Thursday, May 01, 2008

Oregon Coast

So far we have spent 8 days on the Oregon coast. It is cold and wet, but certainly beautiful. We have learned a new phrase—sunny breaks. That is when the sun shines for a short time between clouds and rain. Wednesday morning we took advantage of a sunny break to run 3 miles. Tuesday evening we took advantage of a sunny break to walk on the coast at Nehalem Bay State Park.

The Oregon state parks we have stayed in are great—good sites, well maintained, and in lovely locations. The nightly rate is very reasonable for a hook-up site--$16—and there is no day use fee on top of that. In April, the winter rates are still in effect and we have seen very few campers.

The coast has several lighthouses. We saw the Cape Arago one while hiking the Pacific Coast Trail out of Sunset Bay SP. And we visited the Cape Mears Lighthouse while staying at Nehalem Bay. There were many nesting birds on the rocks near this lighthouse—many we had never seen before.

Another interesting place to visit while at Nahalem Bay was the Tillamook Cheese Factory. The dairy farmers of Tillamook Country have been using their milk to make cheese, ice cream and milk for many years. Because of the demand for milk and cheese, there are

dairy farms all over the county. It sometimes smells like a feed lot. I have seen Tillamook cheese in the stores in Colorado and it was really interesting to see how it was made. The tour is free—but the gift shop and cheese sales shop get enough to pay for the tour. We

bought cheese for ourselves and gifts for our grandchildren and the son who takes care of our house as we travel.

One night at Nehalem Bay there was a group of about 20 tent campers from a local school. The next day, in the rain, we saw them riding the Pacific Coast Bike Trail. More power to them, but I wouldn't want to bike in that weather.

Since we left Klamath in California the truck—which just had a new transmission installed—has been making strange noises. So in Tillamook, we drove to a Chevy dealer to have it looked at. We really felt God was with us that day. The service department was fully booked, but a mechanic was sitting in the service office, waiting for a late appointment. When John described the problem, he came over and said, "Do you want to take a ride?" John said yes. All it took was drive around the parking lot and he said, let me put it up on the lift. He discovered the shop in Northridge had neglected to install two bolts that secured the transmission to the truck frame. The two bolts corrected the problem and now the truck sounds like it should. Hurray!

Between Sunset Bay and Nehalem Bay, we drove 200 miles. We saw great views of the ocean and drove through local farm communities. In one place we passed a huge field of daffodils. They must have been raising them for sale or something; we have never seen so many in one place. It was beautiful.

We may be at sea level, but it is early spring here, just like it is in Colorado in late April and early may. The crabapple trees are blooming and the other trees have the soft light green color of new foliage. We are excited to see what it will look like when everything fully leafs out.

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