I realized I haven't shared our trip this Spring to the Oregon Coast so I'll try now to get these things caught up. To say I've been busy since then is an understatement but you'll find out more about that later.
The new travel trailer had her maiden voyage this Spring and a long one to boot. It did fabulous and was so much more comfortable to do long term with the dogs and parrots than the skinny trailer was. This is especially helpful of course when it is rainy and/or cold and we are all inside it for periods of time. The new setup for the parrots was a success for the most part (this was their first long trip) and both traveled in the truck with the dogs and me on drive days and hung out in their cages in the trailer when we were stopped. I did find though that being out of their routine of having to get in and out of cages was tested (only by Iago) when it came time to get Iago out of her cage and she just didn't want to. Rotten parrot.
I had my route planned with no more than 2 extra plans since it was our first trip with the new trailer and frankly, the snow in the Cascades was keeping a number of those routes closed. No big deal. Our first stop was our favorite and frequently used Boardman RV Park. I stepped outside my box and picked a different spot and stayed there two nights as it is a really long drive (10+ hours) from home and I wanted the time to just pause. The weather when we left home was cold and wet and we arrived there to hot and sunny (as is often the case). Because I had the extra day there I was able to walk the trail around the park and down the road and discovered that there is an old tugboat and historic information to see. Super cool.
Of course the sunsets over the Columbia River never disappoint either.
We parted ways knowing we "might" or "might not" be back on the way home. I had planned to take the South route home from our destination (via Hwy 20) and had reservations for that.
We ended up NOT going over the Cascades to get to our next destination just because the roads looked rather horrid over the passes. Instead back up and around Portland and down to Sweetgrass for our next stop of 2 nights. My good friend Lori and her husband had helped me find a campground near their place (that wasn't overrun with homeless encampments) so we could have some time to visit. The Waterloo Campground is run by the county and was really nice. Located on the Santiam River it also has a huge disc golf course which also then provides some great trails to just walk around the campground with the dogs. Lori and I and the two dogs did over 2.5 miles the one day wandering around....and because it was early in the season, the campground was pretty empty (which suits me just fine).
I got a campsite at the end of the last loop and it had a lovely view out the back windows of the trailer (which I knew would often be the case and why I loved this trailer so much). It was spacious and the county workers did drive through fairly often which is nice (you do notice the difference in how people camp and act if hosts are at least somewhat visible).
The best part of the stay was getting to catch up with my friend and her husband AND that she and I were able to go into Lebanon and have lunch at the bar there that has food trucks along the one side. Lunch outside and lots of variety of menus to choose from. YUM! Thanks Lori!
We departed Lebanon late in the morning as the drive to our destination at Winchester Bay was going to be a short one. It was a weekday (Monday) and the traffic was light as I meandered out to the Coast. My brother and his friends were heading there from south and check in for the campground was late in the day. I was thrilled to be able to pull off Hwy 101 for lunch at a very large pull out and have lunch and just pause to enjoy the ocean view and listen to the waves.
Our destination was another county campground at Winchester Bay. My brother and I had found this place in our meandering around last year when we were down on the south coast. We were so impressed we booked 10 days there as it is close enough to one of the dunes areas that he could bring his side-by-side and go ride and he also had friends that would be staying as well. Needless to say there wasn't a ton of dune riding (it was cold quite a bit of the time and rainy) but I was very pleased with the area. We even got a visit from a cousin and his girlfriend that came and spent a long weekend camping with us. What a treat! I was able to do a lot of walking with the dogs and we got some RV "repairs" accomplished as well, the one day it was really nice. It wasn't until later in our stay that I found that there was a huge ocean beach just 5 minutes drive down the road so we pretty much went and walked there every day after that. A shopping trip down to Bandon was also accomplished which was fun. There was lots of good food, good people and fires to stay warm. So now I'll just bombard you with a bunch of photos from that stay.
My plans to take the south route home (which adds about 200+ miles) changed about a week before I was ready to head home. I realized I didn't really want to take 3 days to get home and would rather have the extra time once we got home to get unloaded and settled back in before work. I got online and found that Boardman had 2 spots left for the Friday night I needed so I snagged one of them and called and cancelled my other ones. I wasn't that concerned about the cancellations - remember this is early May and no place is booked solid (except Boardman) usually this time of year. I left super early figuring I'd go back up around the bottom of Portland and to Boardman. That is till I hit the same horrid traffic on I5 that I had dealt with coming in. I made a snap decision to go over the mountains via Detroit Lake and then cut up to Boardman from Redmond. Well, Sherry shouldn't be making snap travel decisions - ON THE WAY HOME! It was a GORGEOUS drive, the rivers were full and waterfalls running but the drive was very very slow and what would have been about 6-7 hours turned into 11. I did see a lot of new territory but I think the critters all sensed we were on the way home and they were not happy having that long of a drive day. Because we were going thru the mountains and such, there weren't a ton of places to stop and rest either and frankly I was pretty much hauling a** to get to our destination. Luckily my routine for set up and take down at the campground are greatly improved with the new trailer and we settled in for a restful night. No walks just food for all and sleep and the sweet perfume of the lilac bust right at my back window.
I knew the next day would be another LONG one for driving but at least it was all roads and stops we'd done before. Lesson learned but we made it home, everyone was VERY happy to have their space again as was I. I have always realized I'd never be a full time RV person. I enjoy the long trips but I do want to land somewhere, stay and explore not drive and drive and drive. I also love having home to come back to so that is how I'll roll.
Another great Oregon trip is in the books. Not sure what next year will bring for a big trip but am pondering a different destination. We'll see!