Monday, July 14, 2014

Almost Like a Vacation

The week one report.   It actually was a vacation: Jamie and Catherine's second week. We met them at the coast after they spent a week at an SCA event in Gold Beach.  They wanted to head north and suggested that we meet up for some family camping time.   It was time to leave the July heat in Southwest Oregon, so we waved goodbye to our house and headed out on our grand adventure.

Not having reservations, we decided to meet at first-come-first-served Carl Washburne State Park north of Florence.  It's lovely.

 Above: in campsite, below: this is all that was behind the RV.
There is just one major problem to that park: no cell coverage, therefore no internet.  Being as we still have to work (at least a little) we only spent Sunday night before moving on with fingers crossed.

Heading on up 101, we found a space available for two nights at South Beach State Park just south of Newport.  By switching sites mid-way we were actually able to spend four nights.  Newport is a great area with many things to do and see (and eat and drink and eat and drink) so we were glad to have most of the week for doing them.

 View from one of the trails; Yaquina Bay Bridge in far background.

Jamie, Catherine, and I took a few of the dogs to the beach (Grandma Phoebe with Hiro, Delta, and Dora).   I am told that Hiro and Delta had resisted going into the waves before.  Dora, being a water-lover, already was into the whole run-in, run-out game.  When the others saw that she didn't get swept out to sea after all, they decided to join in the fun.

One drawback is that it's a long way (at least for old people like me) from the campground to the beach.  There are three trails, which are labeled as being 1/4 mile, 1/3 mile, and 1/2 mile respectively as you go farther in the campground.  I believe that label is not to the ocean, but to the start of the sand dune which then must be climbed.  Groan. 

Happiness in Newport is:

Originally from the Rogue Valley, they migrated after that big flood when Lithia Creek flooded Ashland back in 1997.  We enjoyed a tour of the facility.

Which included tasting :-)   Here we enjoy some of the new Rogue Brutal.   Later on, we met Rogue Big Ass Barrel Lapsang Tea Porter.  The former we bought a case to split.  The latter is, alas, only available on tap at Rogue.   Or that might be a good thing.

Recently, Rogue has also gone into distilling spirits.

Overlooking the distillery is quite a collection of memorabilia.

Final stop: a chance to taste the spirits.  I was particularly fond of the Spruce Gin.

Now: there is an RV park at the Marina from which you could stumble to this house of spirits (or perhaps I should say "stumble back").  A tempting place to stay.  Included at no extra cost: great views.

This was actually taken from the restaurant at Rogue on our second visit.

Almost adjacent to the Rogue Nation World Headquarters is the Newport Aquarium.  We had visited before, but it's always fun to visit the Otters.

Mating season was in force and we were instructed with signs not to disturb the residents.

A couple of interesting crabs.  They don't look as tasty as Dungeness.

Below: Decorator Crab

Then there are all of these pretty, pretty creatures, which could be the subject of nightmares if starring in a sci fi movie.

And various fish and SHARKS!

To cap the weekend off, we moved inland to the Portland area and got to see something I had been anxiously awaiting for over two years:

And it was every bit as terrific as I hoped it would be.

The only lasting after effect is that I can't get Orlando, Orlando . . . out of my head. Well that and Hasa Diga Eebowai.

We are at Champoeg State Park for the remainder of the week.