Saturday, August 31, 2013

Happy Birthday Jack!!! (Oops it's Jake!!)

Today was Museum Day in Long Beach WA!!  Not in any particular order, one of the most unusual was Marsh's Free Museum, the home of Jack.  You don't know Jack???  Don't feel bad ... neither did I!!  But I know Jack now!!!  CORRECTION ... well it sounded good when I wrote it, but Jack is actually JAKE, as has been pointed out to me!!  Gotta love auto-correction on I-Phone!!
This is Jake ... half human, half alligator!!  Something about a man got swallowed by a female alligator??  Or maybe it was he got half eaten and the pieces fused together??  Heck if I know, but I DO remember this being in Florida many years ago.  Well every day is Jake's Birthday, so drop by and say hello!!

When we stopped in at the Kite Museum off main street, I wasn't expecting much.  The ground floor was dedicated to an 83 year old who flies 7-8 kites at once, and you can see a video of his feats.  Not being a kite flyer (yet anyway) I wasn't very interested ... however when you head up to the second floor, take your time and look around.  The kites are amazing and well worth the time and $5.00!!!
This one is HUGE ... at least 7 feet high.  Most of the kites here are hand painted and come from many different countries.
Some of them are amazingly lifelike in appearance.  If you saw this flying, you would think it was a real bird!!

Kites were even used in the war.  Piano wires were hung from the frame and it was flown over ships.  Any plane that tried to fly low shooting at the ship, was actually taken down by the wires.  
The fog came in about the time we decided to see Cape Disappointment and the last museum of the day,  North Head Lighthouse, north of Ilwaco.  This is the Lighthouse Keepers residence, now a vacation rental.  You can call the State Park for reservations.  Pretty huge house compared to other lighthouse homes.
 Prior to the lighthouse being built, Captain Beard with his ship the Vanalia, wrecked at the mouth of the Columbia River.  His body was found here on the beach, which is now named Beard Hollow.  His wife, at 17 years old,  was married, had a child and was widowed all in the same year.

Our last stop was the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.  More of an information center than a museum, it tells their story through the use of their journals and writings.  Being a State Park, there is a charge to park and a charge to get in, along with an uphill trek to the front door.  The view is probably amazing when there's no fog, but alas, we could only hear the ocean crashing on the beach.  
While Patty and Dan went to see a movie, I walked around Long Beach and checked out their Farmers Market.  I'll tell you about that tomorrow.  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Singing In The Rain!!!

I'm singing in the rain ... !!  But only where no one can hear me!!  I guess this is typical Oregon/Washington weather ... it's been raining all night and is now pouring so hard my dogs are scared!!!  I have the "wet dog" thing going on too, but no matter!  I still love it here.

We took a quick drive out to Oysterville at the upper tip of the peninsula ... and on the way stopped at Jacks Country Store.  They have things here I've never seen anywhere else ... like bacon mints and even bacon bandaids, oyster guns, bicycles and antique oil lamps ... it also has groceries!!
It's an old time country store with lots of these rolling ladders to get things off the top shelf.  I think we spent over an hour just cruising the aisles!!
They even have a great selection of Beach Cruisers!!
Oysterville is an amazing town taking care of it's history by ensuring remaining buildings are on the National Historical Register.  Haven't said this is awhile, but I could live here!!  Originally settled by sheep and oyster farmers (go figure), it was once a booming town.  Lewis Loomis came here, bought the stage line and set up business, running along the hard sand of the beach.  When the tide came in, it caused a bit of a scheduling problem.  He eventually built a wharf at Ilwaco, set up transportation at either end of the peninsula for shipping and finally got financing for a train, to move both people and products.
This is the first house built in Oysterville in 1863 and was the First Pacific County Courthouse.  Most houses here are privately owned, but have signs on the gates telling when it was built.
Don't you just LOVE it???  Even the fence has character!!!
After a so-so lunch in Long Beach (how can you mess up a grilled cheese sandwich?) ... we came back home, made a quick trip to the beach.  Yup it's LONG and it's a BEACH ... a SANDY beach.  No treasures to be found here, but who can resist the sound of the ocean?

Dinner was at Lost Roo with Miss Terry and Nick of Gypsy Journal fame!!  We went to dinner at 5:00 and were shooed out at 10:00 when they put the chairs on the tables!!  It was like seeing your long lost friends!!  I've been reading the paper ever since I got into RV'ing ... all of three years ago ... and am constantly amazed at the great information they pass along.  Definitely check out the website at and be sure to read Nick's Blog.  You'll find it chuck full of good information about places to visit and things to see!!  Also check out Miss Terry's recipes ... they are ALL excellent!!!  
By the way, the Fish Tacos with pineapple salsa were killer!!!  I'm pretty sure everyone is still tucked in their rigs because it's raining cats and dogs!!  Maybe THAT's why my dogs don't want to go out!!!

