Chicago and The Oregon Coast
I know that many of you like reading the blog for the sometimes amusing tales of woe that come from living in a 1993 RV held together all too frequently by duct tape. So I will tell you with some hesitancy, and quietly so as not to upset the RV gods, everything has mostly been working lately. Either we jiggled a lot of the kinks out and it will be smoother sailing from now on, or, who knows, maybe this is the calm before the storm. But, it has been quiet as of late, which is a relief.
AND, as of October 1, we have been full-time RVing for 6 months!
Living the dream!
We had our first vacation from the RV in September. We went back to Chicago for the wedding of Josh and Anna. Josh and I have been friends since college, so I have been affectionately referred to as “Anna #1”, which “Anna #2” has been an awfully good sport about. The wedding was a BLAST and we had a lot of fun being back in Chicago.
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about being back in Chicago, but all and all it felt pretty normal. And as much as I like Chicago and like the friends I have there, I am so glad we left. After 5 days away from the RV, I was definitely ready to “go back home,” whatever that means!
The RV had been parked just outside of Portland near Boring, Oregon. Max was at a dogsitter’s house and we had someone come by and take care of the kitties a few times while we were out. We returned to very happy pets and it was good to be back.
Because you may have forgotten what they look like (and certainly not because I take far too many photos of them), here are a couple of pics:
Anyway, moving on. We got to look around Portland a little bit, but quickly decided to go out to the coast. We have friends coming to visit us in Portland in mid October, so we figured now was our chance to see the ocean and we could explore Portland more later when they arrive.
Kelly and I decided to stay in Netarts (which we still don’t really know how to pronounce) a small beach town near Tillamook.
In this area there are a handful of adorable quiet little beachy towns with surprisingly few bars, restaurants, or other tourist attractions. The attraction here is the ocean, and the spectacular rocks that line the coast. The whole area has a great small-town feel.
Of course, it is October now, so it’s not the high season. But this area doesn’t have that desolate emptiness that you often get when a tourist hub is lacking tourists. It just felt quiet and peaceful and nice.
Once again I have taken about 3,000 pictures, so I will shut up and get to the highlights. The scenery was amazingly wonderful and I don’t know how I managed to live this long without completely falling in love with the ocean, but something about this trip did it for me. I’m just so into it.
The small town of Oceanside is right next to Netarts, and is where you can find Agate beach.
You can walk through a creepy/awesome tunnel to get to more beach.
And on THAT beach, we came to my very favorite part, which is where we saw real live sea creatures exposed due to the low tide.
Starfish, squishy sea anemones, and various shells and barnacles. It was SO INTERESTING. Dream of being an oceanographer = revived.
Later on we drove south through Cape Lookout State Park – that’s where the cover photo for this blog post came from. We went about 30 minutes down the coast to Pacific City and discovered an awesome brewery/restaurant called Pelican Brewing. They are right on the beach – talk about nailing the location.
We also drove up north to Cannon Beach, where we happened upon the ground breaking ceremony for a NEW Pelican Brewing location. We got to snag a couple of free beers and chat with the sous-chef about the best places to eat in town. How serendipitous!
We then hit Seaside, Astoria, and Cape Disappointment. Cape Disappointment is where the mouth of the Colombia River is located. (And yes, that really is the name. The explorer John Mears named it as such after seeking trading routes on the coast. He was discouraged by a bad storm and turned his ship around at the Cape, therefore just missing the discovery of the Colombia River).
So at this point, I can tell you all of us are completely enamored with the ocean. The gentle saltwater scented air, the peaceful breezes, and the awesome creatures we encountered walking down the beach will all be great memories to take on our way.
We got back to Portland yesterday, and its OKAY I guess, but I think we are all missing the sound of the surf. I am sure we will adjust back to city life after a couple of days. We have a lot of things to explore around Portland that I am looking forward to!