View From the Top

Astoria has an interesting hill overlooking the town and the Columbia River. There is a tower that Bonny and I climbed (164 steps) and the view is amazing. I will stop with the words but here are the pictures. Click on them to see full size.

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Not looking too bad after 264 steps to the top!
Not looking too bad after 164 steps to the top!

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Anniversary in Astoria!

October 7th marks our 14th anniversary.

Anniversary Dinner 2014
Anniversary Dinner 2014

Bonny and I feel very fortunate for our families and many friends both in Southern California, Redding and all across this wonderful country. We also spent time reminiscing about past adventures and travels and planning more of the same to come!

Thank you all for enriching our lives! Really, thank YOU.

We enjoyed a wonderful evening and dinner at the Bridgewater Bistro here in Astoria, Oregon. We had wonderful seafood dinners and attacked a bottle of matured grape juice from Roderer.  The combination and location were just great. We would really recommend this restaurant if you ever get up this far into Oregon. Here is there web site:

http://bridgewaterbistro.com

Some pictures follow and as usual you can see them enlarged with a simple mouse click!    Anniversary Dinner

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Astoria

I woke up this morning completely surrounded by fog.  It was delightful sitting up front watching the sun rise and the fog lift on the beautiful golf course that we have called home for a few days.  I have always said that one of the best things about retirement is “sleeping until I’m through”.

Today is our anniversary….14 years.  We have had a lot of fun and I can honestly say, still, that I have never once been bored!!!  I would gladly sign up for another 14……that should put us into our mid 80’s.

Yesterday we visited the beach communities of Seaside and Cannon Beach.  (Pictures are here – just click) They are typical beach towns and very different from Astoria just a few miles to the North.

Astoria is built on a hillside near where the Columbia River meets the sea.  Most of homes are Victorian and some are 200 years old.  At one time the population was as high as 100,000  with a thriving logging, shipping, and canning industry.  At that time the town was build on wooden piles  over the water.  A huge fire in the 1920’s destroyed the city as it swept under and burnt the support the city was built.  Today the population is 10,000, however, Doug and I spotted a Costco which tells us a lot about the surrounding community.

 

Astoria

We arrived in Astoria, Oregon last evening and found our RV site on a beautiful golf course. Getting here was a challenge. Our GPS choose to route our 40 ft motorhome with our Jeep attached (63 feet total) up a steep hill then onto  a narrow residential street which was a dead end! This necessitated unhooking the Jeep and blocking the street while we made a tight multi-point u-turn.  Bonny was a great spotter! All went well! But check out the sign on our GPS “approved” route!

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We plan to stay a few days here it is so lovely.

Bonny will add her thoughts.

Astoria Pictures here

Fish and Chips Here
We were sent here for the best fish and chips in town!

 

Columbia River Gorge

October 3, 2014   Columbia Gorge

Today we returned to the Columbia Gorge……..we simply ran out of time yesterday watching the sunset on our day from the Vista House high above the Gorge. I love how God ends his day with the sun peeking through the leaves, the deepening red of the sky followed by the twinkling of a million lights.

We started with brunch at Multnomah Restaurant. It is a beautiful lodge like structure with a huge fireplace that always seems to be well fed. We ate in the room next door that is a sun room with a steep glass roof.  We seem to find beauty everywhere we look….a beautiful cloudless day, a bit windy with white caps seen on the Columbia River. The Multnomha  Falls are the 2 nd highest year round water falls in the US.  Doug and I walked up to the 1st of 11 switchbacks.  Since we had planed a bike ride, we decided that was high enough.

Oregon provides many miles of bike riding trails for its citizens and we only got a very small taste. Today we did a trail that is dedicated to bikes and runs from Dobson to Cascade Locks. It is 8 miles long. As beautiful as it is, it follows the freeway and is noisy. We started from both ends and would recommend beginning at Cascade. It is away from the freeway and is dominated by tree covered tunnels………it is like riding your bike into Heaven.

On our way out, we stopped at an outdoor market for fresh fish ( or folks selling fish out of coolers in a parking lot). It is very interesting that the Indians in the area have no restrictions on fishing and can use nets as well. The smoked salmon didn’t last very long, yum.

