Thursday, October 18, 2018

Fall Trip - Day Six, Newporr ro Crescent City

The tide was out this morning so we went back to Yaquina to visit the tide pools.  We approached the sea from two different locations finding two entirely different ecosystems.  The first was sandy and the second rocky.  The second had quite wonderful tide pools and a number of Harbor Seals basking or swimming about.  There was also a whale feeding not far from our location.

A look at a Sea Star

Those are Harbor Seals.  Or as they say on the East Coast Haba Seals.

Our next stop was destination was Yachats, but we stopped along the way at a Glass Blowing shop.  There was no glass blowing going on, so after browsing the beautiful art we moved on.  Up the river from the town of Yachats is a wonderful covered bridge we like to visit.

We had intended to go back to town and on to Cape Perpetua, but found a back road to take us there.  It probably took longer, but was a wonderful drive in the woods on a narrow forest road.  There is a wonderful lookout high on the Cape.

We stopped for dinner and some treats in the town of Bandon.  The Bandon Fish Market makes the best Fish and Chips!  We’d been advised to go on South to Port Orford and the Crazy Norwegian, but we were hungry and decided on the closer sure thing, rather than the distant unknown.  We were not disappointed.  As before, these were the best Fish and Chips ever!!  There is a popcorn shop across the street that is pretty great too!

About near the California border we found a beach for an evening stroll.  We’d seen whales feeding there last year, but none this time.

We spent the night at a Best Western in Crescent City.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

2018 Fall Trip, Day Five, Portland to Newport

We were up and on our way by nine this morning.  Everyone feeling well and rested.  So grateful that Aly is feeling better.  We drove across town and up through Washington Park and on to the West.  After a quick breakfast stop at McDonald’s we were on our way to Tillamook.  We have stopped there often and hardly recognized this place this time.  They’d undergone a complete remodel.  The new factory is modern and accommodating.  They still offer a self guided tour and it is pretty great to see how the cheese is made and packaged for shipment to Vernal and so many other places.  There is no tour of their butter or ice cream facilities, but it is easy to see why they’re prospering.  Excellent quality and enormous production.  Just in storage alone they have have something like 38 million pounds, just aging away unti it’s time to package and ship.  Quite an amazing process.  The whole thing is owned by the dairy farmers themselves.  Pretty cool!

After enjoying some samples of cheese and some ice cream, we headed out to the coast and Meares Head Light House.  On the way we drove up Maxwell road to the top of a knob that offers a tremendous view of Oceanside and of course, the sea.  At Meares Head we left Sweetie to read in the car and walked down to the lighthouse.  It is quite a hike down to the light, but Aly and I enjoyed it very much.

From Meares Head we drove to Otis Junction.  It is a little tiny cafe out in the middle of Podunkville.  There are four booths, a table and a few bar stools and that’s about it.  Aly and I had salad and delicious Clam Chowder.  Sweetie had an omelet and German potatoes that were divine.  We bought some pie for the road and a couple of loaves of bread.  They are famous for their Molasses bread and we got that and a loaf of their pumpkin bread.  That will be nice on the road.  Fun, famous little place!

Next we drove on down to Lincoln City and then on toward Newport.  At Depoe Bay we found a whale feeding in a cove just North of town.  We found a great little park where we could stand above the shore and watch and try to get photos.  He was busy feeding and while we could see him blow as he surfaced, he didn’t show us much.  Occasionally he swam on his side with a flipper and the tip of a fluke were exposed, but that was about it.  Pretty cool all the same!  As we travelled on we stopped near Whale Cove and in other places also called “Thar she blows!” as whales were spouting all over the place!  Great day to see them!

We finished the day with a visit to the Yaquina Lighthouse.  Aly took this wonderful photo of it!  The ranger at the gate was a corker and gave us fits about having a pumpkin and a gourd on our dashboard.  Nice to see a Federal worker that has a sense of humor!

We turned in at the Agate Beach Best Western after a quick stop at Walmart for supplies!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

2018 Fall Trip - Day Four, Portland, Oregon

Sweetie and I had gone to bed early, but Aly had arrived aftermidnight and came up short on sleep.  Still she was up with us at six and we were all out the door by seven.  Our first stop was a local favorite restaurant called Elmer’s.  They’re famous for their German Pancakes which Aly enjoyed, Sweetie had a wonderful omelet and I had terrific crepe’s.  We also had some Latke’s on the side.  Delicious!  It was great to spend some time catching up with our wonderful daughter.

