Sunday, September 28, 2014

To Eugene and Junction City

After Newport, Phil and I headed inland and stopped for a couple days in Eugene. You can stay 2 nights at the Valley River Mall, where you can cross a bridge and go on a great walk along the river.

Eugene is a wonderful town, and there are a lot of community gardens along the trail.

The waterfowl are very friendly.

And a little farther is the Rose Garden. I wanted to go to the Saturday Market, but we weren't there at the right time.

But the main reason for going inland was the big singles RV rally at Guaranty RV in Junction City.

Fellow WINs Ernie and Wanda set this up, and we all had an amazing time. Lots of tours, free seminars, and even some free meals. Three of us even bought new rigs! No, not me...

Our first tour was at the Hull-Oakes Lumber Company in Monroe, the nation's last commercial steam-powered lumber mill. We saw how these Douglas fir trees went from this -

To this!

This gizmo sharpened the huge blades that cut the logs.

A 12-second video of a gigantic log being cut.

It was a great tour, and I even found some rusty stuff!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Lighthouses and a Fantastic Aquarium

On our way down to Newport, we stopped at the Cape Foulweather Lookout. It was named by Captain Cook in 1778 - I guess he had a worse weather day than we had.

The scenery was great, but the best thing was all the Gray Whales that were cresting, spouting, and diving.

Even saw a few tails!

Arriving in Newport, we went to check out the Yaquina Head lighthouse. We even scored an immediate tour, and it was very good.

The view from the lighthouse.

The bridge in Newport is one of the Art Deco bridges that dot the Oregon coast.

Near the bridge is the restored original Yaquina Bay lighthouse. Built in 1871, it operated for only 3 years until the new Yaquina Head lighthouse was built.

Newport is a really cute town with lots of great murals. This one was near the Oregon Coast Aquarium, our next stop.

All kinds of strange creatures are here.

I don't know what either of these are. Maybe I should get fired as a blogger...

The sea otters got fed first. This guy came right up to the glass in front of us and pounded the crab shell on the glass to break it open!

After that came the sea lions. They were quite the performers.

The newest residents here are the horned puffins. They also had many other seabirds, including tufted puffins, but they weren't as good posers.

But I thought the best part of the aquarium was the Passages of the Deep, where you walk under lots of marine animals, including sharks.

Hmmmmm.... What is this creature? A homo sapiens washing the glass for us!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Choo Choooooo

A short drive from Tillamook is the cute little coast town of Garibaldi.

They had a great way of recycling old telephone booths.

Do you have any shoes you don't want? In this climate, flowers grow everywhere!

But the real reason we're here is to take a train ride up to Rockaway Beach and back.

Does everything look okay?

I guess so, because they let us board. We had our choice of an enclosed car, covered car, or open car.

And away we go!

The conductor came by to punch our tickets.

It's not a very long trip, and the train goes pretty slow, so you could wander around through the different cars.

Most of the time we were along the water -

And had very pretty views. The few people we passed enjoyed their view too.

That's the beach and Pacific Ocean in the distance.

Coming in for a landing...

When we got to Rockaway Beach, we got to talk to the crew. So what do you think this steam engine runs on? Not coal, but recycled motor oil!

Do you think they'll let me drive back?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Three Capes Scenic Loop

On one of our days in Tillamook, we took the 40-mile Three Capes Scenic Loop. We made many stops, but one of my favorite was Pacific City and Cape Kiwanda.

There's a big sand dune that you can climb. I passed, but you might be able to see the tiny dots that are the crazy people who chose to make the trek.

Or you can rock climb up. I couldn't believe that little girl - even after she fell, she got right up and tried again.

But the most exciting thing here is watching the dory boats come in for a landing. They come in as fast as they can go, and slide right up on the beach, where they are loaded on their trailers.

Another stop was Cape Lookout State Park, where we walked the Cape Trail out a little ways to try to get an ocean view.

But when we got to the lookout, the fog had rolled in and this is all we saw...

It was a nice trail though, with some very interesting trees along the way.

Then on to Cape Meares Lighthouse.

We got in on one of the last tours of the day.

From the lighthouse we could look back and see Three Arch Rocks, although only 2 of the arches are visible from this angle.

Many years ago, I saw a picture of a red building in Tillamook and have been looking for it ever since. On our way back into town, I finally found it! So I went back early the next morning to take some pictures.

I should have crawled down into the bushes to get more reflection, but I was afraid I'd sink...

And then I got distracted by some huge spiders - almost better than the red building!