I'm sure Patty and I will hit a couple of shops today ... after all, it's our duty to help save the local yarn shop by becoming good customers!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Museums and Trolleys in Astoria!!

The first stop of the day was the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria Oregon.  What an amazing place with full size fishing and rescue boats inside.  
A big emphasis is placed on the Coast Guard here due to the treacherous waters at the mouth of the Columbia River.
The Coast Guard has even donated boats, now out of commission, to show how rescues happen.  This boat is at almost a 45 degree angle!!
This map shows boats and ships that have sunk at the mouth of the Columbia and beyond from the 1800's to date.  When the incoming tide meets the outflowing river, 40-60 foot waves are created.  That and sand bars with accompanying shallow water, has led to many deaths.
Due to the dangerous waters, special Bar Pilots have to be hired (to the tune of $214,000 a year average) to captain the ship across the bar.  Once through this treacherous section, additional pilots must be hired to take the ships up the Columbia River.
There are lots of ship models from old to new.  Each shows an amazing amount of detail and hundreds of hours of work.
Here's an actual diving suit with small pump for air, as seen in the picture behind.  As a diver, I would NEVER go down in something like this!!!
The museum is amazing and a must-see!  You can't miss it ... it's built next to this HUGE propeller.  Millions are spent keeping the deep water channel deep enough for these babies to traverse through.
Just outside the museum is the Trolley Stop.  It runs the length of the port area and the volunteer operators will give you lots of interesting history, including the movie this building was in before 100 mph winds blew off the top floor, and the location of The Goonies house!!
Another interesting tidbit ... these sealions are all males.  According to our operator, they all took a trip to California looking for girlfriends.  Since someone else beat them to it and none were available, they came back here to snack on salmon until they become a little more handsome, at which time they will trek to California again, looking for beach babes!!
This cutie pie didn't like that his owner ran into the building next door.  He's perched on the window and the rear view mirror!!  Certainly hope he stayed put.   It was a short trip, but an interesting one, learning about the buildings that burned, that most canned salmon comes here from Alaska with no label ... as the distributor sells the cans, labels are attached and that five micro-breweries have been located here in the old fishery buildings.
By now it's lunch time, and what better place than the Bridgewater Bistro.  No, we never heard of it before and had no recommendation to eat here.  It was just a shot in the dark that was a bullseye!!
The Fisherman's Sandwich (salmon) was just about the best I've ever had, along with awesome fries.  The peanut butter cheesecake drenched in chocolate was even better.  Patty had clam and mussel chowder that she loved.  Dan said his burger wasn't much to look at, but it was very good.  Prices were very reasonable ... we three ate for $34.00.  Watch where you step on the way out (next to the fireplace)!!!
After we got home, a quick trip to the quilt store was a success for Patty.  I found some nice material, but was waiting to hit the kite store for the Revolution 1.5.  I knew they were expensive, and it was confirmed ... $325.  I'm doing a little more research to see if it's the one for me, but so far it's numero uno!!

A couple of leftover images from the non-existent internet yesterday ... a drive to Long Beach found this van stuck ... badly.  I see a tow truck in their future!!
I just love the texture and lines the ocean makes in the sand!!
Here's the sand dollar I spoke of before ... seagulls pull them out and punch holes in the top, eating what's inside.  If you are quick and beat the seagulls, you can usually find them intact.
The only reason I was able to post a blog today is because I'm sitting at Micky D's in Long Beach.  They actually have the closest WiFi.  Pretty sure I'm the only one here on a computer ... and it's getting dark, so I'm off to my rig for the night.  

Monday, August 26, 2013

Long Beach ... Longest in The World!!

Or so the sign said when we arrived this morning.  Internet is VERY bad with no WiFi available anywhere.  The Library is some distance away, so as time allows, I will drive to Ilwaco and post pictures.   The set up of this park isn't good either.  All of my hookups are on the wrong side of the rig. This works okay for the water and electrical, but dragging the sewer hose under the RV in the pouring rain, isn't my cup of tea.  Did I mention it's cold, windy and raining cats and dogs??  I guess my order for sunshine got lost!!

We met up with Nick and Terry of Gypsy Journal fame just one door down.  Terry has a quilt and yarn store lined up for Patty and I.  We'll be here for two weeks, so should have plenty of time to check out every store!!

