Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Oregon Coast 2013 Days 7 and 8


Days 1 and 2: The drive through Idaho, Multnomah Falls, and Arrival at the beach.

Days 3 and 4: Various Nearby Hikes, Cape Perpetua.

Days 5 and 6: Hikes, Beach, and Munson Creek Falls

Day 7: Friday. Last day on the beach.


Kind of a foggy day.


View from our room. We really didn’t like this place as much as some of the others and will not be using Pacific Retreats ever again. The ad was misleading, the furniture and other stocked items appeared to be thrift shop pickups, including a coffee pot that didn’t fit the maker which resulted in 2 huge messes! (One of the vacationers didn’t get the memo when the 1st incident occurred). Weird problems with both units including ripped carpet, a door off the hinges, a fireplace that did not work. And we have stayed in other units that I knew used linen services, but this is the first that the linens were just dropped off in a basket. It sounds nit picky but for what we paid we expected far greater and the real kicker was hiding the fact that it was on the cliffs. The site mysteriously doesn’t have any reviews which really should have been a red flag for us. Blah, that aside we had a great time this year so… moving on.

We hit the crap stores (souvenir shops) before leaving town. I got a pretty cool alligator stepping stone set. Then we headed towards McMinnville to have lunch with family before heading out of town completely.


One of the more shocking things I find about Oregon is that they do allow logging. Which leaves some ugly bald spots in sections. I am sure they are pretty strict but still it is pretty shocking. (DBP)


Mt. Hood and nasty Portland traffic. (DBP) We got lucky on the way in and hit no traffic. I think we made a record coming in. On the way out… not so much.


I like the way Mt Hood looks like it is floating as you can only make out the snowcaps. (DBP)





Being stuck in traffic allowed me to get some shots of Portland. (DBP) and in the last one you can see Mt St Helens.

What seems like forever after crossing the river (in actuality is probably only a few miles) you pass the last exit for Seattle and traffic reduces significantly and you return to freeway speeds. Phew! Have I mentioned I hate driving through Portland?


Entering the gorge getting nice and green again. (DBP)


I am not sure if this is one of the waterfalls of the Multnomah Falls Waterfalls Area, but is cool. (DBP) A quick glance of the falls in the area I am leaning on Latourell Falls but cannot confirm that.


And this would be Multnomah Falls itself. Not nearly as majestic flying by at 65 MPH. (DBP)  I would be remiss not to link you to a proper picture.


From our 2011 trip.


The squirrels at this rest stop, apparently used to being fed, come right up to you. Cute little guys.


OHM NOM NOM NOM. I have seen this before but never got a picture.


Columnar basalt (DBP)


Some big horn sheep. (DBP)



We stopped in Boardman at C & D Drive in for some chili burgers. They aren’t necessarily amazing, but are good and we always tend to get hungry about an hour before here and it is the 1st place to eat so they have become a regular stop for our past 3 trips or so.


some icky haze just before the climb into the Blue Mountains. (DBP)


With a moon. (DBP)


Strange river of dust? Smoke? I have never seen anything like this before. It is in the middle of a stretch of road prominently marked as a dust storm area, but still this is just bizarre! (DBP)

We made it up Dead Mans Pass and past La Grand trying to push on to Baker City. Unfortunately, There was a rodeo in town and Baker City was booked solid again. Crap. So we pushed on into Ontario which meant we had to do those steep windy canyon roads in the dark. They aren’t so scary during the day, but at night it is unnerving to drive through.

Day 8: Saturday.

The continental breakfast for the place we stayed was the best I ever had. They had a little diner on site and gave us coupons for our choice of any 3 out of 4 or 5 options. Wow! Nice hot breakfast instead of an ego and a banana like most places. Roadway Inn may be my new favorite random chain hotel. (not to mention the room was super quiet).

Ontario is almost on the border of Idaho so now the landscape is fairly boring. It was well past the halfway point so we decided to go ahead and hit The Trail Of A Thousand Springs scenic byway. I saw a sign for it a few years back and always wanted to check it out. It has a bunch of cool springs and some fossil beds. Plus, it really isn’t that much out of the way as the byway goes the direction we are going anyway, so why not?



Lookout for the Hagerman Fossil Beds. Uhm…  it’s a hillside.


We hit the visitor center where I saw a replica Hagerman Horse (Idaho’s state fossil)


They had some real fossils as well.

