK was a geologist, Anna was a "Squinky Princess" and Katie was a cowgirl princess.  Have you ever gone trick-or-treating at a Papa Murphy's?  Highly recommended.

The next day we departed Florence for Brookings, OR which is just north of the CA border.  The rain had stopped and the sky was blue, but the fog was very thick as it formed over the highway. At times, the rays of lights coming down were laser sharp (pics didn't work)

Again we stopped at great OR state park - Harrison Beach. We walked across to the ocean in the fog. It was so thick that someone thought...she could lay on it? Hmm

The best tide pools we've found!

Surprisingly, there are many other families crazy enough to pack into a bus and go on the road. On the drive into Harris Beach state park we spotted one such family and their "Big Blue Bus". We had come across their blog a few nights earlier and knew their boys were selling "Woofum" sticks to earn money.  Come visit and we'll make you one because we plan to be experts...and 5lbs heavier in a week. Big Country, Big Venture, Big Mommy and Daddy?

Another goal for our trip was to spend one-on-one time with each of the children, each week. This has been more challenging to accomplish than one would think, but Anna and Daddy did enjoy a walk on the beach one morning this week.

Our spot in Harris beach is one of about a dozen facing the ocean - for $22/night we've never had a better view!

In addition to the Big Blue Bus, we also met a couple who graduated from UW Madison and is biking from Seattle to LA.  The first time we saw them was in Florence, so when we saw them pull into Harris Beach, we knew we needed to have them over for Ling Cod!

We are almost 3 months into our journey and thankful for every minute. That doesn't mean every minute has been blissful nor without challenges, but we are thankful for all of it.

May God bless your family this week.