Multnomah Falls was next on our agenda.  Not far up the Columbia River Gorge this breathtaking set of falls is a favorite of ours.  It was also breathing because Aly and I decided to hike up to the bridge.  It was a great view from up there as well.

Our next stop was Crown Point and Vista House, which is celebrating it’s 100th Anniversary this year!  The scenes from there up, down and across the river are spectacular.  It had been cloudy, but the sun came out just for us!

The Lan Su Chinese gardens, downtown were next on our agenda.  Sweetie and I have been there several times and never tire of the peace and serenity we always find there.

We watched a couple of artists do some wonderful work and then stopped in the Tea Shop for some Herbal Tea.  Aly introduced us Edamame, wonderfully tasty Soy Beans seasoned and steamed.  We also were entertained by a gentleman playing a two stringed, Chinese violin called an Erhu.  Charming experience to be sure.

A little shopping and we were off to our next stop.  The Pittock Mansion, by way of Salt and Straw in the Nob Hill district for some more ice cream.
The grounds around the mansion provide terrific views overlooking the city.  Interpretive signs told much of the history of Portland.

Aly had developed a headache so we decided to call it a day.  We drove through Washington Park and on to our hotel where we rested and Aly took a nap.  At seven, she still wasn’t feeling well and opted to stay in bed.  Sweetie and I went out to Kell’s Irish Restaurant and Pub where she had a great wrap and I nearly foundered on Bangers and Mash!  The best ever.  No one makes them as good as Kell’s!  It’s been a great day!  Tomorrow we’re off for the Coast!

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

2018 Fall Trip - Day Three, Portland, Oregon

We took it easy getting going this morning.  But we did get up in time for the Continental Breakfast at the Hotel.  We wanted to get another look at Boone’s Ferry Drive and so headed that way.  Near there is the Tryon Creek State Park.  We thought that might be nice to visit and it was.  I went for a two mile hike in the woods.

Agreed, there’s not a lot of variety in two miles of trail.  But it was more pleasant than I’m making it sound.  It was cool!  It was unusual, for me at least!  I don’t often see mossy trees and ferns everywhere.  I very much enjoyed myself and sweetie enjoyed sitting with a good book while I was gone.  I could live here and enjoy this place often, but I’d miss all the wildlife I more often see back home.  Here there were bird calls, but mostly from the upper canopy of the forest, so you never saw them even from a distance.  I spoke with a lady at the Vistor’s Center who told me that she and her husband come to Utah every year for the vistas and open spaces.  Ironic, Sweetie and I come here every year for the green.  Seems like the lady was subtly saying that I’d likely tire of all the green and of being hemmed in by trees everywhere.  I think she may be right.

From the Park we drove to Lake Oswego and it’s associated community.  We drove around the lake and really enjoyed seeing the neighborhoods with lovely homes and gardens.

Most of the homes across the way only have a sliver of land between the lake and the railroad tracks, so their homes are floating on the lake, moored to the tiny bit of land they own.

Thank goodness for GPS, it is so easy to get turned around in these woods with all the windy, twisty roads and no views of distant landmarks.  We eventually stopped to get an ice cream at Salt and Straw.  They have very unusual flavors.  One today was Green Olive and Olive Oil flavored Ice Cream, they called it Arbequina Olive Oil.  Did nothing for me.  I settled for a Root Beer Float.  Sweetie enjoyed a scoop of Pear and Blue Cheese Ice Cream.  That actually wasn’t too bad.

While I was finding a parking place I noticed a little place called St. Honore Boulangerie.  There is a Boulangerie, or bakery in Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series and Inspector Gamache’s father and son were named Honore, so we thought it fitting we eat there.  And, yes, right after we’d had dessert.  I had a turkey croissant sandwich and Sweetie had a croissant with a sausage frittata inside.  Her’s was better than mine.  I also had a bowl of Beef and Barley soup that was awesome.  We also bought some pastries to go.  A very pleasant little place!