By the way, I know I said the Astoria bridge was a breeze ... but coming through Hoquiam (I think) there was a nice bridge with that steel decking that makes my blood run cold.  Especially when Dan pointed it out a block ahead.  My fingers froze to the wheel and I took up the entire bridge, both lanes!! I definitely understand Nick's dislike of bridges!!!

An absolutely wonderful dinner of fish tacos was prepared by Chef Patty.  It's time to clean the rig and do some spinning.  Maybe one of the local coffee shops will have wifi so I can keep blogging!!  I'll have withdrawals if I can't get online!!!

Gone, Gone and Gone!!!

Gone was the internet for the last few days.  It wouldn't connect at all.

Gone is the beautiful sun Patty and I had yesterday finding treasures on the beach.

Gone is us ... are us?  are we??  Anyway, today we move South to Long Beach.

While the internet was down, we went to Seabrook Washington ... the planned community up North.  There was a mini Farmers Market with the most beautiful flowers I've ever seen.

I guess this is supposed to represent a New England Village.  It's okay, but the streets are barely wide enough for one car, let alone two passing.  The homes are small and VERY close together, so I hope you love your neighbor.  With one tiny grocery store, I'm not sure it's what they advertise!!  Described as "adorable" ... I'm thinking this isn't for me!!
At the little farmers market was an art teacher who makes these beautiful wax prints.  She was instructing three little girls on how to make them, so Patty and I listened in.  Fascinating ... something I might like to try one day.
The other shop was a doggy shop, including a wash if you were interested.  Dan wasn't thrilled about the dog wash or the flowers ... so we pressed on .....
Saturday, Patty and I checked out the Library Farmers Market in Ocean Shores.  This Lotus was parked at the kite store.  Never did see the owner, but it made clear the fact that this is an upper scale community!!
At the farmers market we (okay "I") got bakery goods and flowers.  
If I had a green thumb, I would try growing these ... they are amazing!!  
Yesterday, Dan held down his chair with Gracie's help while Patty and I went to the Interpretative Center on the South end of the spit before hitting the beach for treasures.  The most amazing white round rocks are here ...  they call them Ocean Shore Diamonds.  Agates are here too, if you know what to look for.  When people ask us what we are collecting, we just say pretty rocks!!!  
Our Golden Spike friends Dottie and Bob Poole stopped by ... they are parked up the road about five miles.  After convincing the camp host they wouldn't drive off with someone's motorhome, they found us in the back.  Like I said before, it's like having family and friends everywhere you go.  I love it!!!  Hoping the internet is a little better in Long Beach.  I'm ordering up some sun so be prepared for a gorgeous day!!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

There's That "Nick" Bridge!!!

Pacific City OR to Ocean City WA.   After fuel and propane in Tillamook, we said goodbye to the chickens ...
goodbye to the cows ...
and goodbye to Tillamook Ice Cream.  Almost anyway, I still have a quart in my freezer!!  We passed through the little town of Wheeler celebrating 100 years of history.  
There are Tsunami signs everywhere on the coast ... even at The Tsunami Bar (blue and white sign)!!!
The locals were out today ... I assumed this was an RV parked beside the road .. but maybe it was a Revival Tent!!!
Here's the infamous bridge ... the Astoria-Megler, spanning the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington.  I think we have all heard Nick's stories of crossing this bridge, most recently heading to Long Beach.  I have to say it IS rather intimidating from this distance.
And it was a little uncomfortable being parked on a good slant waiting for the construction crew to clear us for crossing!!
But really, it wasn't bad at all.  Sorry Nick!!!  They are doing repairs/painting which kept us waiting for 5 minutes or so, but the bridge itself was a breeze.  Try those steel grated bridges in Canada ... THOSE will give you white knuckles!!!
The scenery is spectacular crossing the lower section.  The fishing must have been good, because boats were lined up as far as you could see on the left side of the bridge, heading out to the ocean.
We arrived in Ocean City and pulled in to Oceana Thousand Trails.  Much smaller than I expected, we were again lucky enough to find two sites together on the ocean side.  We have 30 amp sites with water and are very close together.  The electrical hookups on the North side have been repaired.   We arrived just in time for the rain to start in earnest!!  
A quick drive to Ocean City saw not just a few, but many deer along the road.  I love to see these guys so healthy looking!!

The last stop was on the beach, as we watched a group of horses coming back to the corrals in the rain.  
My MiFi seems to be working ... slowly but working.  Phone service is "iffy" but TV is excellent.  
Fuel ... $145     Thousand Trails Membership ... $500   Being parked on the ocean with good friends ... PRICELESS!!!  Life is Good!!!  AND (shhhhhh it's a secret) there's a quilt shop here!!