Friday, April 01, 2011

It Rains In Oregon - Part 2

In Oregon, Tuesdays are days for rain. That’s what we figured when we drove up the coast to Cannon Beach and Seaside. Our weather has been what we expected, cloudy with intermittent showers. This Tuesday it was showers with intermittent down pours. We walked the streets of the two little towns and looked in the numerous shops at practically the same junk. Ocean tacky was the trinket d’ jour. Every kind of plastic, seashell covered knick knack you could imagine, most with a lone seagull sitting on them. We even saw a life-sized Elvis sitting in one store. The only thing missing was the 3-D winking Jesus. I guess we are not south enough for that one.

Our lunch was the hit of the day. We had pizza pie by the slice at Pizza a’Fetta in Cannon Beach. They serve the pizza by the slice or the pie and say they were rated in the top 50 pizza eateries in the United States, back in 1998. Linda had pepperoni and I had a meat special and both were about as good as it gets. We shared a four cheese slice that was up to par with the same product at Capone’s. It was good food and we were able to sit and eat while the skies doused the earth with sheets of rain.

We returned to the camper and did our nightly routine of walking the dog, drying off, eating, cards and then bed. We did however do something different this evening. I put Kobi into the crate and before I went to bed visited him. He seemed so sad and cold that I went back into the camper and Linda and I put down towels to cover the floor. Then I brought him into the camper where we were. This was breaking one of our first rules of the camper, but we all three slept better for it.

In the morning we packed up and took the Jeep south to Lincoln City. Weather reports said that it was going to be windy but the rain might break up a bit so we could see the coast as we went. We got to Lincoln City and noticed the wind was up and we were still traveling in a steady down pour. There is an outlet mall at the south end of town so we went there and did some shopping. Linda bought some Under Armor stuff and I got two pants and a shirt for $50 at the Columbia store. It was a fun break from the rain.

Back in the Jeep we spotted a Thai food restaurant which started us craving Thai food for lunch. We drove through Lincoln City and spotted a second eatery, but returned to the original place because it had more cars in front of it. What a find!!! The place was quiet and well kept. We were seated by the window and a very nice lady, probably an owner, took our order. She insisted that we try two different plates of food, so we ordered Pad Thai and Almond Chicken. Linda ordered tea and was given some wonderful choices, explained in great detail with a pride that made us feel like we were the only ones in the place. When the tea arrived the delicate sent of lavender and other spices filled the air around us. We both could have just sat there breathing in the scent; we drank the hot tea and were once again amazed at the qualities it possessed.

Our food came very promptly and it looked as good as everything smelled. The Almond Chicken was something else, the flavor was amazing. Our Pad Thai was great too, I would have liked a bit more hot, but we had ordered on the cautious side and only had it spiced to a two out of five. I had a four once that about killed me, so we went a bit weak on this one. The meal was right up there with the pizza we had yesterday. I would put it a bit higher on the good food scale, but once again a great meal.

Back at the camper we played cribbage and got things organized to leave the next morning. Walking the dog was difficult because the rain and wind on the beach were so bad that you could only walk with the wind. Each time that I was out walking the dog I noticed one very telling tale, only people with dogs were out walking the beach. What does that tell you about the mental state of dog owners? I finished my walk and since I was soaked I put away the four chairs that we never sat in and the bikes we never got a chance to ride. I want you to know that we did not use the bikes because of the heavy rain, no other reason. I had watched the morning news and had heard that Portland had set a new 20 year record for consecutive rain days of rain. Tomorrow would be #30. I hung my wet cloths and we ate dinner, cleaned up the camper and went to bed.

We were out of camp by 9 am and heading north for Cannon Beach where we would make the turn to wind our way to Portland, The Dalles and then on up to Palouse Falls State Park. It was raining hard as we left, I had a run in with the dump station, pinched my thumb but got everything cleared out and put away. When we reached Hood River, our lunch stop, I noticed I failed to put the lid back on the camper dump. It was gone so we will have to buy a new one, the old one victim to the distraction of pinching my thumb back at Nehalem Bay.

We entered Hood River and drove up the hills and found a free parking spot. It wasn’t as easy as that sounds. Most of downtown Hood River is pay to park areas and I happened to turn up a road that was so steep that I actually thought we might not be able to pull the slope. The diesel easily chugged up and over the crest but we were very vertically exposed for about fifty yards. We parked, got Kobi out and walked down into town to find a place to get some food. The main street is an eclectic mix of shops, cafes, extreme sports centers and pubs. We chose a pub because both cafés had dogs tied up in front of them and we needed a place where Kobi could sit outside as we ate. The lady inside was very nice and explained what was available but she also made a suggestion that we try the place down the block because they had a picnic table outside where we could sit with the dog and eat. Linda talked to her for a bit while I went and used the restroom and then we took her suggestion, thanked her and headed down the block to Trillium. As we walked it dawned on us that it was not raining, we both laughed.

The waitress at Trillium greeted us with a smile. She was a Golden owner. We sat at a table outside the door, out of the wind, on the street; a great people watching spot where Kobi could curl up under our legs. I ordered a BLT and Linda had a Greek sandwich made with humus, feta chicken, cucumbers and red onions. Is your mouth watering yet? It was a great meal and we really enjoyed watching Hood River go by.

We walked to the truck and drove to a park where we could walk Kobi. Once he was walked we loaded up and drove up through the Tri Cities to the turn off to Connell and made our way down to Palouse Falls State Park.

The park is out in the middle of rolling sage scrub land. You descend into the park via a steep gravel road. Once in the park there is a turn around that creates a “J”, the camp sites are located in the middle of the “J”. We were a bit puzzled as to where to park so Linda ran up to the camp host Neal, and got some help. Neal suggested that we set up for the night in the overflow parking lot up behind his place. It turned out to be a perfect spot away from everything. We set up the camper and then went for a long walk taking pictures of the falls and talking about how queasy it mad our stomachs to look down the face of the rocks into the muddy river. We kept Kobi on lead whenever we were anywhere near the drop offs. There were marmots everywhere and we just knew if we let Kobi run free, he would chase a marmot over the cliff. I have watched him chase squirrels on Tubbs Hill where he ran off the rocks into the water. Chasing here could be fatal so Kobi was on a tight lead.

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