Our next stop was Powell’s Book Store.  It is huge, takes up an entire city block!  And there’s an annex across the street!  I bought a couple of books and Sweetie bought one.  I also got a couple of Notebooks.  I’m hoping to foster a bit more creativity in my life now that I’m experiencing more discretionary time.  Don’t want to be wasting time, that’s for sure.  Haven’t got that much left.  We parked in their parking terrace which was quite unsettling.  Steep ramps, narrow passageways.  I felt lucky I didn’t collide with anything.  Seriously!

We think we’re getting old.  We went and checked into the Hotel at four and spent the rest of the evening resting.  Our daughter is joining us this evening for a few days.  She’d have been here by now, but Thunderstorms and Tornados have closed things down in Dallas, where she was originally making an intermediate stop.  Her new flight goes through Phoenix and doesn’t arrive here until 11:15 this evening.  Both of us are beat and I’m remarkably sore from my hike this morning.  We’ll probably be sound asleep when she arrives.  She just might have to call Uber to get to the Hotel.

Monday, October 08, 2018

2018 Fall Trip - Day Two, Pendleton to Portland

Our early finish last evening was a God-send.  We slept well and long and were off to a wonderful start this morning.  The Continental Breakfast was nice at the Best Western.  We deliberately ate light because we wanted to save room for lunch at the White House Cafe in the orchard country above the city of Hood River.  The drive there was wonderful, overcast and cozy, with a light rain now and then.  Riding along the mighty Columbia River is always amazing to me.  The effort to tame that mighty waterway and consequently turn Eastern Washington and Oregon into vast farms and orchards was sheer genius, and then to use the waterway to transport so much of that bounty to market is amazing!  Not to mention all of the hydroelectric power that is generated in the process!  What a marvel!

Lunch out doors in the mist was great!  I had Carnitas Tacos and Sweetie enjoyed a flatbread pizza with Gorgonzola cheese, caramelized onions and fresh pear slices!  Both were such a delight we were giddy!

The scene from our table.

Then we drove around the area enjoying the farms and orchards and wonderful scenery.

They grow apples a little differently in some orchards.

Here is how Mt. Hood looked today.

Here’s how it looked last year.

We were not disappointed.  This place is heaven in any kind of weather.  We drove on around the mountain in a pretty good rain storm and decided to head into Portland to see the special way the rain drips off the roofs at the Chinese Garden downtown.  Unfortunately, it stopped raining before we got there.  To assuage our disappointment we went to Blue Star Donuts instead.  They are the best, better than Voodoo Donuts for sure!  They use brioche dough and they’re so flavorful and pleasant to the bite!  We had ganache, key lime, blueberry and pumpkin bulee’ flavors and loved them all!  Next we decided to head for the Portland Temple to take a look.  We asked Siri for directions and she got lost.  Garmin couldn’t do it either, but Google came through and took us down Boone’s Ferry Road.  My kind of drive!  Winding through a long beautiful tunnel of trees overarching the whole road in many places.  The leaves are turning and the colors were awesome!  The Temple, set in the trees was among the most beautiful we’ve seen!

There is a Visitor’s Center at the Temple and we decided to stop in for a look around.  We were greeted by Brother and Sister Allen who asked us where we were from.  We were surprised they knew of Vernal, Utah.  But of course they did, Sister Martha Allen is Karl Flemming’s sister!  They were delighted that we knew and loved both Karl and Andrea and Karl and Martha’s wonderful parents! And that the Flemming’s daughter, Shawnee, lives in our Ward!  Small world!  What a joy to converse with them!

Here we are with Sister Martha Allen at the Temple Visitor’s Center.

We also got to meet sweet Sarah a recent convert who’d been attracted to the House of the Lord and taught the Gospel there in the Visitor’s Center.  She was back there working on her Family History.  Also we met some wonderful Sister Missionaries who stopped by.  One from Alpine, Utah, another from Springville and one from the Island of Bohol in the Philippines!  She was excited when I told her that I had the opportunity to escort the first Elders to Tagbilaran, Bohol, when the Province was first opened to missionary work!  Love goes around and around!

We checked into a nice Best Western in a few miles from the Temple on the Pacific Highway.  This little waterfall and pool is right outside.