Tomorrow, Astoria.

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Mt. Hood and Cascade Locks

October 2, 2014  

Mt. Hood,  Cascade Locks, and Columbia River Gorge

We drove to Mt. Hood for a pleasant morning at Timberline Lodge. After visiting the mountain, we ended up spending quite a while at a small town called Cascades Locks, population 1000.  We met the mayor who was mowing the lawn at the park and is also the paddle boat captin.  There was a very small beautiful island called Thunder Island that we explored.  We did make it to the Multnomah falls, but late. We watched the sun set at Vista House on the Historical Route 30.  We are going back tomorrow via Route 14 from Vancouver over the Bridge of the Gods and have brunch at the falls.

Click Here for Photos!

Sunset view of the Columbia River from the View House
Sunset view of the Columbia River from the View House

Portland

October1, 2014 

Portland, Oregon

Bonny and I arrived in Portland and met her long time nursing school friend, Maggie. We attended the Oregon Symphony that evening in one of the most beautiful music venues we have ever seen.

Then next day we had a personal Portland tour by Maggie

The following day we did a self guided tour of the Japanese Garden and the Western Forest just on the edge of the city. We had a beautiful day and a wonderful experience. Portland is an attractive city with a lovely, lively downtown and much to see.

Check out our Portland Photos here!Japanese Garden Portland

Portland

October 1, 2014

Portland

Portland…..where the weather is predictably unpredictable.  This is definitely a “layering” city.  Yesterday we experienced light rain, sunshine, warm sunshine, clouds, rain in the sunshine, twinkling rain.
We spent the day seeing the city that my friend Maggie loves and I can see why.  First we toured her house which is a very small cottage, but is surprisingly spacious with a loft for her bedroom and a basement for everything else.  The gardens she has created in the front and back are ever so inviting.  She offers it on occasion as a B & B which delights her guests.  The neighborhood has homes of varying size, many Victorian and Craftsman homes and tree canopied streets.  It is near Reed Collage which is a small, very expensive private school.  She thinks it looks like Hogwarts.
Our first stop was the tram which extents over the city from the waterfront to the Medical Center on the hill overlooking Portland……breathtaking.
Aerial tram to OU Medical Center with view of Portland
Aerial tram to OU Medical Center with view of Portland

Portland

September 30, 2014

Portland

Our first real day in Portland.  My friend Maggie Chandler ( she was a nursing school friend that went on to become the librarian at Poly until her retirement ) spent the day as our personal tour guide.  You can tell she loves Portland.  Doug & I agree.  It is a fabulous place with just about anything you could want to do.
We started the day at the aerial tram that travels from the river up to the medical centers on the hill overlooking the city.  It is the best way ever to get a lay of the land.  We traveled around town on the metro buses.  I think what I love best are the trees that line the down town streets.  The city is really clean.  One of our stops was along the river where Maggie and 19 of her closets friends meet 3 times a week to paddle in the Dragon Boats.  You should see her biceps and lats!!  They do this in rain or snow.   Makes me feel like a bit of a wuss since you will only find me kayaking in fair weather.   Saw Powell’s Book store, famous for it’s size and  three stories.  We wonder how the electronic books affected it’s sales.  We ended the day at Jake’s for happy hour and fish tacos.
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Eugene to Portland

September 30, 2014

Leaving Eugene for Portland

Hi everyone,

I can see I am getting a bit delinquent in my diary.  One of Doug’s goals on this trip is to create and maintain a blog about our adventures.  This will be a separate web site you can go to ( or not).  Some of you have voiced interest in our travels, others are getting this simply because you are related to us.  This is created so WE can recount our days.
The past few days have be spent in Eugene, Oregon at at a wonderful county park called Armitage County Park.  We had the last of 31 sites.  It was one of the best places we have ever stayed.  The sites are very spacious with trees all around, surrounded by a county park on the edge of the Mckenzie River.   We met a lovely couple that have been full timing it for 16 months in a 20 foot trailer.  They managed to transport their 2 bikes, an 18 year old cat, and a 2 man kayak.  We are impressed.  We felt so “out in the country” but Costco was less than 5 minutes from our camp!
Sunday we did a bike ride along a Willamette River Trail and through the Univeisty of Oregon campus. We  both agree that we have to come back to Eugene.   It is a very interesting culture here.  People watching is quite entertaining, especially at The Saturday Market.
Monday September 29, 2014
Arrived in Portland to intermittent rain ( although, they don’t consider it rain here).  We met up with my friend Maggie and joined her and friends for Happy Hour at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and on to the Oregon Symphony.