The ranger was very friendly gave us a map and explained a bunch of stuff to us. Asked if we were going to go to the fossil beds. I said, well we’re here so why not? She gave us directions and then informed us that they currently do not have any fossils on display in the beds. Oh. Ok.


Our next stop was the Hagerman Museum where we found an actual Hagerman Horse fossil (on loan for some other museum).


The museum is in an old bank. Here is the vault.


Cool old building though.


Old pioneer stuff.

Okay, so the fossil beds were a bust, and Hagerman is well, just another old town.


Random boulders strewn about are leftover indicators of the Bonneville Flood.

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We have started hitting some of the Thousand Springs.

From what I read, there was a lot of speculation and wonder as to where the water source was. It even took a while to determine that they are likely the result of 2 rivers (Big and Little Lost) that just seem to disappear into nothingness. Well, actually an underground aquifer. And then it just erupts out of the side of the canyon here. Really cool! But, it appears, to really enjoy them, and to see it all you should do a river trip.

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Another set (DBP)


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A few more. One of the signs said that the traveling emigrants were really frustrated to see such abundant sources of water, and be unable to access it. I guess they were on this side of the river.

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Another set (DBP)

Its true, you really should take a boat. The trees really obscure most of them from view. Still pretty cool. Not sure if it is worth the additional half hour to an hour it added to our trip, but I am glad we saw something other than the boring flatness of Idaho.


The byway lets out in Twin Falls, where we stopped for lunch. Nothing special just fast food. Blah. Then we had to take the bridge back over the Snake River.



The last res stop before entering Utah had quite a few crows. I like the 2nd image which has 3 on the ground, 3 in the trees.


Terrible shot through a bug smeared windshield… but we saw this from a few miles back and wondered if we were seeing a fire, or what exactly here? (DBP)


As we got closer the original, now obviously a dust devil, had started to fizzle out and a new one was starting to form. But look how high the original one was! I have never seen one this big before! (DBP)


Here is a wider one a few miles later, not as tall though. (DBP) Cool phenomenon on these old farms in northern Utah.

Before long 84 merged with 15 and we were in familiar grounds. We dropped Ma off in Ogden and headed home. I love going on vacation, but boy am I glad to be home. That is sure one long drive!

And that concludes our wonderful summer vacation. Thanks for stopping in. Sorry this last post wasn’t terribly exciting. :-p

The rest of the trip has more to offer, so here are the links again.

Days 1 and 2: The drive through Idaho, Multnomah Falls, and Arrival at the beach.

Days 3 and 4: Various Nearby Hikes, Cape Perpetua.

Days 5 and 6: Hikes, Beach, and Munson Creek Falls

Monday, July 29, 2013

Oregon Coast 2013 Days 4 and 5


Days 1 and 2: The drive through Idaho, Multnomah Falls, and Arrival at the beach.

Days 2 and 3: Various Nearby Hikes, Cape Perpetua.

Day 4: Wednesday

I wanted to hit another hike in today. The one I decided upon the directions were a little iffy. We drove back and forth in and out of town (it was supposedly located on the south end of town) and we just never found it. We eventually discovered the hiking guide used a business as a turn point, that has since either been renamed or has gone defunct. Yea… if when providing directions to a hike you could use street addresses vs changing landmarks, that’d be great.


In our attempts to locate it we found this random beach in Siletz Bay. I forget what it was called.


Pretty flowers here though.

So for my 2nd choice was a trails called The Friends Of The Wildwoods Trail.

The directions sent us towards West Devils Lake Road and near mile marker 2. Well we found West Devils Lake road, and at mile marker 1 was this sign.


Typo? or alternate trail?


Looks easy enough that Ma could join us.


Gorgeous little trail.


Look at the little pinecones!


Again, marked moderately difficult, but I think it might be due to the roots in the trail. Other than watching your step it was an easy hike.


Trail and ferns.


Pretty forest.


Random spring.


Just gorgeous!




Nice little bridge over a muddy section.


This section of the trail was particularly root filled.


I just love the woods out here.


View above.


And the trail just lets out in a random neighborhood.

Well that was just another pretty walk in the woods. Not much to it but it was gorgeous.


Back at the hotel room. Cool clouds hanging over the ocean.

It felt warmer today, with no breeze so we decided to try playing in the ocean again.


Agnes Creek


Ocean waves.


I don’t know if you can see it but I noticed this shelf not too far out.


Every time I find a shell with a barnacle on it, it’s still alive. Poop.


Playing in the ocean.


Various footprints.

