Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pacific Reflections

As we prepare to leave the Pacific Northwest, a review of the best is in order.

While at Artic, Annie suggested that we take a trip out to Tokeland, which is a "town" on a little finger sticking down into the Willapa Bay.

What we found when we did so was the Bayshore RV Park.  As we often do, we drove through to see what was there.  The owner, Frank, quickly appeared out of the office to check us out.  We talked; he had no problem with dogs.  In fact when he saw our corgi stickers he mentioned a corgi he knows and how great it is and the tricks it knows . . .  Since there was a wedding that weekend at Artic, we decided to move over there for a few days.

And we are so glad that we did.  A waterfront site, with a view of the bay through the picture window.

Who knew that it could be so relaxing, just watching the tide.  We had planned to drive up to Olympic National Park and take in some other sites.  Instead we just went with the ebb and flow.

We plan to make this a regular stop in the future.  We could easily have stayed longer, but had to return to Oregon to renew my driver's license by the 11th.  I leave it to Kady to tell you more.

On Monday, we packed up and headed back to Astoria for another week at Fort Stevens.  Our hope was that our stay would be more enjoyable with less small children on bicycles.  Until the weekend, that was true.

We found a good campsite on the back side of loop O.  We were just a couple of spaces down from a path that led up to a big green area and Coffenbury Lake.   The only problem was the lack of satellite tv reception for the Duck's game on Saturday.  Next time we should reserve a few places earlier on the loop

We had a few extra days for chores and exploring the area.

Chores like the driver's license renewal (so much quicker in Astoria or in the zoo that is the Medford DMV) and this:

We buy an annual pass every year and I've been waiting A LOT of years for this. Fittingly purchased at Lewis and Clark National Park.  I received high-fives from the volunteers at the counter for joining the club.

Sunset Beach from the South Jetty

One of those pictures where we might be seeing evolution in the making.

Cape Disappointment from the South Jetty viewpoint.

Sunset beach: one of the only beaches in Oregon where you can drive and the true end of the Lewis and Clark Trail.  

Sometimes it may seem that all we do is eat.

Thumbs up to Anne Marie's Cafe in Aberdeen.  We visited twice: first for lunch with Gary and Louise and the second time for Sunday breakfast.  The first time we were waited on by Anne Marie herself.  She has a great sense of humor and runs a tight ship.  Excellent food and the service was unsurpassed, even when Anne Marie herself wasn't there.

We could tell that this is where the locals go, and with good reason.  We will be back.

Thumbs up to the Artic Tavern.  Ok, perhaps a somewhat limited beer selection for our taste, though we did enjoy the ale we tried from Dick's Brewing in Chehalis.  What won us over was the homemade style hamburgers made for us by the bartender/waitress/cook late one evening. 

Thumbs down to Clark's Restaurant in Artic.  We visited for breakfast.  The service was abysmal, the place is dated and filthy (including the kitchen), and the food was mediocre.  They claim to have the best hamburgers, but we didn't feel like trying them again.  The owner seemed nice, but was distracted by needing to go help paint at her son's house and was not on top of things.  This looks like a job for Robert Irvine and Restaurant Impossible.

Conversation with waitress overheard at a table near ours:
Gentleman diner after a long wait: "Could we have some water, please."
Waitress: "There's some in the toilet in the restroom."

Ok, maybe she thought it was funny.   The rest of the place was so dirty I wasn't going to try the restroom.

Half a thumb to Bennett's Fish Shack in Westport.  The first time we went (pre-Labor Day) there was a line out the door, no tables, and we gave up.  It also had a very greasy smell.  We gave it another try later in our trip with better results. 

We each had a Dungeness crab and cheddar melt.  Quite tasty, though I might have done it a little differently if I had made it: warm interior with more crab rather than the crab salad filling.

No visit to Westport is complete without buying oysters at Brady's.  And we did.  Several times.  And smoked oyster dip and crab dip and smoked salmon dip.  And a bumper sticker.

But Tom took it off the jeep now that we are becoming desert people again.

Some of the best food in Westport:

Fresh tuna, right off the boat.  If you haven't tried tuna grilled on the barbeque, you're missing out.

Another good review goes to Westport Brewing

Try their Shoalwater Stout.  And they will even wake up from a nap to let you in to taste.  Did I mention that it is small?

Conveniently located across the street from Bayshore: The Tokeland Hotel and Restaurant.

Beautifully furnished with antiques.  Delicious food: Tom had Smoked Salmon eggs Benedict, I had a Smoked Salmon omelette.  The service was a little slow at Sunday Brunch.   Very dog-friendly; dogs everywhere.  Including tied up right by the door to the kitchen and wandering back-and-forth into the kitchen.  I'm pretty sure that's a no-no, but I won't turn them in.