Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Coastal Driving

Sorry guys, I haven't had a chance to post anything until now! I am right now in Grants Pass, Tracie's hometown, staying with her mom. We spent the last several days driving down the coast. I'll try to sum up so far best I can...

Saturday we flew into Portland, picked up our rental car (which looks sort of like a PT Cruiser and a Honda Element, but has lots of cargo space), and stayed the night at the Quality Inn. The next day we set off for Astoria, at the very northwest corner of Oregon.

In Astoria we saw all the "Goonies" sites: the county jail (which looks much smaller than in the movie), the Flavel House Museum, and of course the Goonie house which has a great view of Astoria. We also climbed the Astoria Column for some great views of the area. Then we left and headed down the coast towards Newport, our destination for the night.

On the way we stopped at Cannon Beach and spent some time walking on the beach by Haystack Rock. It looks much bigger than in the Goonie movie. Maybe cause in the movie it's farther away.

Finally arrived in Newport and checked in at the Shilo Inn on the beachfront. It was actually very cold when we got out of the car... we talked about walking on the beach some more, but it was just too cold. So we settled for swimming in the hotel's indoor heated pool. :)

Next day we drove up to Depoe Bay to see if we could see Arch Rock, but it was still shrouded in fog from the night before. Oh well. We got coffee at a cute little coffee place called "Pirate Coffee Company." I bought a new stoneware coffee mug. :) Then we decided to go check out a nearby lighthouse, Yaquina Head. I have definitely gotten my twisty staircase experience for this trip in... once at Astoria Column and again at this lighthouse. It was too foggy to see very far, but it was still awesome to be up in it.

Finally we headed for the Oregon Aquarium in Newport. This is where being a travel agent totally rocks, because they let me in for free. :) Saw lots of crabs, sharks, otters, etc. After that there was a brewery almost right next door, Rogue's Ale, so we had to go taste some of their beer.

Then we had to make it to our next destination, Brookings, before it got too dark. We wanted to stop at a good crab restaurant but just didn't have the time. We got into Brookings at the Whaleshead Resort after dark and we decided to just go pick up fast food. I guess crab will have to wait...

In Brookings we checked out a couple of beaches: Whaleshead Beach where we flew a pirate-shaped kite that Tracie's mom had given us in Portland, and then Harris Beach where we watched hermit crabs in tidepools. :)

On the way to Grants Pass, the road dips down into California and goes through redwood country, so we had to stop and hike through some redwood trails. And one of them I'll never forget: we started hiking along and stopped to realize that the forest was totally quiet. No birds. No frogs. No insects. No people ahead on the trail. Just total silence. It was almost unnatural. I wish I could've taken a picture of the silence. We couldn't stay too long in those woods because we didn't have enough time to hike the whole trail and be in Grants Pass by 7:00 to meet her family for dinner, so we walked for about half an hour and then left.

In Grants Pass we went to a pizzeria/brewery and I got to meet several of her relatives, including her grandparents and her brother Ben. After dinner we stopped by her dad and stepmom's house where I got to play with two adorable Shih-tzus. Finally we made it to Tracie's mom's house where we crashed for the night.

Today I think we're going to the Oregon Vortex. We slept in a bit this morning so we it won't be a totally full day. Tonight Tracie's mom gave us tickets to a Shakespeare festival, so we get to go see "The Two Gentlemen of Verona." Should be good times. If the weather holds out, that is.

Later this week we're planning on Crater Lake, rafting on the Rogue river, and the Grants Pass county fair. More to report later!! :)



Blogger Dirty Gypsy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/16/2006 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Erika said...

Sounds like you're having fun!! I wish I could take a vacation...

Sidebar...we sell Rogue beer at the liquor store where I work! Supposed to be really good.

8/16/2006 8:56 PM  

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