To be continued……….We are anxiously waiting for news from Andy & Lindsay about Dylan’s new brother or sister :  )

Enroute to Eugene

September 27,2014

Enroute to Eugene

Hi everyone,

Doug and I are on I-5 headed towards Eugene, Or.  We have spent the last 4 days in the Rogue Valley State Park.  After a day of rain, the skies are beautiful and most everything is refreshingly green. I think we both needed a few days to just chill. We rode our bikes, visited my friend from nursing school, Linda Hanson, saw a couple of movies, cozied up and read, and I refamiliarized my self with the coach.  I also took a tour of the kitchens and packing facility at Harry & David’s.  I learned that they are the major employer for the city of Medford.  I have always loved their products and like them even better now.

Doug has done a great job fixing  up the coach and preparing for this trip.  We even have a reverse osmosis system (I thought the same thing-SO?????).  It completely purifies the water………no scum in the shower and clear ice cubes, not to mention completely purified water to drink.

Of note.. Jacksonville is a delightful must see.  We had lunch and spent the afternoon with Linda at a great little resturant called The Bella Union.   It has also become quite an area for wineries. We sat under a huge fig tree that covered the entire patio.
We saw the movie The 100 Foot Journey.  Don’t miss it.  It is a delightful story that takes place in the South of France.  I just finished reading 11/22/1963 by Steven King.  Would recommend it.  It is about traveling back in time and preventing the assassination of JFK.
Last night we started dinner about 830 after a trip to Costco for some good rib eye steaks (as you know we are both carnivores ).  We looked like the 2 Stooges trying to build a fire and bar-b-q.   The fire just wouldn’t cooperate and we couldn’t see a thing to cook.  We are learning  :  )   Where is a fireman when you need him?  You boys are always good at starting a bonfire.
Saturday September 27, 2014
So far the promised 73 degree, mostly sunny day, has not materialized……maybe it will be laundry day :  (
(Doug here – that was damp wood – really it was)
Bonny
Rogue River Sunset from our campsite (20 ft. walk)

September 26

September 26, 2014

Doug and Bonny on the Road

This will serve as our photo gallery and our memory/scrap book of our new RV adventures. We are camped on the edge of the Rogue River in Oregon as I write this just before sunrise on September 26, 2014. This has been a lovely 4 day stay – complete with a day of RAIN. I had almost forgot what rain was until I was awakened by the sound on the RV roof. Bonny of course want to WALK in the rain – like a little kid. Of course we got wet but what the heck – we are retired!!

Stay tuned

The Trip Starts – Finally!

September 23
2014 The Trip Starts – Finally!
Hi there,

Well we are finally on the road.  Doug and I were so tired from packing the RV on Saturday that we parked in the Redding Elk’s and went out to a movie and pizza.  We left for Oregon on Sunday,  September 21st, refreshed.  We drove 168 miles to the Rogue River State Park between Grants Pass and Medford.  The ride was nice, but the ravages of the draught were very apparent with huge areas of tree not turning to fall colors, but dying.  The fires have left the skies smokey as the worst smoggy day in LA.  Our little spot at the Rogue River has lots of healthy trees.  The best part of all is that we can have a real fire.  We bought 2 bundles of firewood.  Hey!!
Today is the first day with absolutely no agenda except a bike ride to explore the town of Rogue River.  Tomorrow we are having lunch with a gal I went to nursing school with, Linda Sprague Hanson.  She lives in Central Point.  She says she still has horses that are descendants of the horses she had when we were in school over 45 years ago.  I am so looking forward to seeing her.
Bonny and Doug