I finally put the camera away so I could play in the ocean as well. I was proud of both of us we both didn’t like to get in too deep but we made it a little over waist deep today.

After that we decided to go have dinner. The family had gone a little earlier than we wanted to so we started looking around for places to eat. What we ended up finding is my new favorite place to eat, and it completely blew Pier 101 out of the water in fact they didn’t even get a visit from us this year I was so pleased with the new place.


Kyllo’s Is a beautiful restaurant on the beach next to the D River. (worlds shortest by the way) Not only is it beautiful on the outside it is on the inside as well. In fact I started worrying what we may have gotten ourselves into price wise.


View from our table.

Between the decor, the atmosphere and the service I would expect this to be a $50 dollar a plate restaurant. However it was closer to high 20’s. A little more than I normally like to spend, but it was definitely worth it. The clams were better than any other place I have had them before. I highly recommend it.


Made it back just in time to catch the sunset. This is more what I am used to seeing when we are here. There is always a bank of clouds in the way.



Later, we decided it was calm enough that we could finally do a fire on the beach. It was awesome! There really is just something special about enjoying a camp fire while listening to the ocean.

After that I had to scramble up those 175 steps in the dark. I almost didn’t come down because of my heights issue, and knowing I would have to come back up in the dark. But I did it, and I am very glad I did.

So between that, and getting deeper into the ocean than ever before today, we did really good with conquering some of of stupid little irrational fears today. Win!


Moon reflection from the top of the stairs.

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With our little fire. (my brothers were still with it, we didn’t just leave a fire burning. We would never do that.)

All in all today was another wonderful day on the coast!

Day 5: Thursday.

Today is our last full day on the coast.


Woke up to a beautiful day out.

We had run out of breakfast supplies so we decided to give Pig N Pancake a go. The food was good, but the service sucked. So, we probably will not return.

The we drove north towards Tillamook and we finally did the Munson Creek Falls trail. Every time we drove to Tillamook I would see the sign for it and say hey we should check that out! and for one reason or another we never did it so with some free time today I decided we should go do that one.

It’s about 7 miles south of Tillamook, and 1.5 miles off of the main highway and about half of that is unpaved road. After that it is about a quarter of a mile hike to get to it.


At least the drive in is pretty. (DBP)



And you cross a couple of streams (or 1 meandering one) (DBP)


Yup 1/4 mile.



Pretty trail already.



Pretty moss and vegetation


And we hit the creek.


Which is nice and clear.




The railing is really unnecessary as it isn’t that steep, but this does signify the steeper section of the trail.


Pretty white, slightly damaged butterfly.


More pretty forest.


I knew this was a tall waterfall at 319 feet, and yet when I rounded the corner and saw this there was an inadvertent “Holy crap!” This thing is huge! At about half the height of Multnomah Falls it definitely is not the tallest waterfall I have seen, but it is the tallest in the coastal region of Oregon.


There are still some pretties before the main view point.




This is really an amazing waterfall and definitely worth the small side trip to do.


This was as close as we could get as the trail was closed. I don’t know why it was closed, but I am sure it was for a good reason and was not willing to receive a fine to find out why.


Pretty old tree.


Mossy log.



Back down the trail is this pretty oasis.


I love how dead logs look so much more alive here.


Gorgeous gorgeous forest!

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White butterfly.


Log cave.


Munson Creek.


The drive out. (DBP)


Another river that I cannot recall the name of. (DBP)

We stopped by Neskowin in hopes of seeing the petrified stumps. However it is a long walk out to the beach and we had been running Ma ragged and didn’t want to drag her along the beach for who know how long. So we continued back to town and checked out the antique mall.

We tried to hit the crap shops, but apparently the crap shops (souvenir stores) all close at 5 in Lincoln City. Weird, most crap stores stay open late, and I would assume a beach city would stay open even later as people want to play on the beach during the day and may want to go shopping at night.. I guess not here.


After that we decided to get dinner. We stopped by Humble Pie Pizzeria. After placing our order we were informed of a 45 minute wait. Well, crap we already paid so I guess we’ll hang out. It was a nice little local hang out, and they let you write on the walls. The pizza was good, but 45 minutes was a long time. However we did hit during dinner rush and they are a small ma and pop shop so no hard feelings I guess.



Another amazing sunset on the coast.

The rest of the evening we spent hanging out with the family and preparing to leave the coast. :(

I have a smidge more to share with you from our return trip so be sure to check back again.